The Olympic sports 50p series was a revelation in coin collecting – for many it represents the start of their interest in UK circulation coins and thousands rose to the challenge of finding them all from their change.
But the mintage of each coin in the 29-piece collection is different, and so the likelihood of finding one varies accordingly. Football narrowly holds the title of the rarest sport in the series, but there were still over one million of those struck for circulation. A coin with such a high mintage can hardly be considered as “rare”. For that honourable title, we must look beyond the official Royal Mint circulation figures…
The withdrawn Aquatics Olympic 50p
In September last year, we reported on an Aquatics 50p which sold on eBay for £820. As you might suspect, it wasn’t an ordinary Olympic 50p which we would typically pull out of our change – it has a very specific minting error.
The Aquatics 50p which we are familiar with today is actually a modified version which removed the waves passing over the swimmer’s face. However, a small number of the original design were produced before being withdrawn, although this quantity remains a mystery.
What we do know is that it is not unusual for these special coins to exchange hands for close to £1,000 – not a bad return on a 50 pence coin!
The 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 and her creation featuring an athlete midway through a high-jump can be now be found in our change up and down the country.
You probably recognise the coin, but what you may not know is that a rare version of this coin exists. When the competition winner was revealed, a special edition Blue Peter presentation pack was issued with a 2009 dated coin, making it the only Olympic 50p without a 2011 date. Just 100,000 of these packs were issued, meaning it is more than twice as rare as the famous Kew Gardens 50p.
The winner’s gold editions
But rarest of all are the gold versions of each 50p which were presented to their respective winning designers. Only one of each design exists. You certainly won’t find one of those in your change, and they will be quite literally gold dust for years to come.
Aside from their precious metal content, their unique status and significance rank them as potentially the most valuable UK 50p coins in existence.
Are you interested in owning any of the Olympic 50ps? We have a limited number available in the Change Checker Shop. Click on a sport below to add it to your collection. All available with FREE P&P
A new commemorative coin has just entered circulation which could well become the most collected 50p since the Olympic series in 2012. Collectors all over the country are checking their change right now in an attempt to find the new 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games 50p.
Struck by The Royal Mint, this legal tender UK coin has been designed by Alex Loudon in the ‘arts and crafts’ style. Two athletes are intersected by the Scottish Saltire, and the words XX Commonwealth Games Glasgow fill the top right section of the surprisingly distinctive 50p.
But this coin has been attracting attention from collectors for another reason…
In 2011 The Royal Mint issued a series of 29 different Olympic themed 50ps – one to represent each sport. With London 2012 around the corner, these coins suddenly became THE must-have collectables to commemorate the Games. Collectors still can’t resist flicking through their change to find the elusive last two or three coins they are missing.
Now, 2 years on, the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games 50p looks set to become the next collecting sensation – as the race to find the first sports-themed British coin since the Olympics begins in earnest.
With the mintage figures as yet unconfirmed by The Royal Mint, this coin could well be the rarest of the lot, but only time will tell. Have you found yours yet?
In August last year, we reported the Football 50p to be the scarcest of the Olympic 50p designs according to our Olympic 50p Swap Centre data. So how have things changed over the last 6 months?
Well the news is that Triathlon has kicked Football off the top-spot with the latest information revealing the following are the top 5 most requested designs:
The Brownlee Effect?
Of course you might be forgiven for thinking that Brownlee brothers’ success at the Olympics boosted demand and perhaps it played a small part. However, the biggest influence is how the Royal Mint has released the coins into circulation.
Unfortunately, we are unlikely to know the final figures of how many of each coin was distributed for another 3 and a half years, when the Royal Mint releases mintage information but I am pretty sure top 5 most wanted will be amongst the lowest mintage numbers.
Of course, in the meantime, if you are looking to complete your Olympic 50p Collection you can register to find other collectors to swap with absolutely FREE at the Olympic 50p Swap Centre.