To celebrate 50 years since the release of the first seven sided coin in 1969, today The Royal Mint has released a set of five carefully curated commemorative edition 50p coins, including the UK’s most sought-after 50p in circulation, the Kew Gardens.
But within just two hours since going on sale, the overwhelming response from collectors has seen the entire range of Base Proof, Silver Proof and Gold Proof sets completely sell out!
The highly anticipated 50 years of the 50p set is undeniably appealing to collectors and you can find out why these coins sold out so quickly below…
The UK’s first seven sided coin
It was in 1967 when the Deputy Master of The Royal Mint approached the Decimal Currency Board to discuss the introduction of a new coin as a more economical replacement for the 10 shilling note, which was only lasting five months in circulation at the time, compared to the fifty year lifespan of a coin. With much difficulty and debate to decide upon the best shape, the seven sided design was finally chosen and released as the first coin in the new decimal series.
The original reverse was designed by Christopher Ironside and featured the seated Britannia alongside a lion. This coin was issued between 1969 and 2008, after which The Royal Mint held a public competition to redesign the reverse of UK coins, with Matthew Dent’s winning shield design featuring on the reverse of definitive 50p coins since.
It seems only fitting therefore that the first 50p chosen to commemorate the coin’s 50th birthday is the ‘New Pence’ Britannia featuring Ironside’s design, a firm favourite for collectors, representing a numismatic milestone for Britain.
Alongside the definitive Britannia design, commemorative 50ps have been issued throughout the years to mark the various significant British anniversaries.
Within this set you can see not only the Britannia, but also the Girl Guides 50p which was issued in 2010 to celebrate 100 years of Girlguiding in the UK, the Scouting 50p which was issued in 2007 to mark 100 years of Scouting in the UK, the Kew Gardens 50p which was issued in 2009 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Roger Bannister 50p which was issued in 2004 to mark the 50th anniversary if the first four minute mile.
Base Proof set
These retrospective reverse designs taken from the last 50 years create a wonderful set of coins to commemorate the 50p coin, however we all know that the coin collectors are most excited about is the re-issue of the Kew Gardens 50p.
UK’s scarcest 50p
Initially when the coin was released in 2009 its rarity was overlooked, however in 2014 The Royal Mint revealed just how scarce this coin really is, with only 210,000 coins being struck. From this moment, prices on the secondary market began to skyrocket and collectors have since been desperate to add the coin to their collection, regarding the coin as one of the biggest prizes in the collecting world.
And whilst the 2019 re-issue of the most highly collected UK coin could have been a chance for collectors who have not already got this coin in their collection to finally own one, the very limited number of sets available means that this coin has already been snapped up by those lucky enough to secure the collector’s edition of the coin in Proof quality as part of the five coin commemorative set.
The set has been made available in base Proof, Silver Proof and Gold Proof specifications, at a very limited number. In fact, the full range of 3,500 base Proof sets, 1,969 of the Silver and just 75 Gold sets have completely SOLD OUT!
It comes as no surprise that this set has been received so well, but what do you think about the coins featured and were you lucky enough to secure one for yourself?
Own the Masterpiece 50p Collection
The Masterpiece 50p Collection is a careful selection of some of the most sought-after 50p designs from the last 15 years, with themes ranging from the UK’s entry to the EEC to marking the 950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.