Could the 50p in your pocket be worth hundreds?
A rare 50p coin has been sold for £165 – more than 330 times its face value. The limited edition coins mark 250 years since the opening of Kew Gardens and you could have one in your purse or wallet, as thousands of them were made.
Released in 2009, the special 50p features the gardens’ famous Chinese-style Great Pagoda. Around 210,000 of the coins were made, according to the Royal Mint.
The anniversary falls on February 15, 2022. Since then, more than 70 variations of the 50p coin have been in circulation, as well as several rare designs that have been distributed.
The famous Kew Gardens 50p coin remains the most coveted, with a mintage of 210,000, the Mint has revealed.
Other rare designs include the Olympic-themed 50 pence coins that were minted in 2011.
Here, we take a look at the rarest 50 pence coins, as well as how much they could be worth.
Rarest 50p coins in circulation in the UK
The Royal Mint has revealed the most valuable 50 pence coin ahead of the 1971 decimalisation’s golden anniversary.
The rarest is the Kew Garden 50 pence coin, which was designed to mark the 250th anniversary of the gardens in 2009. Only 210,000 coins were ever minted in this design.
One seller received more than £700 for one when they sold it on eBay - but you can still buy them quite cheaply.
The other rare coins are predominantly from the 2011 Olympics, with wresting, football, and judo coins all among the most valuable. Only 1.1 million were ever minted.
Flopsy Bunny as well as Peter Rabbit designs, which were produced in 2018, are also highly valuable, and 1.4 million were minted.
These coins depict the characters from Beatrix Potter’s novels, and they celebrate the life of the famous English writer.
Each has a retail value of approximately £5.
In 2019, 500 million were produced, with only three new 50p designs, including Arthur Conan-Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Paddington Bear at St Paul’s Cathedral, as well as The Tower of London.
Top 10 most valuable 50p coins, according to Royal Mint
Here is a list of the top 10 most valuable coins:
Kew Gardens (2009), 210,000
Olympic Wrestling (2011), 1,129,500
Olympic Football (2011), 1,161,500
Olympic Judo (2011), 1,161,500
Olympic Triathlon (2011), 1,163,500
Peter Rabbit (2018), 1,400,000
Flopsy Bunny (2018), 1,400,000
Olympic Tennis (2011), 1,454,000
Olympic Goalball (2011), 1,615,500
Olympic Shooting (2011), 1,656,500
What makes a coin valuable?
50 pence coins are the most valuable, and many of the collectible designs appear on their heptagonal shape.
The coin has a 27.5 mm diameter, making it the largest of all British coins, and it also allows for decorative pictures.
The coin has often been used to celebrate huge events over the past 50 years of British history, and the rarest tend to be of the greatest value.
Along with the rarity of the design, other things that can increase the coin’s value include whether it has an error on its design, and its overall condition.
The way in which it is sold can also determine a coin’s value, with some collectors bidding huge amounts at auction, while others vie for a more set cost, by selling via a dealer.