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Acknowledgements

The following information has been sourced from the Royal Mint website and http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk and http://www.ukcoinpics.co.uk/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_One_Pound

1 commemorative coins
2 commemorative coins
Crown commemorative coins

50 pence coins - Background Information

In October 1969 the 50p joined the 5p (shilling) and 10p (florin) coins in circulation, leaving only the three copper coins to be introduced on 15 February 1971 to complete the new series of decimal coins. The design on the reverse of the 50p coin features a symbol of Britannia that has appeared on our coinage since 1672. While this design may have been traditional, the shape of the new 50p coin, an equilateral curve heptagon, was revolutionary. This made it easily distinguishable from round coins both by feel and by sight, while its constant breadth allowed it to roll in vending machines.

With the introduction of smaller 5p and 10p coins in 1990 and 1992 respectively, the 50p became the largest coin in circulation. In October 1994 the Government announced a further review of the United Kingdom coinage. The results revealed a requirement for a smaller 50p coin, which was duly introduced on 1 September 1997.

Since its issue the 50p has been used on several occasions to celebrate important events, each being commemorated by a new reverse design.

The 50p is legal tender for amounts up to £10.

Special issue 50 pence coins.

Country
Year of issue
MM
Description
Mintage
Quality
Packing
Reverse
-
-
-

First large type

Obv: First Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D.G.REG.F.D (date) starting low left. Portrait by Arnold Machin

ELIZABETH II D.G.REG.F.D - ELIZABETH II Dei Gratia REGina Fedei Defensor (ELIZABETH II, By the Grace of God Queen and Defender of the Faith)

Rev: Britannia, 50 below, NEW PENCE above. Designed by Christopher Ironside.

Issued from 1969 to 1972, and 1974 to 1981 (1971-72 and 1974-75 in Proof only)

-
50p
1973
-


Second large type
- United Kingdom's accession to the European Economic Community

Obv: First Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D starting top right (no date on obverse)

Rev: Nine clasped hands in a circle, 1973 / 50 / PENCE in the centre

Issued in 1973 only. The Proof is arguably more common than the uncirculated circulation issue.

The inscription "50 PENCE" and the date of the year, surrounded by nine hands, symbolising the nine members of the Community, clasping one another in a mutual gesture of trust, assistance and friendship

Designed by David Wynne

89,775,000

-
-
-

Third large type

Obv: First Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D (date) starting low left

Rev: Britannia, 50 below, FIFTY PENCE above

Issued from 1982 to 1984 (1984 only obtainable from Mint and Proof sets)

-
-
-
-

Fourth large type

Obv: Second Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D (date) starting top right

Rev: Britannia, 50 below, FIFTY PENCE above

Issued from 1985 to 1993 and 1995 to 1997 (All except 1985 obtainable only from Mint and Proof sets). The 1996 version exists as a silver proof.

-
50p
1992-3
-

Fifth large type - United Kingdom's Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the completion of the Single European Market

Obv: Second Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D starting low left (no date on obverse)

Rev: A representation of a table on which are placed twelve stars, linked by a network of lines to each other and also to twelve chairs around the table, on one of which appear the letters "UK", andwith the dates "1992" and "1993" above and the value "50 PENCE" below

This was issued to celebrate the completion of the EC single market and the British Presidency. A circulation issue was made, but in small quantities

Designed by Mary Milner Dickens

109,000
50p
1994
-

Sixth large type - 50th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings

Obv: Second Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 1994 starting low left

Rev: An invasion force of planes and ships. 50 PENCE to right

This was issued to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of D-Day. A circulation issue was made, but in small quantities. A few were found in change. Designed by John Mills.

A design representing the Allied invasion force heading for Normandy andfilling the sea and sky, together with the value "50 PENCE"

Designed by John Mills

6,705,520
50p
1997
-
First small type

Obv: Second Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D (date) starting low left

Rev: Britannia, 50 below, FIFTY PENCE above

Issued only in 1997, but in large numbers.


-
-
-
-
Second small type

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D (date) starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Portrait by: Ian Rank-Broadley (IRB)

Rev: Britannia, 50 below, FIFTY PENCE above

Issued from 1998 to 2006. About 55 million 1998 50p's were issued.

50p coins of this design dated 2007 are available in proof Royal Mint sets, but for some reason not in the Uncirculated Coin Set.

-
50p
1998
-

Third small type - 25th anniversary of UK's entry into the European Community

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D (date) starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: Commemorative design marking 25th anniversary of UK's entry into the European Community.

It looks like a firework display of 12 stars with the inscription 1973 EU 1998 underneath, with 50 PENCE below.

United Kingdom's Presidency of the European Union, and the 25th Anniversary of the United Kingdom's accession to the European Economic Community

Designed by John Mills

5,043,000
50p
1998
-
Fourth small type - 50th Anniversary of theNational Health Service

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D (date) starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: Commemorative design marking 50th anniversary of the formation of the National Health Service.

