With just over a month to go until the official 50th anniversary of the 50p coin, celebrations have now hit Jersey and Guernsey as the British Crown Dependencies mark this monumental numismatic milestone.
As the world’s first seven-sided coin, the 50p caused quite a stir when it was first issued in 1969, however it has since become one of the most popular and highly collected coins in circulation, both across Britain and its Crown Dependencies.
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary, a unique pair of Jersey and Guernsey 50p coins have been specially re-issued this year.
This set includes re-issued versions of the 1969 Ducal Cap 50p from the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the 1969 Coat of Arms from the Bailiwick of Jersey. These were the first 50p coins issued in the British Crown Dependencies and the pair have now been re-struck with the 2019 year date in Brilliant Uncirculated quality for collectors.
Whilst Jersey and Guernsey coins aren’t legal tender in the UK, they have a history of becoming highly collectable due to their low mintage figures…
Guernsey 50p Mintage Figures
Two definitive 50p coin designs have been issued in Guernsey since decimalisation – The Ducal Cap and Freesia Flowers.
The 1969 Ducal Cap 50p has been re-issued in the smaller specification for the 50th Anniversary of the 50p.
Anthony Wagner’s design features the Ducal Cap of the Duke of Normandy on the reverse.
Unlike UK coins, the obverse of the Guernsey Freesia Flowers 50p feature the Guernsey Coat of Arms, which includes three lions next to Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait. This makes the 50p particularly distinguishable.
Whilst Guernsey coins aren’t legal tender in the UK, they do turn up in our change from time to time. And if you’re lucky enough to come across one, make sure you check to see if you’ve been able to find Guernsey’s rarest definitive 50p – the 1987 Freesia Flowers.
A tiny 5,000 Freesia Flowers 50ps were released in 1987 – that means there’s only enough for roughly 8% of the population of Guernsey to own one of these coins each!
Jersey 50p Mintage Figures
Two definitive 50p coin designs have also been issued in Jersey since decimalisation – the Shield and Grosnez Castle.
The 1969 Shield 50p has been re-issued in the smaller specification for the 50th Anniversary of the 50p.
George Kruger Gray’s design features three lions on a shield on the reverse. The obverse features Arnold Machin’s portrait of Her Majesty the Queen.
Again, these coins aren’t legal tender in the UK, so if you do find one in your change it would have found its way to you by accident, perhaps due to a holiday maker spending it by mistake.
Whether you find yourself checking your change in Jersey or the UK, you’ll want to keep a watchful eye on any Grosnez Castle 50ps that you might be lucky enough to find, as one year in particular is very rare…
Just 10,000 Grosnez Castle 50ps were issued in 2003 – compare that to the 23,583,000 Britannia 50ps released in the UK in 2003 and you’ll appreciate just how rare this coin really is!
Have you been lucky enough to come across any Jersey or Guernsey 50ps, either in circulation in the UK or when you’ve been on holiday to the British Isles? And will you be securing the special 50th Anniversary pair to mark this milestone moment?
Own the BRAND NEW 50th Anniversary of the 50p Pair
This unique pair of 50p coins includes Jersey and Guernsey’s first year of issue designs 50ps from 1969 – re-issued with the 2019 year date!
Coins from Crown dependencies and overseas British territories can sometimes make an unexpected appearance in our change.
Sure, this can be an annoyance as technically the coins are not legal tender in the UK, but from a collecting point of view, new and interesting designs are always a bonus!
In our latest coin hunt competition, we went head to head with 10 YouTube Coin Hunters for a 50p coin hunt and it was amazing to see how many of the teams stumbled across coins that shouldn’t be in our change…
Here are some of the unexpected coins we came across:
2012 Bailiwick of Jersey 50p
Yasmin and I were lucky enough to come across this 2012 Bailiwick of Jersey 50p in our coin hunt.
The coin features Jersey’s Grosnez Castle on the reverse surrounded by the lettering ‘Bailiwick of Jersey’. The obverse features the Arnold Machin engraving of Queen Elizabeth II.
Interestingly, 2012 dated Bailiwick of Jersey 50p coins were also struck in 2013 and 2014, giving this particular coin a total mintage of 365,000.
Jersey’s coinage is not legal tender in the rest of the UK, but the lower mintage figures of the island’s coins compared to the UK makes them particularly scarce and collectible, so it was a great surprise to find a Jersey coin amongst our 50ps!
Jersey’s coin mintages are significantly lower because of their smaller population of only 100,000.
