These coins are more valuable than Kew Gardens

a selection of the 2012 Olympic 50p coins.

Commemorative 50p Coins

We have all seen the headlines and had conversations at some point about the 50p Kew Gardens coin. Rumour has it, this is the most valuable commemorative coin, but I have news for you — it’s not. We have found the commemorative coins that are more valuable to your collection than Kew Gardens.

Coin collecting, or numismatics as it’s known, is one of the oldest hobbies in the world, and it’s big business for serious collectors. I have been collecting £2 coins and 50p coins for the past few years. And what started out as a way for me to save money, soon turned into a nice little collection. Saving the commemorative coins from my change, I found that I was unable to part with them. I was no longer saving them for a holiday or a new piece of furniture. Collecting these coins had become a hobby for me.

Decimal Day

The first ever 50p coin came into British currency in 1969 to replace the 10-shilling note . It was the third decimal coin introduced, joining the 5p (shilling) and 10p (florin) coins. On the the introduction of decimal coins was complete with the introduction of the 2p, 1p and half penny copper coins. The treasury demonetised the half penny in 1982.

The release of the smaller sized 5p and 10p coins in 1990 and 1992, left the 50p the biggest coin in circulation. It was on the 1st September 1997 that the treasury released the smaller 50p coin that we see today. Since it’s release, the 50p coin has commemorated many important events, by a new design on its reverse.

Fifty pence coins scarcity index 2018

The 50p Scarcity Index was launched in 2017, to help us track which circulated coins are the most scarce and collectible. The Scarcity Index rates the value of coinage based on its low supply. The higher the place on the scarcity index, the higher the rarity of these coins (and in most cases, its higher value). The change checker scarcity index uses data from the second quarter of the year, and lists the coins that are in circulation. Coins that weren’t issued into the general public (uncirculated), aren’t shown. The results of the scarcity index would be very different if all circulated and uncirculated coins featured on the list.

Most people assume that the scarcity index is also a list of which coins are the most valuable. But this isn’t always the case. uncirculated coins can be worth much more than circulated coins. Every coin starts its life uncirculated. It isn’t until it becomes released and passed from person to person, that a coin becomes circulated. Coin collectors seek out uncirculated coins, bought direct from the mint and often made to a higher level. But of course, the more scarce the coin, the more a collector will be willing to pay. That is what it comes down to, our coins are only worth what someone else is willing to pay for them.

CoinScarcity Index
Kew Gardens100
Table Tennis49
Wheelchair Rugby48
Jemima Puddle-Duck291
CoinScarcity Index
Sir Isaac Newton118
Tom Kitten99
Mr. Jeremy Fisher84
UK entry to EEC6
Benjamin Bunny55
Benjamin Britten31
Commonwealth Games31
Squirrel Nutkin34
Roger Bannister2
2016 Peter Rabbit13
2017 Peter Rabbit13
Battle of Britain11
Battle of Hastings 50p12
Beatrix Potter12
Girl Guides19
Mrs Tiggy-Winkle1
Royal Arms1
Team GB1
Victoria Cross (Medal)1
Victoria Cross (Heroic Acts)1
Information provided by

Most valuable coins

It’s the question we’re all asking; what are our coins worth? And, what makes them valuable? Coins in circulation become valuable in many ways. One way is when a coins issued by mistake, which is what happened with the undated 20p coin in 2008. