Why the humble 50p could be worth investigating

The 50p has been in circulation for over fifty years. It was the world’s first seven-sided coin and was introduced to replace the ten shilling note. The humble 50p was no stranger to controversy upon its entry into the pockets of the population, with one headline, back in the 60s, referring to it as ‘a monstrous piece of metal’. 

Olympic sports, Beatrix Potter characters and even Paddington Bear have graced the tails side of the coin, leading to a whole host of different coins for collectors to get excited about. As with many collectible items, the rarer the item, the more value it holds. This then begs the question, which coins are the most valuable? 

Kew Gardens 2009

The rarity of the original 2009 coin has only increased since the coin’s re-release this year as part of the Royal Mint’s celebration of 50 years of the 50p. Many collectors have sought to get their hands on this rare find as they can now fetch around £100 when sold to the right buyer. A mere 210,000 of these coins were produced in 2009 to mark the botanical garden’s 250th anniversary. Just be sure to check the date if you happen upon one. 

Sports coins

There are many different sports-themed coins out there, with a large number produced for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The rarest and most sought after of all the sports coins depicts an explanation of the offside rule. Other sports coins have been valued by the Scarcity Index as follows:

  • Triathlon – around £10
  • Wrestling – £7
  • Judo – £7
  • Tennis – £4
  • Goalball – £3

Character coins

The Royal Mint released another large collection of commemorative coins on what would have been author Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday. The title of the rarest in the collection belongs to the Jemima Puddle Duck coin, which can fetch around £15 online. 

The other coins, however, hold little resale value, as there are a large amount of them in circulation. The next rarest in the collection is based on the character Squirrel Nutkin, which can sell for between £1 and £3, depending on the buyer. 

The rarest of them all

Although the Kew Gardens 2009 50p is considered one of the most sought after coins, it is by no means the rarest. While political relationships with Europe are currently frosty, back in 1992, a new 50p was released celebrating Britain’s entry into the Single European Market – which would later become the European Union. 109,000 of these coins were released into circulation before the decision was made to replace the larger 50 pence piece with the smaller, lighter design we know and love today.  

And there you have it… 

Of course, as with many collections, the value of a particular item is based purely on the value attributed to the item by the buyer. For some, the sentimental worth of a particular collectible may vastly outweigh the numerical value attached to it. But still, it may be worth checking behind the sofa or in a few lesser worn jackets, as you never know what hidden treasures you may find. 

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