FIFTY PENCE VARIETIES

By Bill Exley

Our first 50 pence piece was a large ungainly coin of 13-5gms and 30mm diam , entering into circulation Oct / 1969 up to 1998 when it ceased to be legal tender. A Thin version was then minted in Oct. 1997, at 8-0gms, and a diam of 27-3mm. For Rarity value it is quite widely accepted that the 2009 Kew Gardens coin is the hardest to find . It shows a square shaped Pagoda entwined by a Vine, It consists of 75% Copper and 25% Nickel (or Cupro-Nickel) with other strengthening agents, Iron and Manganese. The low mintage fig of only 210,000 issued, stamps it's rarity value to collectors, compared to the 2010 Girl Guides issue of 7,500,000.

There are 4 rarities to look out for, due to a Low mintage figure or an unusual Rev design. The 1984, low mintage of 158,000, // . 1992/93 - 'dual dated, (? - unusual) , plus only 109,000 minted , // . the 2015 Battle of Britain, No 50 pence, (value, denomination) on either side ! // . and the popular 2009 Kew Gardens with 210,000 minted. The 2009 and 2015 are a Thin version of 8gms, the other two are the earlier Thick version of 13.5gms.

Common terms used in the hobby of coin collecting, or Numismatics, are the 'Obverse' or 'Reverse' sides, (Obv or Rev). The rule is the Obv. side has the Head of the Monarch, or in the case of Guernsey, Ch.Isles. the Arms or Guernsey Crest . The other side being the reverse (Rev) usually showing Britannia, or the third and forth quarterings of the Royal Arms or a 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 ,. ( 1660-1685 )

The introduction of the first 50 Pence coin in I969 was the first stage to our gradual change over to a Metric system for the UK. It replaced our old monetary system of Pounds, Shillings and Pence wth 240 Pence to the Pound, the 10 shilling note Slang / Ten Bob note, (now a 50 pence) and 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 the Pound.

In times gone by, 6 pennies = a Six'pnnce, Slang/ a tanner in 'old- money'. was in circulation from 1551 in Fine Silver up to 1947, changing to Cupro Nickel until 1980 when it ceased to be legal tender. Also three-penny bits (Brass), and the 'Florins' a nice looking Two-Shilling coin. We even had Fine Siver Thruppenny- Bits up to 1945, these were put in the making of Christmas Puddings, to find as a 'Treat' . The latter was a Northern tradition, I don't know about the Southern Counties.

In Victorian times we had a 'Double Florin' coin, or four shilling piece, equiv to a 20p today, but minted for 4 years only, 1887 to 1890 and struck in Fine Silver. They even had a Nick - Name, / Bar-Maid's Grief as they were so similar to a Crown (five shillings) in Fine Silver. 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 a Crown' worth Two Shillings & Six pence, (12 and half pence now)

My listing below is not Purporting to be a Definitive listing of 'all' Fifty Pences, but only the English varieties I know of, own or read about from reliable sources. I have only kept to the English 50 Pences and not included the many ornate Guernsey, Jersey and I.O.M series. - [26/2/2020 - bex]

 

 
O * O * O
 
My unique coding list applies
L - 50 & a 'p' - Pence
Easy location of any 50p
Ref, V =5, X =10, 'L = 50' - C = 100, Century - 100yrs, A Centurion, an Elite soldier with 100 fighters.
M =1,000 * Millenium a 1,000 years

V / Sept / MMXX * 05/09/2020

     
 
O * O * O
 
   
All Mintages Below
1969 - Lp1 / bex.. Rev - Britannia , Our 1st 50 Pence at 13-5 gms, and diam of 30-5 mm. - (Oct 1969) - Other decimals struck in 1968
m 188,000,000
1970 - Lp2 / bex
Rev - Britannia, the heavy version , now legal up to and incl. 1997
m 19,461,000
1971 - Lp3 / bex
First Decimal Proof set, of one 50p Coin, so Not for circulation The U.K. is now Fully Decimal from - 15/02/71
Unknown mintage
1972- Lp4 / bex 50p Only found in a Proof Set of 7 Coins, - (incl a Crown, 25 Pence)
Unknown mintage
1973 - Lp5 / bex.. Rev shows a circle of 9 hands marking our joining the E.E.C..& 8 partners - our First Comm. 50p
m 89,775,000
1974- Lp 6 / bex The 50p is only found in the Royal Mint Proof and B Unc sets
Unknown mintage
1976 -Lp 7 / bex..

