By Bill Exley

The first 50 pence piece was a large ungainly coin of 13-5gms and 30mm diam , introduced into circulation in Oct 1969. until 1998 when it ceased to be legal tender , the Thin version was produced in Oct. 1997. For Rarity value it is quite widely accepted that the 2009 Kew Gardens specimen is the hardest to find .It shows a square shaped Pagoda entwined by a Vine, with a weight of 8-0 gms and standard diam today of 27-3 mm It consists of Cupro Nickel -75% Cupro and 25% Nickel The mintage figure of a very low order of 210,000 issued stamps it's rarity value to a collector, compared to the Girl Guides issue of 2010 and 7,500,000 coins. I think now that there are 4 Rarities to find due to Low mintage or popular design. The 1984 mintage is only 158,000 // 1992/93 dual date (unusual) and only 109,000 made // The 1994 D.Day landing issue // The 2009 Kew Gardens with 210,000 minted. The 2009 is a Thin version.and the others are the earlier Thick type...

Common terms used in coins (Numismatics) are the Obverse or Reverse side This means the Obv. side is the Head of the Monarch, or in the case of Guernsey C.I. it's arms or Guernsey Crest . The other side being the reverse (Rev) usually shows Britannia, or the third and forth quarterings of the Royal Arms, or commerative designs .The actual word Britannia , or Britannica were terms used by the Romans for Britain, appearing as a Rev image on our earliest copper coins as far back as the reign of Charles 2nd ..

The introduction of the first 50 Pence piece in I969 was the first stage of a gradual change over to a Metric system .It replaced our 10 shilling note (Slang / Ten Bob note) equiv. to 120 old pennies. England went fully Decimal on the 15th Feb 1971. On 14/2/71 , 12 Pennies = 1 Shilling (Slang / a Bob) , 20 Shillings = £1 ( Slang/ a Quid) or 240 old pennies to a Pound. In times gone by 6 pennies= a Sixp'nce ( Slang/ a tanner in 'old- money'). together with three-penny bits (Brass), half-pennies and 'Florins' a nice looking two-shilling coin. To finish my trip down Nostalgia Lane for my American and Foreign readers , there were 4 Crowns to our old pound, now 25 Pence since decimalisation, then the ornate Half-Crown,=worth Two Shillings and Six Pence . ..

1969 The 1st 50p coin introduced in Oct 1969 was a heavy coin of 13-5 gms and a diam of 30-5mm.. Other Decimal coins were struck in 1968 . 188,400,000
1970 Rev . Shows Britannia, the heavy version is with us up to 1997 19,461,000
1971 The very First Decimal Proof set and the only place to find the 1971 50p. Not issued for general circulationt . Unknown mintage
1972 A 50p coin can be found in the 1972 Proof Set of 7 Coins with a Crown Equiv. to 25 Pence or 5 shillings Unknown mintage
1973 Rev shows a circle of 9 hands to mark our joining the E.E.C..and 8 partners ( The f irst Comm. 50p piece) 89,775,000
1974 The 50p is only found in the Royal Mint Proof and B Unc sets Unknown mintage

Rev Shows New Pence above Britannia and 50 below

1977 Rev Shows Britannia 49,536,000
1978 Rev Shows Britannia 72,005,000



Rev shows Britannia, still a large coin , the novelty of New pence is dropped in 1982 58,680,000
1980 Rev Shows Britannia 89,086,000
1981 Rev Shows Britannia 74,002,000
1982 Rev Shows Britannia , also found in Royal Mint B Unc Year Type sets . 51,312,000
1983 Rev now shows Fifty Pence above Britannia 62,825,000
1984 Rev Shows Britannia and Only found in the Royal Mint year Type sets of B Unc coins supplied 'then' by Large G.P.O's 158,820 a Low issue
1985 Rev Shows Britannia 682,100 /low as well
1986 The 50p,5,10 and 20p only found in the 8 coin Proof Sets Unknown mintage
1987 The 50p piece may be found in the 1987 Proof Set of 7 coins Unknown mintage
1990 The 50p only in the Royal Mint Proof or B U nc sets Unknown mintage
1992-93 dual date Rev shows the UK as EEC Commision leaders Now seems a new contender as regards rarity, unusual so Ext Rare 109,000. Low/ rare, the Kew Gardens is 210.000 so which is rarerst in circulation?
1994 Rev Depicts the 50th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings ,with planes above, still the Heavy version 6,705,520
1995 The 50p is only found in Royal Mint Proof and B Unc sets Unknown mintage
1997(Thick and Thin) Rev has Britannia, the Obv shows older version of the Queen's portrait and Crown. The thinner coin of 8gms now arrives in Oct 1997 456,364,100 ( V. High )
1997 It is interesting to note that this Proof Set contains a Large and Thin version of 50p plus the Aniv £5 coin in a 10 piece set as issued Unknown mintage(Rare)
1998 (1)

