Brilliant Uncirculated 2009 Kew Gardens 50p Coin

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50p Kew BU
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To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the foundation Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, The Royal Mint issued this commemorative 50p coin.

Featuring the iconic pagoda as depicted by artist Christopher Le Brun RA, surrounded by a twisting vine with an inscription of Kew at its base and the commemorative dates of 1759 and 2009 and only 210,000 released making the Kew Gardens 50p one of the rarest 50 pence coins released.

The Pagoda at Kew

The Great Pagoda was erected in the south-east corner of Kew Gardens in 1762. Created by Sir William Chambers, the Pagoda is an imitation of the Chinese Ta and comprises of ten octagonal storeys and stands 164ft tall. During the WW2, holes were cut into the floors and used to drop test model bombs. 

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Construction of the very first gardens at Kew can be traced back to when Edward I moved into his manor house in neighbouring Richmond in 1299, and development progressed over time around the various royal residence. These included Henry VII Richmond Palace and Mary Tudors house in Kew. Kew Gardens as we know it now was established in 1759, around the same time as the merging of these royal estates at Kew and Richmond. 

A walled garden established by William Coys contained the first of the plants held at Kew, but it wasn’t until collector Francis Masson was appointed in 1771 that the collection took a more considered turn. Thanks to the Royal Horticultural Society and their president William Cavendish, the gardens were adopted as a national botanical garden in 1840. Gardens were increased to 75 acres and the arboretum initially to 270 acres then later to the current 300 acres. 

Over the years, the collection at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew has grown to significant international importance. Over 650 scientist’s manage the collection of over 30,000 living plants and more than seven million plant specimens. The Kew collection includes the Millennium Seed Bank at its Wakehurst site in West Sussex. The MSB is the largest and most important global science-based conservations program, preserving seeds from the most threatened and useful plants in the world. 

Since 2003, the gardens were put on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites and is famous world-wide with over 2.5 million visitors annually. It is, therefore, no surprise that The Royal Mint produced this iconic and now highly sought after commemorative 50p coin to celebrate the gardens 250-year anniversary.  

2009 Kew Gardens 50p Coin Specifications

  • Denomination: 50p
  • Quality: BU
  • Country of issue: United Kingdom
  • Year of issue: 2009
  • Composition: Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)
  • Weight: 8.00g
  • Diameter: 27.30mm
  • Reverse designer: Christopher Le Brun
  • Obverse Designer: Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS. Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen 2009

The Royal Mints array of collectable 50p coins in recent years has delighted collectors from across the world. From commemorative D-Day designs to collections that depict some of the most beloved characters from children’s literature, many of which are available from Exclusive Coins.