Rev Shows 'New Pence' above Britannia and 50 below

m 43,746,000
Definition of Terms used
Obverse (Obv) or Reverse (Rev) sides. Roman L for 50 & p / Pence e.g. Lp14 etc
Obv side, shows the Monarch's Head, Rev is the other side.
1977 - Lp8 / bex
Rev - Britannia
m 49,536,000
1978 - Lp9 / bex
Rev - Britannia
m 72,005,000

1979 - Lp10 / bex..

 

Rev - Britannia, still a large coin , the novelty of New Pence is dropped in 1982
m 58,680,000
1980 - Lp11 / bex..
Rev - Britannia
m 89,086,000
1981 - Lp12 / bex..
Rev - Britannia
m 74,002,000
1982 - Lp13 / bex.. Rev - Britannia , also found in Royal Mint B Unc Year sets .
m 51,312,000
1983 - Lp14 / bex.. Rev now shows Fifty Pence above Britannia
m 62,825,000
1984 - Lp15 / bex.. Rev - Britannia / Only found in Royal Mint 'year type' sets supplied 'then' by Large G.P.O's , this idea was later dropped
m 158,820 /- Low
1985 - Lp16 / bex ..
Rev - Britannia
m 682,100
Terms used, - Rev or Obv sides
See 1976 data
1986 - Lp17 / bex.. 50p, Only found in the 8 coin Proof Set
m 104,597
1987 - Lp18 / bex .. 50p, Only found in the Proof Set of 7 coins
m 88,659
1990 - Lp19 / bex 50p, Only in the Royal Mint Proof or B Unc - card sets
Unknown mintage
1992-93 - Lp20 / bex.. Dual Date, why ? Rare in Bunc - (Bright- Unused - Condition) Rev - shows / Single Market, UK as EEC Commision leaders ( a new rarity ? )

m 109,000. (Low) . Kew Gardens is 210.000

1994 - Lp21 / bex.. Rev / 50th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings (planes above) by John Mills / still a Heavy version
m 6,705,520
1995 - Lp22 / bex 50p is only found in a Royal Mint Proof or B.Unc Year type, card sets
Unknown mintage

1997 - Lp23 / bex.. Last thick..

1997 - Lp24 / bex.. 1st 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
m 456,364,100

1997 - Lp25, 26 / bex

Two Proof 50 Pences

Note, this Proof Set has a Large and Thin version of 50p Plus an Aniv £5 coin in a 10 piece set as issued
m 80,748
1998 - Lp27 / bex.. (T1)

Multiple flags depicting the 25th Aniv. of our joining the E.E.C. in 1973. All heavy 50p's are withdrawn in Sept/Oct.

m 5,043,000

 

1998 - Lp28 / bex.. (T2) Rev / The N.H.S now 50yrs and a thin version
m 5,001,000
1998 - Lp29 / bex.. (T3)
Rev - Bitannia, but New image & Crown on the Obv. Designer / Ian Rank-Broadley
m 64,306,500
1999 - Lp30 / bex
Rev - Britannia
m 24,905,000
2000 - Lp31 / bex (T1)
Rev - Britannia
m 27,915,000
2000 - Lp32 / bex.. (T2) Rev - The Public Libraries Act / 150yrs ago
m 11,263,000
2001 - Lp33 / bex
Rev - Britannia
m 84,998,500
2002 - Lp34 / bex
As above
m 23,907,500
2003 - Lp35 / bex (T1)
Rev - Britannia
m 23,583,000
Terms used
Obv or Rev sides
See 1976 entry
2003 - Lp36 / bex.. (T2) Rev - Womens Rights, 100th Aniv of Social and Political union
m 3,124,000
2004 - Lp37 / bex.. (T1)