'Caring hands' holding suns rays, FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY above, 50 PENCE below, NHS repeated 5 times in the border

Designed by David Cornell

24,905,000
50p
2000
-

Fifth small type - 150th Anniversary of the Public Libraries Act

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2000 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: Commemorative design marking the centenary of the Public Libraries Act of 1850. Open book above pillared building inscribed PUBLIC LIBRARIES, 1850 2000 above, 50 PENCE to the right.

Designed by Mary Milner Dickens

11,263,000
50p
2003
-
Sixth small type - 100th Anniversary of the formation of the Women's Social and Political Union

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2003 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: Commemorative design marking the centenary of the Women's Social and Political Union (The Suffragettes). Suffragette chained to railing and holding banner inscribed WSPU in her left hand. 50 PENCE to the left, and a billboard inscribed GIVE WOMEN THE VOTE to the right, with 1903 below and 2003 to the right.

Designed by Mary Milner Dickens

3,124,030
50p
2004
-
Seventh small type - 50th Anniversary of the first four-minute mile by Roger Bannister

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2004 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: Commemorative design marking the fiftieth anniversary of the first four-minute mile by Roger Bannister. Legs of a runner with a stopwatch showing just under four minutes. 50 PENCE below.

Designed by James Butler

9,032,500
50p
2005
-
Eighth small type - 250th Anniversary of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2005 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: Commemorative design marking the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Samuel Johnson's first English Dictionary. 50/FI'FTY.adj/s.[FIFTIZ, Saxon.]/PENCE .n.s./plural of penny/JOHNSON'S/DICTIONARY 1755.

Designed by Tom Phillips

17,649,000

50p
2006
-

Ninth small type - 150th Anniversary of the institution of theVictoria Cross

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2006 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: Commemorative design marking the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the creation of the Victoria Cross. Pictures of both sides of the Victoria Cross, the reverse engraved 29 JAN 1856. VC FIFTY PENCE below.

Designed by Claire Aldridge

12,087,000
50p
2006
-
Tenth small type - 150th Anniversary of the institution of the Victoria Cross

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2006 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: Commemorative design marking the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the creation of the Victoria Cross. Depiction of a soldier carrying a wounded comrade with an outline of the Victoria Cross surrounded by a sunburst effect in the background.

Designed by Clive Duncan

12,087,000
50p
2007
-
Eleventh small type - Centenary of the Foundation of the Scouting Movement

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2007 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: Commemorative design marking the one hundredth anniversary of the Scout Movement. Fleur-de-Lys symbol of the Scout Movement, FIFTY PENCE above, BE PREPARED below, 1907 to the left and 2007 to the right

Designed by Kerry Jones

7,710,750

50p
2008
-

Twelfth small type - New reverse

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D (date) starting low left. Initials IRB below bust. Central point of edge below Queen's head.

Rev: Bottom apex of the Royal Arms, FIFTY PENCE below

Issued from 2008. 2009

Note the change in orientation of the obverse

-
50p
2009
-

Thirteenth small type - Kew Gardens 250th Anniversary

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D starting low left. FIFTY PENCE below. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: The Kew Chinese Pagoda, climbing plant around, 1759 to left, 2009 to right. 'Kew' at base

To be issued in 2009. Not yet seen in circulation; available in Royal Mint sets only. Proofs in silver.

Note that the denomination is in words on the obverse

???
50p
2009
-

Fourteenth small type - Athletics reverse for London 2012 Olympic Games:

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2009 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: Child jumping over a stick. London 2012 Olympics symbol above, 50 PENCE below. Designed by Florence Jackson

To be issued in 2010. Not yet seen in circulation; 2009 versions available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by an 8 year old girl who won a 'Blue Peter' competition

???
50p
2010
-

Fifteenth small type - Celebrating 100 Years of Girlguiding UK

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2010 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: Pattern of Cloverleaves, CELEBRATING ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF GIRLGUIDING UK, 50 PENCE below

To be issued in 2010. Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Jonathan Evans and Donna Hainan

???
50p
2011
-

Sixteenth small type - Celebrating 50th Anniversary of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: a selection of 50 stylised icons (mammals, birds, fish, insects and lizards, fruit, seeds, trees and plants etc.) to represent the various facets of the WWF, WWF shown in the centre of the reverse with 2011 at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Matthew Dent

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Aquatics

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: a swimmer. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Jonathan Olliffe

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Archery

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: an arrow tensioned in a bow about to be released. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Piotr Powaga

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Athletics

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: a pole vaulter. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Florence Jackson

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Badminton

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: a shuttlecock with players in the background Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Emma Kelly

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Basketball

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: basketball background with players in front. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Sarah Payne

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Boccia

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: a player. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Justin Chung

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Boxing

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: a pair of boxing gloves. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Shane Abery

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Canoeing

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: canoeist Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Timothy Lees