Type 1 / Multiple flags depicting the 25th Aniversary of our joining the E.E.C. ( 1973). The heavy 50p coin is now demonitised in the Autumn



1998(2) Type 2 Rev / The N.H.S now 50yrs . 5,001,000
1998(3) Type 3 / Standard Bitannia on Rev but New image and Crown on the Obv, designed by Ian Rank-Broadley 64,306,500
1999 Rev Shows Britannia 24,905,000
2000 Rev Shows Britannia 27,915,000
2000 Type 2 Rev depicts Libraries and 150yrs of the Public Libraries Act 11,263,000
2001 Rev Shows Britannia 84,998,500
2002 Ditto as above 23,907,500
2003 Diito as above 23,583,000
2003 Rev 2 shows Womens rights, 100th Aniv of Social and Political union 3,124,000

50yrs ago the 1st Sub 4 min. mile ran by 25 yr old Dr.Rodger Bannister (6/5/54) also shows a Clock.

2004(2) Rev 2 Shows Britannia 35,315,500
2005 Rev as above 25,363,,500
2005 Rev 2 shows Samuel Johnson and 250 Yrs Aniv of his English Dictionary 17,649,000
2006(1) Rev shows 150th Aniv of the V.C medal.given for Valour It was instituted by Queen Victoria in 1856 12,087,000
2006(2) Type 2 Rev shows an act of Valour with a soldier saving his comrade in Battle 10,000,500
2006(3 Type 3 Rev Shows Britannia 24,560,000
2007 Rev shows the Scouting Movement 7,710,750
2007{2} Type 2 Rev Shows Britannia 11,200,000
2008 Type 1 Rev Shows Britannia 3,500,000
2008(2) Type 2 A New Rev Designed by Matthew Dent showing part of the Royal Shield and a part Puzzle to solve 22,747,000
2009 Rev shows 50yrs of the Botanical Gdns at Kew , hard to find in Unc and Rare



