FIFTY PENCE VARIETIES

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 appearing 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% Copper and 25% Nickel (with other strengthening agents of 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 coins.

There are 4 rarities to find due to either Low mintage or unusual Rev design. The 1984 mintage of only 158,000 // 1992/93 dual date, so unusual, plus only 109,000 made // the 2015 Battle of Britain, missing any 50 pence value 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 '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 there was even a 'Double Forin' coin (or four shilling piece, equiv to our 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. (or five shillings). 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.

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 / bex / 26/2/2020

O O O O

My unique coding list applies
'L' for 50 and a 'p' for Pence
For easy location of any coin.
For ref, V = 5, X =10, L = 50, C = 100 and M = 1,000 / (Roman origin) / Century,100yrs / a Centurion, an Elite soldier with 100 fighters at his side. / so M =1000 years for our Millennium.
L numbers given, so anyone can now quickly locate 'any' listed 50 Pence by my 'L' numbers.

Anywhere in the World

V / Sept / MMXX

1969 - Lp1 / bex..

 

Our 1st 50p coin, Rev shows Britannia a heavy coin of 13-5 gms and a diam of 30-5mm.(Other decimals were struck in 1968)

 

188,000,000

All mintages below

..

1970 - Lp2 / bex Rev . Shows Britannia, the heavy version is with us up to and incl. 1997
19,461,000
1971 - Lp3 / bex (50 Pence only)
The First Decimal Proof set and the only place to find a 50p, so Not in general circulation
Unknown mintage
1972- Lp4 / bex A 50p is Only found in a 1972 Proof Set of 7 Coins, with a Crown Equiv. to 25 Pence
Unknown mintage
1973 - Lp5 / bex.. Rev shows a circle of 9 hands to mark our joining the E.E.C..and 8 partners The First Comm. 50p piece
89,775,000
1974- Lp 6 / bex The 50p is only found in the Royal Mint Proof and B Unc sets
Unknown mintage
1976 -Lp7 / bex..

Rev Shows New Pence above Britannia and 50 below

43,746,000
Definition of Terms used
Obverse (Obv) or Reverse (Rev) sides / Lp2 etc for Roman 50 and p for Pence, for easuer location.
Obv side, shows the Monarch's Head , Rev is the other side. (see 3rd para above)
1977 - Lp8 / bex
Rev Shows Britannia
49,536,000
1978 - Lp9 / bex
Rev Shows Britannia
72,005,000

1979 - Lp10 / bex..

 

Rev shows Britannia, still a large coin , the novelty of New Pence is dropped in 1982
58,680,000
1980 - Lp11 / bex..
Rev Shows Britannia
89,086,000
1981 - Lp12 / bex..
Rev Shows Britannia
74,002,000
1982 - Lp13 / bex.. Rev Shows Britannia , also found in Royal Mint B Unc Year sets .
51,312,000
1983 - Lp14 / bex.. Rev now shows Fifty Pence above Britannia
62,825,000
1984 - Lp15 / bex.. Rev Shows Britannia and Only found in Royal Mint year type sets of B Unc coins, supplied 'then' by Large G.P.O's , this idea was later dropped
158,820 / Low issue
1985 - Lp16 / bex ..
Rev Shows Britannia
682,100 /Low as well
Terms used
Rev or Obv sides
See 1976 data
1986 - Lp17 / bex.. 50p, Only found in the 8 coin Proof Sets
Unknown mintage
1987 - Lp18 / bex .. 50p, Only found in the Proof Set of 7 coins
Unknown mintage
1990 - Lp19 / bex 50p, Only in the Royal Mint Proof or B Unc Card sets
Unknown mintage
1992-93 - Lp20 / bex.. Dual Date, why I do not know/ Rare in Bunc (Bright Uncirculated Condition) Rev shows / Single Market, UK as EEC Commision leaders (a new rarity)
109,000. (Low) , the Kew Gardens is 210.000 so which is rarer in circulation?
1994 - Lp21 / bex.. Rev / 50th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings (planes above) by John Mills / still a Heavy version
6,705,520
1995 - Lp22 / bex The 50p is only found in Royal Mint Proof and B Unc 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
456,364,100 ( V. High )

1997 - Lp25, 26 / bex

Two Proofs

Note that this Proof Set has a Large and Thin version of 50p Plus the Aniv £5 coin in a 10 piece set as issued Unknown mintage(Rare)
Terms used
Obv and Rev sides
See 1976 data
1998 (1)- Lp27 / bex..

Type 1 / Multiple flags depicting the 25th Aniv. of our joining the E.E.C. in 1973. All heavy 50p's are now demonitised in the Autumn

5,043,000

 

1998(2) - Lp28/ bex.. Type 2 Rev / The N.H.S now 50yrs and a thin version
5,001,000
1998(3) - Lp29 / bex..
Type 3 / Standard Bitannia on Rev but New image and Crown on the Obv.:by Ian Rank-Broadley
64,306,500
1999 - Lp30 / bex
Rev Shows Britannia
24,905,000
2000 - Lp31 / bex
Rev Shows Britannia
27,915,000
2000 - Lp32 / bex.. Type 2 Rev depicts Libraries and 150yrs of the Public Libraries Act
11,263,000
2001 - Lp33 / bex
Rev Shows Britannia
84,998,500
2002 - Lp34 / bex
As above
23,907,500
2003 - Lp35 / bex
As above
23,583,000
Terms used
Obv or Rev sides
See 1976 entry
2003 - Lp36 / bex.. Rev 2 shows Womens Rights, 100th Aniv of Social and Political union
3,124,000
2004 (1) - Lp37 / bex..