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Cycling

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: cyclist. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Theo Crutchley-Mack

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Equestrian

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: a horse jumping. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Thomas Babbage

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Fencing

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: two fencers. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Ruth Summerfield

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Football

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: a pitch outline with OFFSIDE EXPLAINED. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Neil Wolfson

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Goalball

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: a player throwing ball. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Jonathan Wren

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Gymnastics

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: a gymnast with floating ribbon. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Jonathan Olliffe

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Hanball

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: a handball player. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Natasha Ratcliffe

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Hockey

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: two hockey players. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Robert Evans

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Judo

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: two wrestlers. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by David Cornell

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Pentathlon

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: symbols of each pentathlon sport. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Daniel Brittain

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Rowing

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: a 2 person rowing boat amidst the words EXCELLENCE, FRIENDSHIP, FAIR PLAY, RESPECT . Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by David Podmore

-

-
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Sailing

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: three yachts. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Bruce Rushin

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Shooting

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: a marksman shooting. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Pravin Dewdhory

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Table Tennis

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: a table tennis ball crossing 2 bats with a table tennis table in the background. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Alan Linsdell

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Taekwondo

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: two Taekwondo competitors. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by David Gibbons

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Tennis

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: a tennis ball scaling a net. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Tracy Baines

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Triathlon

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: a runner, cyclist and swimmer. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Sarah Harvey

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Volleyball

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: volleyball players. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Daniela Boothman

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Weightlifting

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: a weightlifter. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Rob Shakespeare

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Wheelchair Rugby

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: a wheelchair rugby player. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Natasha Ratcliffe

???
50p
2011
-

Celebrating London 2012 50p Sports Collection - Wrestling

One of a series of 29 coins to celebrate the 2012 olympics being held in London

Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2011 starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.

Rev: two wrestlers. Olumpic 2012 logo shown at the top with 50 PENCE at the bottom.

Not yet seen in circulation; Available in Royal Mint sets only.

Designed by Roderick Enriquez

???
50p
2013
-

The 100th Anniversary of the birth of Christopher Ironside

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Christopher Ironside, designer of the UK’s first decimal coins, this 50p features his Royal Arms design which was the runner-up to the winning design of Britannia for the first 50p in 1969. The Royal Arms design now appears in public for the first time some 44 years after its creation.

Ironside's familiar design of Britannia was adopted for the 50p at the time of decimalisation, but among the other designs that he submitted was a version of the Royal Arms. This was liked so much by members of The Royal Mint Advisory Committee that trial pieces of the design were made and the hope was expressed that a use might be found for it. Its appearance in 2013 is therefore a fitting tribute to a great numismatic artist.

The design in its original form used the designation NEW PENCE but this would be inappropriate for 2013 and the value has been amended to FIFTY PENCE.

Reverse Designer: Christopher Ironside
Obverse Designer: Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS

???
50p
2013
-

The 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Benjamin Britten

The harmonious typographical design celebrates Britten’s work with words from one of his works. Sure to appeal to music lovers and coin collectors, it is first time a composer has featured on a UK coin and the first 50p to show both date and denomination on the obverse.

Reverse Designer: Tom Phillips CBE RA
Obverse Designer: Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS

-
50p
2014
-

Glasgow Commonwealth Games reverse

The official Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games 50p has been designed by new coin designer, Alex Loudon, capturing the spirit of Glasgow 2014 and the XX Commonwealth Games. The Scottish Saltire underpins the design, with a cyclist and an athlete conveying the power and sporting excellence of those competing at Glasgow 2014. Continuing the Scottish theme is lettering inspired by the work of a hero of the host city, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

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The full designation of the Britannia reverse is 'The seated figure of Britannia'. The use of this figure carries on a long tradition of using this type of reverse, dating back to the time of the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, whose main claim to fame in this country is the Antonine Wall that he had built out of turf between the Forth and the Clyde.

After the introduction of the pound coin in 1983 demand for the coin dropped significantly, and although well used, fewer were tied up in slot machines, so the banks had a large surplus in stock. This is why so few have been released into circulation since 1985.

The need to reduce the size was not made clear. One argument at the time of its introduction was that the coin's circulation life of 50 years is far in excess of the circulation life of a 10 shilling banknote. They did not even reach 30 years.

With the reduction in size the old larger coins have now been withdrawn from circulation, and demonetized with effect from 28th February 1998, although they can still be exchanged at banks.

Unusually for the time, all three designs of 1998 50p piece were issued for circulation. Previously, when a commemorative design has been issued for general circulation, the traditional Britannia reverse version had only been available (if at all) in Proof or Uncirculated sets. This has now changed, because a decision has been made by the Royal Mint to keep commemorative designs a bit special. Such special designs can be expected to have a normal issue level of 5 million. If the annual demand for 50p coins exceeds this, the balance are struck with the Britannia reverse.

 

End