The Rio 2016 Olympic Games are in full swing and we can hardly believe it’s been 4 years since London 2012. It’s about time we revisited the iconic UK Olympic Fifty Pence series.
Without doubt, the 29 coin series created a storm among collectors – millions rose to the challenge of collecting all 29, and for many, it marked the start of their interest in coins.
The Royal Mint estimates that as many as 75% of the Olympic 50p coins have been removed from circulation by collectors.
Do you own the rarest Olympic 50p?
Olympic 50ps have long been a favourite amongst collectors, but did you know that only 1,125,500 Football fifty pence pieces entered circulation? It’s definitely the rare one to look out for.
Although the Football 50p narrowly holds the title of the rarest sport in the series, there were still over one million of those struck for circulation. To hold the honourable title as “rare”, we must look beyond the official Royal Mint circulation figures…
The withdrawn Aquatics ‘minting error’ Olympic 50p
The Aquatics 50p which we are familiar with today is actually a modified version which removed the waves passing over the swimmer’s face.
Despite the original coin being withdrawn from circulation and the design adapted – there are still a few out there.
Although the exact quantity of the original Aquatics design remains a mystery, we know it’s not unusual for these special coins to exchange hands for close to £1000… not a bad return on a 50p coin!
2009 Athletics Olympic 50p
In 2009, nine-year old Florence Jackson became the youngest person to design a coin for circulation in the UK. Her Athletics Olympic 50p design was the ultimate winner of a Blue Peter competition.
Although you may recognise this coin, you may not know that a rare version of this coin exists. When the competition winner was revealed, only 100,000 special edition Blue Peter coin packs were released with a 2009 dated coin – making it the only Olympic 50p without a 2011 date.
That makes this 2009 Athletics Olympic 50p more than twice as rare as the famous Kew Gardens 50p.
The rarest of the series
It is without doubt that the gold versions of each 50p remain the rarest of the collection.
Unfortunately for collectors, obtaining one of these is nearly impossible as only one gold version of each design was presented to the respective winning designer.
Aside from the precious metal content, their unique status and significance rank them as potentially the most valuable UK 50p coins in existence.
Is this the 30th Olympic 50p?
To the delight of many Olympic 50p collectors, this year the Royal Mint issued a special 50p to wish Team GB success for the Rio 2016 Games.
The coins obverse features a swimmer with the Team GB logo, the Olympic rings and the inscription ‘TEAM GB’. Designed by Tim Sharp, the coin has been officially endorsed by Team GB and celebrates the spirit of British Olympians – a must have for all Olympic 50p Collectors.
Click here to own the coin that will be popular with coin collectors and sports enthusiasts alike.
Coins from British territories have a habit of making an unexpected appearance in our change.
Finding one in your change is an annoyance on one hand as the coins are not legal tender in the UK. On the other hand, from a collecting point of view, new and interesting designs are always a bonus!
The Bailiwick of Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands and is situated off the coast of Normandy, France. As a British Crown dependency, Pound Sterling is the official currency of the island. However, Jersey started issuing the Jersey Pound in 1841 not as a separate currency, but as an issue of banknotes and coins by the State of Jersey.
Jersey has a population of just over 100,000 and as with all coins from the British Isles, mintage figures are always expected to be quite low.
When is a Penny not a Penny?
When it’s 1/12 of a Shilling. After the Norman Conquest in 1066, the pound was divided into twenty shillings or 240 pennies. So before decimalisation in 1971, 1/12 of a Shilling would have amounted to 1 Penny.
The Penny by another name…
During Queen Elizabeth ΙΙ’s reign, Jersey issued three commemorative 1/12th shilling coins – this penny marks the 900th anniversary of the Norman Conquest and is the last bronze 1/12th of a shilling issued during the Old Elizabeth ΙΙ coinage, 1954-1966.
Before decimalisation, Jersey, as a British Crown Dependency, was required to use the crowned effigy of the Queen on the obverse of its coins. This coin features Cecil Thomas’ famous crowned portrait of Her Majesty the Queen with the simple legend ‘QUEEN ELIZABETH THE SECOND’.
The reverse, designed by Georgie Edward Kruger Gray, features the Jersey Coat of Arms containing three lions and the dates ‘1066’ and ‘1966’ divided either side of the shield. The Jersey Coat of Arms derives from the seal granted to the island by King Edward Ι in 1279.
As the last 1/12th of a shilling coin issued during the Old Elizabeth ΙΙ coinage this 1/12th shilling has become a coveted collector’s item.
Click here to own a Jersey 1/12th of a Shilling Coin