Rev - 1st Sub 4 min- mile, By 25 yr old Dr.Rodger Bannister, at Oxford, (50yrs ago- 6/5/54) shows a Clock - (2 Types)

m 9,032,500 ,

Proof - m 3,500

(as Lp 116 in 2019)

2004 - Lp38 / bex (T2)
Rev - Britannia
m 35,315,500
2005 - Lp39 / bex
Type 1 Rev - Britannia
m 25,363,,500
2005 - Lp40 / bex.. Type 2 Rev - Aniv of the English Dictionary by Samuel Johnson / 250 Yrs ago
m 17,649,000
2006 - Lp41 / bex.. (T1) Rev - a V.C medal, given for Valour, instituted by Queen Victoria in 1856. / 150yrs ago
m 12,087,000
2006 - Lp42 / bex.. (T2) Rev - shows an act of Valour, with a soldier saving his comrade
m 10,000,500
2006 - Lp43 / bex (T3) Rev - Britannia
m 24,560,000
Terms used
Obv or Rev sides
See 1976 data
Lp tables for fast location of a 50p
L- for Roman 50, and p = Pence
V- 5/ X- 10/ L- 50/C- 100
2007 - Lp44 / bex.. Scouting Movement, Rev design by Kerry Davies
m 7,710,750 . Also in a 5 Pc Proof Set m 3,500 (See Ref 2019 )
2007 - Lp45 / bex (T3) Rev - Britannia
m 11,200,000
2008 - Lp46 / bex (T1) Rev - Britannia
m 3,500,000
2008 - Lp47 / bex (T2)
Rev shows part of the Royal Shield, the third & fourth quarterings, (also a Puzzle to solve) A new Rev Design by Matthew Dent
m 22,747,000
2009 - Lp48 / bex 250yrs of the Botanical Gdns at Kew 1759 / 2009, - Rev shows a Pagoda design by Christopher Le Brun. - There are 3 Varieties

Lp48 - m 210,000- low Lp113 - Proof, m 3,500 and Lp124 (Dual Dated 2009 & see 2019) - m- TBA

2010 - Lp49 / bex..
Rev shows 100yrs of the Girl Guide movement in the U.K.
7,410,,000 Also in a 5pc Proof set, m 3,500 (See Ref 2019)
2011- Lp50 / bex.. Rev - a complex scene with a central Panda / 50yrs work by the World Wildlife Org.
m 3,400,000
OOOO ***.
The 2012 London Olympics
*** OOOO
2011 - Here follows 29 Varieties (Revs) Struck during the year to mark the many events. The Royal Mint official term 'The London 2012 Sports Collection' will apply. So 29 Revs follow, 1/29, 1a/29 etc, up to 29/29 2011 - Lp51 up to Lp / 80 inclv. (incl 1/29 and 1a/29 variety.,so 30 in all)
2911 - Lp51, 52..
1/29 Aquatics - 2 Vareties (Face hiddenor or Face shown) original run shows water with face hidden - Lp51
m unknown
2011 - Lp 53,54,55 bex.. 2/29 Archery (Lp53)
3/29 Athletics, 4/29 Badminton - (Lp55)
Type 3/29 Athletics, Designed by a 9yr old - Florence Jackson Rev - a High Jumper, designed by a School Child, a Royal Mint first
Obv dated 2011 (or 2009 but debateable) / M is unknown
2911 - Lp's 56,57 58,59 / bex.. 5/29 Basketball, 6/29 Boccia, (the 5th and 6th of the 29 types, etc)
6/29, m 2,160,000; 7/29 Boxing, 8/29 Canoeing,
2011- Lp's 60, 61, 62, 63 / bex.. 9/29 Cycling, 10/29 Equestrian,
9/29 m 2,090.500 11/29 Fencing, 12/29 Football,
2911 - Lp63 (12/29 - 'Football' ) Shows the Offside Rule in detail.
m 1,125,000
2011 - Lp's 64, 65, 66, 67 / bex.. 13/29 Goalball, 14/29 Gymnastics,
15/29 Handball, 16/29 Hockey,
2011 - Lp's 68, 69 / bex.. 17/29 Judo, (Royal Mint term)
18/29 Modern- Pentathlon,
2011 - Lp's 70, 71,72 / 73 / bex.. 19/29 RowinRg, 20/29 Sailing,

21/29 Shooting, 22/29 Table Tennis, M = 1,733,500

2911 - Lp's 74, 75 76 / bex..