2010 Rev shows 100yrs of the Girl Guide movement in the U.K. 7,410,,000
2011 Rev showss a complex scene with a central Panda, for 50yrs work of the World Wildlife Org. 3,400,000
2011 Here follows the 29 Rev types to mark the different Sports of the 2012 London Olympics. The Royal Mint official term is the London 2012 Sports Collection so their numerical list applies (29 revs)  
2011 Varieties //29 1/29 Aquatics ; 2/29 Archery 3/29 Athletics ;4/29 Badminton
  5/29 Basketball; 6/29 Boccia 7/29 Boxing; 8/29 Canoeing
  9/29 Cycling;10/29 Equestrian 11/29 Fencing;12/29Football
  13/29 Goalball;14/29 Gymnastics 15/29 Handball; 16/29 Hockey
  17/29 Judo 18/29 Modern Pentathlon
  19/29 Rowing; 20/29 Sailing 21/29 Shooting 22/29 Table Tennis
  23/29 Taekwondo; 24/29 Tennis 25/29 Triathlon ;
  26/29 Volleyball 27/29 Weightlifting
  28/29 Wheelchair Rugby 29/29 Wrestling
  Mintage Figs to follow when available as so // 2011 Types X/29 etc, etc
2013(1) Rev Shows the Royal Shield 10,301,000
2013(2) Rev 2 Benjamin Britten Text 5,300,000
2013(3) Rev 3 has a Shield ,a trial sample and runner up in the selection of a Rev. design by Chistopher Ironside 7,400,000
2014 Rev Shows the Royal Shield 49,001,000
2014 Rev shows the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 6,500,000
2015(1) Rev shows the 1940 Battle of Britain & Airmen with a New Obv portrait by Jody Clark 5,900,000
2015(2) As above, but NO denomination at all on either side (50p) also the Old version of the Queen's portrait by Ian Rank Broadley. Due to a Royal Mint error and a Die mix up. Types 1,4 and 5 have the new Jody Clark portrait Obverse. m Unknown
2015{3) Type 3 Rev shows third & forth quarterings and date at 12o'clock on the Obv side  
2015(4) Type 4 Similar but date at 25 past position This is due to updated Crown and Queen's portrait by Jody Clark  
2015{5} The Silver Proof coin features the new Jody Clark Obv but NO denomination at all (So 5 Types of 2015), unusual , also it is now apparent that there are 3 versions of the Obv. side  
2016 Rev 1 Shows the Battle of Hastings 5,000,000
2016 The 5 Rev 's were created by the talented Royal Mint coin designer Emma Noble .She has captured every finite detail of Miss Potter's creations making a charming set of coins . 5 Revs to mark the 150 yrs since the birth of Beatrix Potter and her much loved Stories and Charachters {1866}. Type 1 Peter Rabbit ; T2-Jemima Puddle- Duck ; T3 Squirrel Nutkin T4 Mrs Tiggy-Winkle T5-Text only, re Miss Potter T1 m=9.600.000 T2 m= 2,100,000 T3 m= 5,000,000 T4 m= 8,800,000 T5 =6.9m
2016 Rev 7 , Team G.B for the Rio Olympics shows a swimmer doing the Butterfly stroke .Designer Tim Sharp . 6,400,000
2017 Rev 1, Sir Isaac Newton and the 300th Aniv. of his Gold Standard report . 1,800,000
2017 Mr Jeremy Fisher , more Beatrix Potter coins now issued



  The tale of Peter Rabbit , Tom Kitten T.B.A
  and Benjamin Bunny  
2018 More of this series for 2018 , Peter Rabbit (2), Flopsy Bunny, Mrs Tittle Mouse and Tailor of Gloucester as at 26/05/2018 there are 13 varieties in the Series to find




2018 Rev shows the 100th aniv. of the 1918 People Act allowing Both Women and Men the right to Vote .  
2018(Pd1) Rev Shows Paddington Bear sat on his suitcase at his namesake Railway Station  
2018(Pd2) Paddington Bear at the Palace



2018/ Mary Shelley's Novel 'Frankenstein' 200 Yrs ago / Special Aniv. Insert

An 'unusual' Rev Design by Thomas T. Docherty. Obv by Jody Clark/U.K. £2 Coin


2018/ 100th Anniversary of the First World War Armistice. / Special Aniv. Insert

Rev by Stephen Raw. A very Poignant U.K. £2 Coin . The Obv by Jody Clark


2018 Flying Snow Man


Acknowledgements to   Last update 7th Nov 2018 by
Colin Hinson & Philippa Exley   Bill Exley author of Guernsey Coinage in 1968 : Blunham Pubs and Histories in 1985 and
The Royal Mint archives   Bygone Guernsey and its Coins in 2018


You may like to visit and our delightful Bedfordshire Village of Blunham with it's Thatched Cottages. Try the links on the Blunham Page with my work on Victorian Public Houses and Coins / Fifty Pence Varieties near Misc & Mash. You can easily return back to the Home Page to explore the extensive research by Colin Hinson (the Blunham Web Master) by the link at the end of my piece on Coins. Finally it is of interest to note, for the 50 Pence Collector, the following dates can Only be found in Proof Sets or year type sets mounted in a card. The latter were found at the time in large G.P.O's who were appointed by the Royal Mint as distributors // 1971,1972,1974,1984,1986,1987,1990 and1995 // So Not issued for general circulation..// Did You Know That ? * * The three Lowest Mintages in Ascending order are * * 1992/93 = 109.000 , 1984 = 158,820 and the2009 ( Kew ) =210,000 * *

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