The Royal Mint reveals Britain’s rarest 50p pieces in circulation including a 2009 Kew Garden coin and 50p coins to mark the London 2012 Olympics
Britain's rarest 50 pence coins, which are still in circulation, have been revealed.
The Royal Mint has shared a list of 10 coins that are the most unusual 50p pieces you could still find in purses, piggy banks or down the side of your sofa, and potentially be valued at more than their 50p denomination.
Mintage figures - the number of copies issued of each particular coin - have been released for 2020 which serves as an official guide to the rarest 50p coins that continue to be in circulation across the UK. Scroll down for the full list
A 50 pence piece is Britain's most collectable coin, says The Royal Mint, and provides 'the ideal canvas' for a commemorative design.
More than 50 different designs, to commemorate special occasions, anniversaries or moments in history, have been released into circulation since 1969. But the numbers of each coin issued and subsequently still being used today, varies considerably - making some of the 50p coins more rare than others, which are more widely accessible.
A 2009 Kew Gardens 50p remains the most coveted coin in circulation, with a mintage of just 210,000. It makes for a popular find with collectors, with some Kew Gardens 50p coins listed on auction sites such as eBay for between £80 and £160.
Other rare designs also likely to be worth more than their 50p denomination include coins released in 2011 as part of the Olympic collection, which at the time marked the upcoming London 2012 games, with designs featuring wrestling, judo and the triathlon among the most special of the 50 pence pieces.
An entire collection of the Olympic coins is currently caught in a bidding war on ebay with offers now up to £123 on the auction site, while an individual triathlon coin in perfect condition is being sold for £13.
Other individual London 2012 coins, which have been in circulation, depending on their appearance can be bought for anything between £1.50 and £10 on selling sites.
The highly collectable Peter Rabbit series also makes the top 10 of rare 50ps with designs that feature Flopsy Bunny and Peter himself. These 50p coins are also popular selling items, with some available on the internet for between £10 and £20, again depending on their condition.
Among the more recent releases to mark special events, was a January 2020 issue of a new 50p to mark the UK's departure from the European Union that features the inscription “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations”.
In October 2020 a fifty pence was also designed and issued to celebrate ‘Diversity Built Britain’ as part of Black History Month. To accompany this release The Royal Mint issued a coin and education pack to every primary school in England and Wales.
The Royal Mint’s Director of UK Currency, Mark Loveridge, said coin collecting was still a popular pastime.
He explained: “As the original maker of UK coins, we are delighted to play our part in celebrating the story of the nation. In 2020 two important new designs were issued on fifty pences, commemorating British diversity and the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
“Coin collecting remains a popular hobby in the UK, and finding a special design in your change adds to the excitement. If you are lucky enough to find a commemorative 50 pence you can find more information about its history, design and mintage on our website.”
As well as the coins found among your change, The Royal Mint also issues a range of commemorative coins each year to celebrate landmark events, anniversaries and individuals that have shaped the nation.
In 2021 that has included collectable coins celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s 95th birthday, Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics, the 50th anniversary of Mr Men and Little Miss and most recently further releases of its Winnie the Pooh collection.
In celebration of coin collecting, The Royal Mint will host its’ annual ‘Collect Week’ from September 20. The event features a host of expert webinars and behind the scenes content – all of which is free and can be streamed from home.
To learn more about the work of the Royal Mint click here.