23/29 Taekwondo, M = 1,664,000 24/29 Tennis, M = 1,454,000

25/29 Triathlon, . m = 1,163,500

2011 - Lp's 77, 78 / bex .. for

26/29 Volleyball, M = 2,133,500

27/29 Weightlifting,m= 1,879,500

Refs used , Lp = a Roman L - 50
and p for Pence, easier location
So Lp * = * 50pence
2011 - Lp's 79, 80 / bex..(Incl types 1/29 and 1a/29 variety)

28/29 Wheelchair - Rugby, M = 1,765,500

29/29 Wrestling, M = 1,129,500

2011 / Types 12 Football and 25 Triathlon are Rare in Bunc.

12/29, Shows Diag. of the 'Offside rule' for ref. Types 12 & 25 are both Low mintages !

12/29 - m = 1,125,000 . 25/29 - m = 1,163,500
2012 Lp 81 / bex.. Rev shows the Royal Shield
m 32,300,030
2013 (1) - Lp 82 / bex.. Rev shows the 2008 Royal Shield
m 10,301,000
2013 (2) - Lp 83 / bex.. Rev 2 Shows Text - re - Benjamin Britten, Composer / b 1913 - d. 1976
m 5,300,000
2013 (3) - Lp 84 / bex.. Rev 3 has a Shield, a trial sample by Christopher Ironside in selections of new Rev designs
m 7,400,000
2014 - Lp 85 / bex..
Rev shows the Royal Shield
m49,001,000
Terms used
Obv and Rev sides
See 1976 data
2014 - Lp 86 / bex..
Rev shows the Glasgow Commonwealth Games
m 6,500,000

2015 / Five varieties exist

Lp 87 / bex .. (T1)

Type 1 / Rev shows the 1940 Battle of Britain & Airmen. The Obv has a new portrait by Jody Clark and 'Fifty Pence' shown as normal
m 5,900,000

2015 - Lp88 / bex .. (T2)

 

As above, but NO denomination at all on either side (50p), also with an Old 1998 Obv of the Queen's portrait by Ian Rank Broadley (due to a Mint error). Types 1,4 and 5 Obv's have the updated Queen's portrait by Jody Clark .
M unknown

2015 / - Lp89 / bex .. (T3)

Rev shows the Royal Shield by Matthew Dent (2008) Fifty Pence below. Date at 12o'clock on an older Obv side
M unknown

2015 / - Lp 90 / bex.. (T4)

 

Similar, date at 25 past position, an updated Obv, by Jody Clark (Crown and 4th Portrait)
m 20,101,000
2015 / - Lp91 / bex.. (T5) Silver Proof 50p / With new Jody Clark Obv and NO denomination at all, so 5 Types of 2015 (unusual) Also it is apparent there are 3 versions of Obv. sides
2016 - Lp92 / bex.. Rev 1 / Battle of Hastings / Design by John Bergdahl
m 5,000,000
Terms used for the -
Obv or Rev sides
See 1976 data
2016 / 5 Rev 's / all 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 to see / collect 5 Revs / 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
T1 m 9.600.000, T2 m= 2,100,000, T3 m 5,000,000, T4 m= 8,800,000, T5 m= 6.9m
The fve types, in Lp order as so /
Lp's 93, 94, 95, 96, 97 / bex..  
     
