To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 50p coin, we’ve been asking Change Checkers to vote for their favourite UK 50p coin EVER!
With over 70 different designs issued by The Royal Mint since 1969, choosing an overall favourite is no easy task and so we decided to first split the coins into four categories – Modern, Olympic, Beatrix Potter and Pre 1997.
Change Checkers have been voting for their favourite coin from each category and the shortlisted results are now in, ready for the overall winning design to be chosen. Vote now in our poll at the bottom of this blog.
Top Modern 50p – 2017 Sir Isaac Newton
Top Olympic 50p – Football
Top Beatrix Potter 50p – 2016 Beatrix Potter
Top Pre 1997 – D-Day Landings
2017 Sir Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution. He changed our understanding of mathematics and physics, redefined the way we see the world and shaped the security of our currency in his role as Master of the Mint.
Designed by Aaron West, this 50p coin has been issued to commemorate the achievements of Sir Isaac Newton and remembers the legacy he left.
The football 50p was possibly the most publicised of all the Olympic 50p designs, as it features the hotly debated offside rule in the form of a simple diagram.
Designer Neil Wolfson, a sports journalist by trade, chose an image which he felt would encapsulate the sport whilst also provoke discussion.
2016 Beatrix Potter
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter, the Royal Mint released this 50p to celebrate Beatrix herself.
Designed by Emma Noble, the coin includes elements that celebrate Beatrix as the artist behind some of the best-loved characters in children’s literature along with the nostalgic font used for the inscription.
Pre 1997 D-Day Landings
On 6th June 1944, a date known ever since as D-Day, a mighty alliance of British, American and Commonwealth armed forces crossed over from England to Normandy and began an assault on occupying German troops.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of these D-Day landings in 1994, The Royal Mint released this 50p designed by sculptor John Mills depicts an armada of ships and planes heading in one direction.
Now that the top four coins have been shortlisted, it’s time to find out which 50p is the overall favourite amongst Change Checkers.
Vote in our poll below to pick the best 50p coin ever issued and we’ll announce the winning design later this week.
If you’re interested in coin collecting, our Change Checker web app is completely free to use and allows users to:
– Find and identify the coins in their pocket
– Collect and track the coins they have
– Swap their spare coins with other Change Checkers
Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app
Change Checker has launched the 50p “Scarcity Index”, which tracks which circulating 50p coins are the most scarce and collectable.
The index uses a unique combination of mintage, collecting and swap data to give the most up-to-date picture of today’s 50p coin collecting market.
The top 5
There’s no surprise to find Kew Gardens at the top of the list. With a mintage of just 210,000, it is also the least owned and most requested swap. The next 4 scarcest coins are all from the 2012 Olympics – Football, Triathlon, Judo and Wrestling.
The recent Beatrix Potter 50p coins also rank highly, with Jemima Puddle-Duck and Squirrel Nutkin coming in at numbers 6 and 7 – based largely on their low level of ownership and high swap requests, as official mintages are yet to be confirmed by the Royal Mint.
How the Scarcity Index works
Generally collectors have had to rely upon mintage figures to identify the scarcest coins. But they only tell part of the story. Trying to find a good quality coin from 15 – 20 years ago, even for a higher mintage issue, is much more challenging than a more recent issue, as coins become damaged over time and are ultimately removed from circulation.
Additionally, some designs are more hoarded than others by people who might not normally collect coins – the Beatrix Potter issues being a classic example. Finally, it can be up to a couple of years before the Royal Mint eventually confirms the actual mintage for an issue.
That’s why we have combined the mintage information with two other key pieces of information.
- How many of each design are listed as “collected” by Change Checkers, indicating the relative ease of finding a particular coin.
- The number of times a design has been requested as a swap over the previous 3 months, showing the current level of collector demand.
Importantly, as new coins are released and popularity rises and falls across different designs the Scarcity Index will be updated quarterly allowing Change Checkers to track the relative performance of the UK’s circulation coins.
How much are my coins worth?
The Scarcity Index does not necessarily equate to value but it is certainly an effective indicator. Whilst Kew Gardens 50p coins command prices on eBay of between £70 and £100, other coins towards the top of the scarcity index typically achieve a premium of roughly 10 – 12 times face value.
But don’t forget the joy of Change Collecting is that you have always have a chance of finding any one of these coins in your change – even Kew Gardens – you just have to be sharp-eyed.
What about £1 and £2 Coins?
The £1 Scarcity Index has already been published for the round £1 coins and, because they are no longer being issued, this is now set in stone. Change Checker will be releasing the £2 Scarcity Index later in April.
To receive a FREE notification when the updated Scarcity Indexes are published (including the new £2 Scarcity Index), please complete your details below:
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The Rio 2016 Olympic Games are in full swing and we can hardly believe it’s been 4 years since London 2012. It’s about time we revisited the iconic UK Olympic Fifty Pence series.
Without doubt, the 29 coin series created a storm among collectors – millions rose to the challenge of collecting all 29, and for many, it marked the start of their interest in coins.
The Royal Mint estimates that as many as 75% of the Olympic 50p coins have been removed from circulation by collectors.
Do you own the rarest Olympic 50p?
Olympic 50ps have long been a favourite amongst collectors, but did you know that only 1,125,500 Football fifty pence pieces entered circulation? It’s definitely the rare one to look out for.
Although the Football 50p narrowly holds the title of the rarest sport in the series, there were still over one million of those struck for circulation. To hold the honourable title as “rare”, we must look beyond the official Royal Mint circulation figures…
The withdrawn Aquatics ‘minting error’ Olympic 50p
The Aquatics 50p which we are familiar with today is actually a modified version which removed the waves passing over the swimmer’s face.
Despite the original coin being withdrawn from circulation and the design adapted – there are still a few out there.
Although the exact quantity of the original Aquatics design remains a mystery, we know it’s not unusual for these special coins to exchange hands for close to £1000… not a bad return on a 50p coin!
2009 Athletics Olympic 50p
In 2009, nine-year old Florence Jackson became the youngest person to design a coin for circulation in the UK. Her Athletics Olympic 50p design was the ultimate winner of a Blue Peter competition.
Although you may recognise this coin, you may not know that a rare version of this coin exists. When the competition winner was revealed, only 100,000 special edition Blue Peter coin packs were released with a 2009 dated coin – making it the only Olympic 50p without a 2011 date.
That makes this 2009 Athletics Olympic 50p more than twice as rare as the famous Kew Gardens 50p.
The rarest of the series
It is without doubt that the gold versions of each 50p remain the rarest of the collection.
Unfortunately for collectors, obtaining one of these is nearly impossible as only one gold version of each design was presented to the respective winning designer.
Aside from the precious metal content, their unique status and significance rank them as potentially the most valuable UK 50p coins in existence.
Is this the 30th Olympic 50p?
To the delight of many Olympic 50p collectors, this year the Royal Mint issued a special 50p to wish Team GB success for the Rio 2016 Games.
The coins obverse features a swimmer with the Team GB logo, the Olympic rings and the inscription ‘TEAM GB’. Designed by Tim Sharp, the coin has been officially endorsed by Team GB and celebrates the spirit of British Olympians – a must have for all Olympic 50p Collectors.
Click here to own the coin that will be popular with coin collectors and sports enthusiasts alike.