Is My Fifty Pence Rare?

Written by Juliana Chard – Numismatist • Last updated 21 Aug 2019

This is our blog, if you are interested in purchasing fifty pence coins please click this link.

The chances are you have found this blog because you have found an "unusual" coin in your change and you want to know its worth? This is currently the most asked question via our website. So much so that we now have prepared responses after receiving 20+ a day (this figure does not even include enquiries via email or telephone).

Must Know Informaation

The first things you need to know:

  1. All coins are worth something. So asking if your coin is worth something, we are going to say YES. 
  2. A coin is worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it. Please do not be disappointed if you are not happy with our offer. We are not HERE to rip you off, we know our stock levels and demand, we are not being unreasonable. However, if you do not agree with us, that is fine, let us know what you think, we are not always right 100% of the time.
  3. You have probably found the coin in your change, if you have then it is more than likely just worth it's face value (50p). This also applies for all denominations (£2, £1 etc). Afterall, why would someone use a "rare" coin to pay for their shopping?
  4. Just because they are on auction sites such as eBay for £100, £1000 or even a million pounds, it does not mean they have sold for that price, or are worth that amount. The only party who make any money out of these eBay listings is eBay itself. Anybody can offer a coin at silly money, it does not mean it will sell nor does it mean that is the worth of that particular coin.
  5. For most dates and types of "rare" fifty pences, there were high quality collector versions available for collectors. For example 2016 Battle of Hastings Fifty Pence Coin in "Brilliant Uncirculated" strike, mint condition, originally £10 from the Royal Mint, or £8 from us, Chard, in attractive folder. You can view them all here. Any found in circulation will not be struck to the same high "B.U." standard, and will no longer be in mint condition. Sure there may be collectors somewhere who might be prepared to pay a few pounds for one, but it will probably cost you more in time and effort than you get for it. 
  6. Coins are issued millions and billions at a time, finding a rare coin which has been in circulation is like finding a needle in a haystack. Don't let this put you off coin collecting. We think it is an interesting hobby. If you want to collect coins, do it because you love it, if you make any profits then that's an added bonus.

How Rare Is My 50 Pence?

Every time an article is published saying that "your fifty pence could be worth thousands" it is great for our sales. Just last week we sold out of the 1992-1993 European Community Single Market fifty pences after The Sun's article. However, you need to remember that hundreds of thousands or even millions of coins are issued and your coin may not be as rare as you had first thought.

1992-1993 European Community Single Market Fifty Pence 

Are You Looking to Buy 50 Pence Coins?

2018 UK Coin 50p Silver Proof Beatrix Potter - Peter Rabbit

2018elizabethii50pencebeatrixpotterpeterrabbitsilverproofrev500-B-1

Price: £65.00

2016 UK Coin 50p Gold Proof Beatrix Potter - 150th Anniversary

2016beatrixpottergoldprooffiftypencerev500-B-1

Price: £995.00

2016 UK Coin 50p BU 950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings

2016fiftypencebattleofhastingsbucupronickelrev500-B-1

Price: £8.00

2018 UK Coin 50p BU Paddington Bear - Paddington Station

2018elizabethii50pencepaddingtonbearatthestationbrilliantuncrev500-B-1

Price: £9.00

How much is my 50p worth?

We are asked "How much is my 50p worth?" at least twice a day. We would love to say thousands or even hundreds of pounds, but the problem is that most of the time, they are just worth their face value - fifty pence. 

Our Director, Lawrence, always says that supply and demand is an important factor in the price a coin is worth. Basically, it is worth however much someone else is willing to pay for it. If there are a number of the same coin available for sale then the price you may be able to achieve could be lower. Coin collectors will always want to buy the one in the best condition, but for the right price. Having said that, there are that some years that collectors are willing to pay more for.

Which Fifty Pences Should I Look Out For?

The fifty pences with the lowest mintages will be the most rare ones.

    • 1992-1993 European Community Single Market uncirculated - 109,000
    • 2009 250th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew uncirculated - 210,000 - this coin in an uncirculated condition can often sell for £30 or more.

250th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew

      • 1985 Britannia uncirculated - 682,103
      • 2011 Olympics Football uncirculated - 1,125,500
      • 1973 European Economic Community - whilst the typical uncirculated fifty pence is worth it's face value, the silver proof piedfort version has a catalogue price of £3,000!
      • 2011 Olympics Aquatics, first issue with hidden face, uncirculated. A small number were issued for circulation before they were re-released with a revised design. Collectors have been known to pay over £700 for this coin.
      • 2015 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain - the brilliant uncirculated was issued without a denomination.  

2015 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain Fifty Pence

2016 Peter Rabbit coloured silver proof - 15,000. Probably the most sought after fifty pence ever. You can often see the uncirculated Peter Rabbit fifty pence for around £20 on eBay but we sell the brilliant uncirculated coin in a presentation folder for £9, surely it's a no-brainer.

2016 Peter Rabbit Coloured Silver Proof Fifty Pence 

Busting Modern Myths

We are amazed when we see the prices that are being asked on auction sites for some fifty pences, especially when the coins look worn or are not even rare. These include:

  • 2011 Benjamin Britten uncirculated - 5,300,000
  • 2011 World Wildlife Fund uncirculated - 3,400,000

2011 World Wildlife Fund Fifty Pence

Don't be fooled into paying over the top prices for these coins. When we have them in stock, we sell loose uncirculated coins for approx £6 and brilliant uncirculated coins in a presentation folder start from £7.50.

Fifty Pence Coin Designs

The first fifty pence coin was introduced in 1969 as one of the coins to mark Britain's new decimalisation coinage. This heptagonal shaped coin was slightly curved and featured the Elizabeth II secondd definitive coin portrait by Arnold Machin. The reverse was designed by engraver, Christopher Ironside and featured Britannia sat next to a lion, holding a trident and olive branch with the inscription NEW PENCE and the figure 50. This first 50p coin was the equivalent to the ten shilling note. 188,400,000 coins were issued for circulation in 1969 - and we have a huge sack of them in one of our storage room.

1969 Fifty Pence - The First Decimal Fifty Pence to be Released

Fifty Pence Specifications

1969 - 1997 Large Version

1973 European Economic Community Fifty Pence

Diameter 30.00mm
Weight 13.5g

1998 - Present Small Version

2016 950th Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings

Diameter 27.30mm
Weight 8g

Finishes

Uncirculated

Although this seems like a contradiction, the coins that you find in your change are circulated (or circulation) coins. They are uncirculated when they are first minted and sent out from the mint to banks and shops etc. These coins have been struck once and are issued in cupro-nickel.

Brilliant Uncirculated

These cupro-nickel coins usually come in a presentation card or a specimen pack of coins for that year. These coins are struck twice and have a sharper definition. You may come across these in your change or in drawers as they may have been removed from the pack. 

Proof

These can be issued in cupro-nickel, silver and gold. They may have been struck between four and seven times to achieve a higher definition and a sharper finish. The silver and gold coins tend to have a highly polished shiny surface whilst the design and lettering is usually a matt finish. These coins are issued with a certificate of authentication and a presentation box.

2007 Centenary of Scouting Gold Proof Fifty Pence

Whilst, the fifty pence in your pocket or purse may simply be worth their face value, you never know, it may just be worth a small fortune. Good luck 

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