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UK 50p coins from 1997 to 2021

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Aquatics 50p; Archery 50p; Athletics 50p; Badminton 50p; Basketball 50p; Battle of Britain 50p; Battle of Hastings 50p; Beatrix Potter Portrait 50p; Benjamin Britten 50p; Benjamin Bunny 50p; Boccia 50p; Boxing 50p; Brexit 50p; Britannia 50p; Canoeing 50p; Christopher Ironside 50p; Commonwealth Games Glasgow 50p; Cycling 50p; Equestrian 50p. The 50p coin is made from 75% copper and 25% nickel, a mixture which is called cupronickel. A single coin press at The Royal Mint is capable of making up to 500 coins a minute (720,000 a day). Each coin is struck with at least 100 tonnes of force when it is minted.

Ever thought about collecting Gibraltar 50p coins? Take a look at the 44 coin designs released since 1997.

There are currently 91 United Kingdom 50p coin designs dated 1997 to 2021. 71 different fifty pence coins are in circulation and can be found in your change.

20 of the 50ps shown were issued as commemorative coins not for circulation. These coins won't appear in change as they are only available to buy as packaged Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) coins.

1997 - 2008 circulation coin
Shield of the Royal Arms
2008 - 2019 circulation coin
Representation of the People Act
2018 circulation coin
Paddington at Buckingham Palace
2018 circulation coin
50 Years of the 50p
2019 not issued for circulation
The Gruffalo and Mouse
2019 not issued for circulation
50pounds to dollars
Dinosaur Megalosaurus
2020 not issued for circulation
Dinosaur Hylaeosaurus
2020 not issued for circulation
Christopher Robin & Winnie the Pooh
2020 not issued for circulation
Diversity built Britain
2020 circulation coin
John Logie Baird Television Pioneer
2021 not issued for circulation

Most commemorative 50p coins sell for above face value on auction websites such as eBay. The UK 50p coin designs are shown in release date order with key information such as the commonly used name, coin year(s) and whether or not the coin is in circulation and can be found in your change today.

50p valuations are based on the last 200 sales on eBay for each coin. The price shown is the median price for just a circulation version of the coin, adjusted to exclude cost price delivery. To view more detailed information about the values of these coins, go to the How much is my 50p worth? page or click any 50p that shows a gold cost to buy price.


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2021 marks 50 years since our UK coins turned decimal, in the biggest numismatic change seen in centuries.

In celebration of this significant anniversary, The Royal Mint issued not one, but TWO Decimal Day 50ps in 2021. The reverse designs are the same, but that certainly can’t be said for their obverses…

The first version of the Decimal Day 50p, available exclusively in the 2021 Annual Coin Set, features the original Arnold Machin portraitof Her Majesty The Queen on the obverse – the same obverse used for the UK’s very first decimal coins.

However, the individual coin which was released later in January, featured Jody Clark’s fifth portrait of The Queen instead.

So why did The Royal Mint revert back to the Queen’s first decimal effigy for this new issue? Join Change Checker as we take a closer look…

Spot the Difference

Both versions of the 2021 Decimal Day 50p. Left: 50p available in the Annual Set, Right: 50p available in the Annual Set. individually released

The 50p available in the Annual Setwhich features the original Machin portrait on the obverse, quickly caught the eyes of collectors as this was the first time we have seen The Royal Mint revert a previous portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II on a base metal UK coin.

50p Coins Uk

Marking 50 years since our UK coins went decimal, it seemed only fitting that this coin should include Machin’s obverse design.

But, when the Decimal Day 50p was individually released later in January, collectors had the opportunity to get their hands on a second version of this coin, as Jody Clark’s portrait of The Queen featured on the obverse.

So with two versions of the 2021 UK Decimal Day 50p out there, this coin is set to become a real talking point among collectors!

Arnold Machin Portrait

The significance of this anniversary and the fact that the Machin portrait of HM QEII was the first to be used on the UK’s 50p, makes for the perfect excuse to revert back to this previous effigy on the exclusive Decimal Day 50p within the Annual Set.

The UK’s very first decimal coins (5p, 10p, followed by 50p) actually entered circulation before 1971 and as they were circulating together with pre-decimal currency, a new portrait of The Queen was commissioned to help the new coins stand out.

Arnold Machin’s new portrait showed The Queen wearing a tiara given to The Queen by her grandmother, Queen Mary.

We love the fact that collectors have the chance to see this previous portrait reused on this brand new 50p and it certainly makes for interesting collecting!

Have you secure both versions of the 2021 Decimal Day for your collections? Russian wheel of fortune. Let us know in the comments below!

But that’s not all, as this is not the first time we’ve seen different obverses used on the same coin…


2015 Battle of Britain 50p

In 2015, The Battle of Britain 50p shot to fame as collectors were quick to spot that there were THREE different versions of the coin, with different obverses on each of them.

Left: Brilliant Uncirculated edition with Ian Rank-Broadley’s portrait and no denomination. Right: Circulated edition with Jody Clark’s portrait and the 50 PENCE denomination.
Left: Silver Proof edition with Jody Clark’s portrait and no denomination. Right: 2019 Brilliant Uncirculated edition, issued in the 50th anniversary of the 50p Military Set, with Jody Clark’s portrait and the 50 PENCE denomination.

The Brilliant Uncirculated 50p was issued early in 2015 and was quickly dubbed an ‘error’ coin. The coins, which were sold in presentation packs, had been struck without the denomination in either numbers or writing anywhere on the coin. Chancers were quick to play to this, with some managing to sell on the coins for near to £100 each on the secondary market.

After the controversy surrounding the coin erupted, the Royal Mint confirmed that the 50p intended for circulation later on in the year would have the ’50 PENCE’ denomination. But was this after they had realised their mistake?

So how did this coin end up with three different obverses?

Each version of this coin has caused a stir in the collecting world. Not only does this Battle of Britain 50p fail to feature a denomination on the Brilliant Uncirculated version, but the obverse is different for each finish used for the coin – a first for a UK commemorative coin.

In 2019, a brand new re-issued Brilliant Uncirculated version of the Battle of Britain 50p (from the 2019 50th Anniversary of the 50p Military Set) saw Jody Clark’s portrait and the 50 PENCE denomination – making this the FOURTH version of this 50p!

Do you have any of the Battle of Britain 50p coins? Let us know in the comments below!

Secure the 2021 Annual Set with the Decimal Day 50p that features the original Arnold Machin obverse!

Own ALL FIVE brand new 2021 coins in superior collector quality for JUST £40.00 (+p&p).

Each coin has been struck to a superior Brilliant Uncirculated quality and protectively encapsulated in official Change Checker packaging, within in a Change Checker Display Page – perfect to slot into your Change Checker Album.


Order today to own the 2021 Commemorative coin Set in superior Brilliant Uncirculated quality by clicking here >>