Gone are the days when 50p would buy you two portions of fish and chips or your round of drinks in the local pub! In fact, nowadays, 50p may just about stretch to a pint of milk! Yet as a nation, our love affair with the 50p continues to flourish and 50 years on from its introduction, the seven-sided 50 pence piece is cemented in British culture.
As with all change, we creatures of habit can be slow to adjust. This has never been truer than with the introduction of the new 50p in 1969, ahead of the decimal switchover. With headlines dubbing it ‘A Monstrous Piece of Metal’ and prompting an Anti-Heptagonist movement, the 50p had its work cut out to change popular opinion….
The nation’s change of heart
However, as we celebrate its 50th birthday this year, we look back on 50 years of commemorative 50p coins, each paying tribute to the most important parts of our history and the most beloved parts of contemporary culture and it is fair to say that the 50p coin has become the UK’s favourite and most collectable coin!
Back in March, The Royal Mint released a set of new-issue 50p coins celebrating the best of British culture. Now, on the very 75th Anniversary of D-Day, the commemorations continue, this time, with a tribute to British military history with the re-issue of five 50ps issued to commemorate key events in British Military history.
Here’s why these coins are the perfect tribute to a pocket icon and why they are the must-have collector coins of the year…
An intentional error?
Prestigious collections always feature the most talked about coins and this set does not disappoint! 2015 saw the release of The Royal Mint’s Battle of Britain Commemorative 50p, issued to commemorate the 75th anniversary of one of the most significant battles in British history. As usual, keen collectors secured the brand-new 50p, struck to a Brilliant Uncirculated quality finish, before it entered circulation and what happened next was quite unexpected…
Eagle eyed collections were quick to spot that the original release featured no mention of the denomination anywhere on the coin, in numbers or writing! This was a first and collectors were quick to act! These so-called error coins were snapped up or sold on with demand soaring and the nation eagerly awaiting its release into circulation.
However, with speculation bubbling, The Royal Mint confirmed that the circulation 50p, due to be released later that year, would in fact have the ’50 PENCE’ denomination. Was this really just The Royal Mint keeping us collectors on our toes?
Intentional or not, this controversial coin has proven to be a collectable sensation with a great story and this new-issue Battle of Britain design is a must-have!
A poignant re-issue, commemorating D-Day 75!
Today marks the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, the enormity and impact of which is still relevant today. In a moving tribute to the anniversary and the thousands of Allied troops who carried out the most ambitious military offensive in history, The Royal Mint have included a re-issue of the 1994 D-Day Landings 50p coin, originally issued to mark the 50th anniversary year.
Excitingly, this is the first time that this iconic D-Day design will feature on the 50p as we know it! With the original issue falling prior to the introduction of the new, smaller 50p in 1997, the design is no longer in circulation, making this one of the only ways to own the design and a world-first for the new 50p!
Battles and Bravery!
Alongside these two renowned commemoratives, paying homage to two pivotal points of WWII, the set features three other new-issue coins, recalling epic battles and acts of bravery etched into British history:
- The 2006 Victoria Cross Medal 50p – Issued to celebrate the highest accolade within the British Honours System for gallantry in the face of the enemy
- The 2016 Battle of Hastings 50p, 950 years on from the battle which shaped the landscape of Britain as we know it
- The 2006 Victoria Cross Heroic Acts 50p – Issued in honour of the award’s deserving recipients.
Interestingly, the original design of the 2006 Victoria Cross Heroic Acts 50p was vetoed by the Gordon Brown, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, for its seemingly unsuitable and potentially controversial design. For that reason, this coin has also been one of the most talked about coins of the last 20 years!
A sell-out legacy…
Each new-issue coin has been issued in a Gold, Silver and Brilliant Uncirculated standard and all three will be incredibly popular! In fact, the pervious 50p anniversary set commemorating all things culture saw both the gold and silver editions sell out at the mint!
If you’re interested…
managed to secure a small number of each coin for a capsule edition presentation, exclusively for our collectors.
Each of the commemorative 50p coins have been mounted within exclusive artwork by artist Nick Watton and encapsulated within tamper-proof casing to preserve their pristine condition for years to come.
This exclusive 50 years of the 50p Capsule Edition Set is limited to just 2,019 presentations worldwide.
Click here to find out more >>