2016 - Lp98 / bex..
Rev - Team G.B and the 'Rio Olympics' shows a swimmer doing the Butterfly stroke/ designer Tim Sharp .
m 6,400,000
2017 - Lp99 / bex.. Rev - 300th Aniv of the Gold Standard report by Sir Issac Newton, ( also an M.P.)
m 1,801,500
2017 (4) In list order, Lp100, 101, 102, 103 / bex .. More Beatrix Potter coins issued, Mr Jeremy Fisher, Tom Kitten, The tale of Peter Rabbit ( M =19,900,000), Benjamin Bunny,

Tom Kitten / m 9,500,000 ,Benj Bunny, 25,000,000 Jeremy Fisher, m 9,900,000

2018 (4) In list order , Lp104, 105, 106, 107 / bex..

 

More of this series for 2018 , Peter Rabbit (2nd), Flopsy Bunny, Mrs Tittle Mouse and Tailor of Gloucester as at 26/05/2018 there are 13 varieties in the series to find

New portrait for Peter Rabbit

M unknown

2018 - Lp108 / bex.. (Pd1) Rev Shows Paddington Bear sat on his suitcase at his namesake Railway Station (from the book by Michael Bond in 1958)
m 5,001,000
2018 - Lp109 / bex..
Comm. 100yrs since 'The Peoples Act' - 1918. Giving 'equal' rights to vote for Men & Women. (men at 21yrs / women at 30yrs, but only until 1928, then it was Both 21yrs)
m 9,000,000
2018 - Lp110 / bex.. (Pd2) Paddington Bear at the Palace, and 60yrs since the book 'A bear called Paddington'
m 5,901,000
2018 - Lp111 / bex.. Flying Snowman. Obv by Jody Clark Rev by Natasha Ratcliffe
M unknown
2018(200 Yrs ago) Mary Shelley's Horror novel 'Frankenstein' // A Special Guest Insert .. UK £2 Coin, an * Unusual Rev by Designer Thomas T. Docherty, Obv by Jody Clark *
T.B.A
2018 / 100th Anniversary of the First World War Armistice // A Special Guest Insert.. A Poignant U.K. £2 Coin, the Rev, Stephen Raw, the Obv by Jody Clark
T.B.A
2019 (Jan) A 5 Pc. Proof Set , all 50p's . My list numbers in order - Lp's 112, 113, 114, 115 and 116 / bex To Celebrate 50yrs, since the 1st 'Thick 50p' in 1969, Kew Gdn's - 2009, Scouts - 2007, Girl Guides -2010, and 4 min - Mile (in 1954) -2004
m 3,500 - Proof sets , Royal Mint Quality. Sold out in 48hrs
2019/ Celebrates 160 yrs since the birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. (22/5/1859) - Lp117 / bex.. Sherlock Holmes. a charachter from the Novel 'Woman in Scarlet ' by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887
m 8,602,000
2019 - Lp118 / bex .. 'The Gruffalo' / From the book by Julia Donaldson 20yrs ago
TBA
2019 (Mar) - Lp 119 / bex..
Stephen Hawking one of the World's most brilliant scientists. Obv by Jody Clark / Rev by Edwina Ellis
TBA
2019 - Lp120 / bex.. Peter Rabbit (3rd) Previous, 2016/18 plus The Tale of Peter Rabbit/ 2017. so 14 coins in the series now
TBA
Terms used
Obv or Rev sides
See 1976 data
2019 /N.B./ All Obv's show 2019: 1969 is a Thin 8gms version, the Revs are all unaltered (5) Lp121, 122, 123, 124 and 125 / bex.. A 5 Pc Coin set to Celebrate 50yrs of the 50p, 1969 / 2004/ 07/ 09 and 2010
TBA
2019 / A 5 Pc set of past U.K. historical moments on coins, Lp126, 127, 128, 129 and 130 / bex.. Celebrating Military History and 50yrs of the 50p - 1994, 2006- VC Medal, 2006- Bravery, 2015, 2016 and the Battle of Hastings
TBA
2019 - Lp131 / bex.. (Pd3) Paddington Bear visits the Tower of London in August / Rev by David Knapton and Obv is a 5th Portrait of Her Majesty, by Jody Clark
m 9,001,000
2019 - Lp132 / bex.. (Pd4) Paddington Bear is seen again at St Paul's Cathedral, on 10/9/19
m 9,001,000
2019 (Sept) - Lp133 / bex.. to mark the 50th Aniv of our 50 pence coin, (yes 50yrs)..
Rev - Britannia, 'New Pence' above and a 50 below (not seen since 1981) Obv shows 50 Pence, ! so it has Two denominations . Plus Engraved edge, so a Unique coin
TBA
     
Some Anomalies, 2011 Aquatics - Lp51, / 2015, Lp88, 2019 my ref, Lp133 / Dual Date - 1992/93 (rare) -Lp20 / bex.. 2015 has Five types, One with No Denomination at all, plus a 2019, with 2 Denominations on.
Found to date, may be more ?
     
2019 - Lp134 / bex..
'The Gruffalo' and curious Mouse
M unknown
2019 - Lp135 / bex..
Wallace and Gromit / Rev by Nick Park / Obv by Jody Clark
M unknown
2020 - Lp136 / bex..
To mark our leaving the E.U. (inscribed 31st January 2020 )
M unknown
2020 - Lp137 / bex.. Team G B and the 2020 Tokio Olympics, (due for release 2/09/20) Rev shows a mosaic design and 32 of the events ( A nice 50 pence )
M unknown
2020 (3 - Types) 1, Lp138 / 2, Lp139 / 3 as Lp140 / bex..
Three 50 Pences showing the Dinosaur family, released in / Mar / 1= Megalosaurus, Rev Designer Robert Nicholls, Obv by Jody Clark. Type 2= Iguanodon, 3= Hylaeosaurus,
M unknown
2020 - Lp141 / bex.. Peter Rabbit, now 15th in the Beatrix Potter series, / (30-3-20 )
M unknown
2020 - Lp142 / bex.. Rosalind Franklin, a British DNA Scientist. Rev by David Knapton
M unknown
2020 - Lp143,44 and 45 / bex.. Designer, The Walt Disney Co Three 50 Pences, Revs show the Winnie The Pooh series by A.A. Milner (in Lp order) Winnie The Pooh, Christopher Robin and Piglet
M unknown
2020 - Lp146 / bex.. Rev shows, Diversity Built Britain
M unknown
2020 - Lp147 / bex.. The Snowman - (Dec 2020) -
M unknown
2021 - Lp148,149,150 / bex.. Three more in the Dinosaur range (Apr) The Temnodontosaurus, Plesiosaurus and Dimorphodon
M unknown
In the Dinosaur 50p range, the coin to look out for is the rare -
The 'Ithinkhesawrausrex' It roamed the North Yorkshire moors
M unknown
2021 - Lp151 / bex..
John Logie Baird, The Inventor of the First T.V. in 1926
M unknown
2021 - Lp152 / bex..
'Team G B' (see Lp137 / 2020) a 2nd coin & now Dual Dated, 2020 on the Rev - David Knapton and 2021 / Obv - Jody Clark
M unknown
     
Refs / L = a Roman 50 and 'p' for pence, for all my Listed 50p's .
From 1969 to date
For easy Location
 
 

ADDENDUM

You may like to visit 'Blunham.com' and our delightful Bedfordshire village of Blunham with its Thatched Cottages, try the links on the 'Home / Index Page and the extensive researches by Colin Hinson over many years. Visit my work on our Victorian Public Houses, 'Misc & Mash' or 'The Ghost of Theo's Wreck.'

Finally, it may be of interest for the 50 Pence Collector, these dates can Only be found in ' Proof Sets' or year 'Type Sets' mounted on a card. The latter were found, c1970s & 1980s 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.

It is of interest to note the three Lowest mintages, in 'ascending' order are, 1992/93 (dual dated), m = 109,000, 1984 m = 158,820, Only found in the Royal Mint, Year Type presentation 'card sets'. The 2009 Kew Gdns. and m = 210,000 , so all Very Low indeed.

O o O o O


Acknowledgements to Colin Hinson, Philippa Exley and the Royal Mint Archives

Protected by Copyright Law, use of my Lp Code or Text for Commercial use, Strictly Prohibited

Last Revision - 7th / July / 2021 - by Bill Exley

Author of Guernsey Coinage in 1968

Back to Index Page