50yrs ago the 1st Sub 4 min. mile, by 25 yr old Dr.Rodger Bannister, at Oxford, 6/5/54, Rev shows a Clock

9,032,500 .Also in a 5 Pc Proof set M=3,500 (See Refs in 1969 and 2019)
2004 (2) - Lp38 / bex
Rev 2 shows Britannia
35,315,500
2005 - Lp39 / bex
Rev as above
25,363,,500
2005 - Lp40 / bex.. Rev 2/ Aniv of the English Dictionary by Samuel Johnson 250 Yrs ago
17,649,000
2006 (1) - Lp41 / bex.. Rev shows 150th Aniv of the V.C medal.given for Valour, instituted by Queen Victoria in 1856
12,087,000
2006 (2) - Lp42 / bex.. Type 2 Rev shows an act of Valour, with a soldier saving his comrade
10,000,500
2006 (3) - Lp43 / bex Type 3 Rev shows Britannia
24,560,000
Terms used
Obv or Rev sides
See 1976 data
     
The Lp tables are for fast, easy location of any listed coin
L prefix for the Roman 50; then small letter p for Pence etc / bex
V = 5, X = 10, L = 50, C =100, M = 1,000
2007 - Lp44 / bex.. Scouting Movement, Rev design by Kerry Davies
7,710,750 . Also in a 5 Pc Proof Set M=3,500 (See Ref 2019 )
2007{2} - Lp45 / bex Type 2 Rev shows Britannia
M = 11,200,000
2008 - Lp46 / bex Type 1 Rev shows Britannia
M = 3,500,000
2008(2) - Lp47 / bex Type 2 A new Rev by Matthew Dent shows part of the Royal Shield, third and fourth quarterings,also a part Puzzle to solve
M = 22,747,000
2009 - Lp48 / bex 250yrs of the Botanical Gdns at Kew /1759 to 2009 / Rev shows a Pagoda design by Christopher Le Brun

210,000 (Also in a 5 Pc Proof set M= 3,500 See Ref 2019))

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 shows a complex scene with a central Panda / 50yrs work by the World Wildlife Org.
3,400,000
  The 2012 London Olympics  
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 and Lp52..
1/29 Aquatics - (Face hiddenor or Face shown)  
2011 - Lp 53,54,55 bex.. 2/29 Archery (Lp53)
3/29 Athletics, 4/29 Badminton,
Type 1/29 Aquatics, 2 varieties exist - Lp51, 52 / bex.. Two types, / original run shows water and Face hidden, later revised to show a Face in detail .
M unknown
Type 3/29 Athletics, Designed by 9yr old Florence Jackson . Rev. a High Jumper, designed by a School Child, a Royal Mint first
Obv dated 2011 (or 2009, this is 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 = Roman 50=L
p for Pence , so easier location
(50 p)
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 both Rare in Bunc.

12/29, Shows a Diag. of the 'Offside rule' (For easy I.D.) Types 12,25 are both Low mintages !

12/29 M= 1,125,000
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
M = 49,001,000
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 ..

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 / Type 2 - Lp88 / bex ..

 

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 / Type 3 - Lp89 / bex ..

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

2015 / Type 4 - Lp 90 / bex..

 

Similar, date at 25 past position, an updated Obv, by Jody Clark (Crown and 4th Portrait)
M = 20,101,000
2015 / Type 5 - Lp91 / bex.. 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
N.B. - Terms used
Obv or Rev sides
See 1976 data
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 / 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 =6.9m
The fve types in 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, 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 (Pd1) - Lp108 / bex.. 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..
To Comm. 100yrs since 'The Peoples Act' in 1918. This now gave equal Voting rights to Men and Women. (Men 21yrs, but Women at 30yrs)
M = 9,000,000
2018 (Pd2) - Lp110 / bex.. 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, the Rev by Design by 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 are 50 Pence's. My list numbers in order - Lp112, 113, 114, 115 and 116 / bex A Collection to Celebrate 50yrs since the 1st 'Thick' 50p in 1969, Kew Gdn's - 2009, Scouts - 2007, Girl Guides-2010 and the 4 min Mile (in 1954) -2004 3,500 sets in Royal Mint Proof 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
N.B. - 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 50 yrs of our 50 Pence, 1969/ 2004/ 2007/ 2009 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 50 Pence / 1994, 2006-VC Medal, 2006- Bravery, 2015, 2016 and the Battle of Hastings
TBA
2019 (Pd3) - Lp131 / bex.. 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 (Pd4) - Lp132 / bex.. 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 shows 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 later
     
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 / Oct - 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
     
Refs, L = the Roman 50 and 'p' = 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, the following dates can Only be found in ' Proof Sets' or year 'Type Sets' mounted on 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.

It is of interest to note the three Lowest mintages, in 'ascending' order are, 1992/93 dual dates, m =109.000 1984 m = 158,820, only found in the Royal Mint presentation set. The 2009 Kew Gdns. and m = 210,000 , so all Very Low indeed.

O - O - O

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

Fully protected by Copyright Law, Reproduction for Commercial use Strictly Prohibited

Last Revision / 18th - May - 2021 / by Bill Exley

Author of Guernsey Coinage in 1968

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