IT’S nearly 50 years since the country went decimal and millions of coins have been made in that time – some of them rare and valuable.
We switched shillings for pounds and pence back in 1971 on February 15, and the coins we know today were born – including the 50 pence piece.
A new range of 50p coins have been released by the Royal Mint to commemorate the occasion, though they won’t go into circulation.
There are some hard-to-find 50p coins lurking in spare change and pockets though, and the rarest could be worth as much as £900.
Here are the rarest 50p coins according to how many were minted that you should keep an eye out for.
1. Alternative Olympic swimming 50p – 2011
This coin was minted ahead of the 2012 Olympics and features a swimmer.
The first version of the design was later ditched for another one and an unknown quantity of the first batch are in circulation, the Daily Mail reports.
Philip Mussell of Coin News magazine told the newspaper that it’s worth between £750 and £900.
Find out more about this coin which sold for almost £600 back in 2019 and how to spot the rare version.
2. Blue Peter Olympic 50p – 2009
This coin was also created for the Olympics which were held in London in 2012.
It was struck in 2009 and features someone doing the high jump, with the design drawn by a child who won a Blue Peter competition.
There are 19,751 of these original coins and they have sold for as much as £230 – a later reissue released in 2011 is worth just £2.
3. Kew Gardens 50p – 2009
This Kew Gardens coin from 2009 features a pagoda from the famous London landmark.
It’s considered the rarest and most sought after coin at the moment, according to a scarcity index created by Changechecker.org, which also takes into account the demand for coins too.
The coin has a seriously low mintage (the number of coins issued) of just 210,000, compared to others.
It’s sold for up to £230 before when sold on eBay.
4. Olympic football 50p – 2011
Another coin created to commemorate the Olympics of 2012 is among the rarest.
This football coin doesn’t fetch quite so much as the others, but still more than its face value – we’ve seen it go for £14.
Featuring an explanation of the offside rule, there were over one million put into circulation.
5. Olympic wrestling 50p – 2011
Wrestling features on another of the rarest 50p coins, once again minted for the Olympics.
Slightly more of these were made than the football one, and they can go for around £17 online.
Other Olympic coins featuring a range of sports are also among the rarest and scarce too, including judo, triathlon and tennis – so keep an eye on the change lurking in your purse or pocket!
How much are other 50p coins worth?
Many coins can be worth much more when sold on eBay as part of a collection.
Although sometimes you’ll get better individual prices if another collector needs your coin to complete their collection.
Other coins sought after by collectors include the Beatrix Potter 50p coins.
These tend to go for less than £10 each but the original 2016 Peter Rabbit coin did once sell for up to £840 on the auction website.
If you’re looking to sell one today, you’d be lucky if you get that much.