2012 Guernsey Freesia Flowers 50p
During his coin hunt, Christopher Collects managed to find a 2012 Freesia Flowers coin from Guernsey.
This beautiful 50p features two crossed freesia flowers on the reverse design, however it is the obverse design which is particularly special.
The obverse features Raphael Maklouf’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II with the lettering ‘Bailiwick of Guernsey’ above, and also a small Guernsey Coat of Arms to the left.
This addition on the obverse makes the Guernsey 50p stand out when compared to UK 50p coins.
We don’t know the mintage figures for this coin, however it will likely be fairly low when compared to UK figures, due to Guernsey’s smaller population.
2018 Isle of Man Imperial State Crown 50p
Coin Cupboard was very lucky and also found a Bailiwick of Jersey 50p, as well as an Imperial State Crown 50p from the Isle of Man.
The Imperial State Crown 50p was issued in 2018 as part of a five coin set celebrating the Sapphire Coronation Anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
A limited number of each coin entered circulation on the Isle of Man, although we don’t know the exact mintage figure for this coin.
The reverse design shows the Coronation Crown and the obverse features Jody Clark’s most recent portrait of the Queen which, unlike UK coins, includes her shoulders.
1999 East Caribbean States 1 Dollar
Whilst you might expect a few British Isles coins to turn up every now and again, we certainly weren’t expecting to find this coin in our 50p bank bag!
In fact, both team Change Checker and Dom Collects came across one of these unusual coins in our change.
This 1 dollar was issued from 1989 to 2000 in the Eastern Caribbean States, but how did it find its way into our UK change?
As a British Overseas Territory, the East Caribbean States currency features the portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.
This, along with the coin’s size which is very close to the UK 50p, means it has managed to get mixed up with UK change and passed off as a 50p.
However, there is one very significant difference between this coin and a 50p, and that’s the shape. The East Caribbean States dollar is actually decagonal (10 sided) and features milling along every other edge of the coin.
You can imagine just how surprising it was to come across this coin in the middle of our 50p hunt, and how unusual still that we weren’t the only team to find one!
It just goes to show how many fascinating coins find their way into our change and why it’s always worthing checking to see if you’ve found a coin which was intended for circulation in the UK.
Secure your Guernsey Freesia Flowers 50p coin today!
You can now secure the Guernsey Freesia Flowers 50p for your British Isles collection.
Yesterday the Treasury announced that the UK’s 12 sided £1 coin would be going global, as overseas territories and Crown Dependencies will soon be able to create their own bespoke versions of the coin to replace the older £1 currently in circulation.
In 2017, the new Nations of the Crown 12 sided £1 made its UK debut, described by the Government as “the most secure of its kind in the world” due to the new design, featuring intermittent milled edges and micro-engraved denomination and year date which protects against criminals producing counterfeits copies. Before this, around 1 in every 30 round pound coins were in fact fakes.
As many territories and dependencies currently circulate their own version of the older pound coin, they will now be able to protect their currency with this secure cutting edge technology. These coins will be produced by The Royal Mint to the same security standards as our UK coinage to thwart counterfeit activity.
The Nations of the Crown £1 was designed by 15-year-old David Pearce following a public competition in 2015. The design is made up of the English rose, the Welsh leek, the Scottish thistle and the Northern Irish shamrock emerging from one stem within a royal coronet to represent the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom.
The Treasury expects the new versions struck for overseas territories and Crown Dependencies to feature images celebrating their heritage, history and culture to symbolise the close links with the UK.
Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man all represent Crown Dependencies of the UK, whilst the UK overseas territories include Akrotiri and Dhekelia; Anguilla; British Antarctic Territory; Bermuda; British Indian Ocean Territory; British Virgin Islands; Cayman Islands; Falkland Islands; Gibraltar; Montserrat; St Helena and Dependencies (Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha); Turk and Caicos Islands; Pitcairn Island; and South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.
Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:“These new designs will reflect the rich and varying British communities across the world.”
Lord Ahmad, the overseas territories minister, said: “As well as helping to boost their identity, these new coins will also bring increased security to each of these economies.”
So Change Checkers from overseas territories and Crown Dependencies can look forward to the new coins being released soon, but what design do you think should be featured for each? Let us know in the comments below.
Is this the last Isle of Man Round Pound?
In 2017 the Isle of Man released this Raven and Falcon Uncirculated £1 Coin and following the Treasury’s update, this could now be the very last Isle of Man Round Pound!