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Rare 50p coins in circulation

If you’re reading this article, you may have an unusual 50p coin. There’s been a lot of publicity over the last few years about rare 50p coins in circulation which are – often to the surprise of those carrying them – being sold for significantly more than their face value, with collectors and investors seeking to snap up specific scarce and commemorative designs.

No doubt you’re already aware of this and are curious to know whether your 50p could be worth a pretty penny. So, what makes a 50p rare? Let’s take a look.

How much is my 50p worth?

Truth be told, the chances are your 50p coin will be worth precisely that; 50p. The trouble with trying to get an accurate idea of what your coin is worth is that internet searches will only leave you more confused.

Opportunists will leap at anything, and the 50p coin is no different, with a horde of opportunists hopping onto sites such as eBay trying to sell their coins for silly prices in the hopes of conning a clueless few. A quick search on eBay and you’ll discover all sorts of common 50p coins listed for hundreds of pounds. Take a closer look at these coins and their completed and sold listings, and you’ll see that most of them don’t sell.

Generally, the rarer the 50p coin, the more valuable it’s likely to be. Brilliant Uncirculated or proofs finishes also tend to be more limited and therefore worth more, although this isn’t always the case.

Try our free coin valuation tool.

Gold and silver 50p coins – Not just Cupro-nickel!

Not all 50p coins are designed the same.

The Royal Mint produces all their rare 50p coins and collectible 50p coins for collecting purposes. Typically, these Royal Mint 50ps will have a higher strike than the standard 50p you find rolling about in your loose change.

Collectible coins come with a Brilliant Uncirculated finish (BU) and are sealed in protective packaging or a secure presentation case, to prevent the currency from being handled, which can impact its value.

You’ll find that 50p coins don’t just come in cupro-nickel either! Often, 50p coins from the Royal Mint are comprised of .925 silver, or 22ct gold often finished with an even higher strike using specially polished dyes to create an exquisite, mirror-like Proof finish. These too will usually be in a beautiful presentation case, come with a Certificate of Authenticity and are Limited Issue. Usually, these more precious examples are used for collecting purposes, given as gifts or purchased for special occasions.

Due to the strikes and limited numbers, some of these 50ps will become increasingly scarce with time and therefore sought after by collectors, becoming worth far more than their original value.

If you would like to buy 50p coins in gold or silver browse our coin shop.

Kew Gardens 50p

The Kew Gardens 50p is a prime example of a 50p in circulation which has become notably rare. The 50p coin depicts the Gardens’ iconic pagoda and was specially designed in 2009, to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens. A reasonably small batch of only 210,000 were minted.

Brilliant Uncirculated Kew Gardens 50p Coin

Today, this Kew Gardens 50p is famously scarce, with only a handful left in circulation, and these are now hugely sought after by collectors. The standard, cupronickel example found in your change can fetch as much as £80 on eBay – not a bad return on a 50p! Collector issues of the Kew Gardens 50 pence can bring far higher prices. For example, The Brilliant Uncirculated Kew Gardens 50p is worth as much as £200, while the Kew Gardens Proof Silver 50p can sell for as much as £400, and the Kew Gardens 22ct gold 50p can fetch a phenomenal £2000!

EC Commemorative 50p

Another interesting 50p coin is the EC Commemorative 50p. Issued by the Royal Mint between 1992 and 1993 to celebrate the United Kingdoms Presidency of the European Community, the overall currency is larger, and its design features a series of stars with a dual date displayed on the reverse. Official figures from the Royal Mint indicate that only 109,000 of the coins were ever minted, making this an extremely scarce 50p coin, which is no longer released.

1992-1993 EC 50p Coin

Much like the Kew Gardens 50p, the 1992-1993 EC 50p can be found in cupronickel as well as .925 silver and 22ct gold editions. Used cupronickel coins can fetch up to £50, silver proofs typically go for £60 – £70, while gold can go for a whopping £700!

2011 Aquatic 50p coin

Exclusively designed and released for the 2011 Olympics, the Aquatic 50p Coin features a delightfully rare design displaying an Olympic swimmer submerged in water, and swimming through the waves. A small number of the original design were produced before being withdrawn at the last minute and replaced with a new modified version showing a clearer illustration.

Brilliant Uncirculated 2011 Aquatic 50p coin

Today, rumour has it that only 600 of these rare 50p coins ever slipped into circulation. This means they’re extremely scarce and don’t pop up often, but it also means that when they do, they can sell for well over a thousand pounds. That’s right – just for the standard cupronickel 50p clinking about in your change!

Other 50p coin values

As our article has shown, there are indeed some rare 50p coins in circulation, so It’s certainly worth a rummage to see if there’s a rare 50p buried in your loose change!

If you’re still curious to know what your 50p coin is worth, why not try our free coin valuation tool for accurate values made effortless?

Quick and easy to use, it saves you the time of endless searching through eBay for sold and completed listings. Simply choose your coin, the date and the alloy and voila; our handy tool will tell you your 50p coin values.


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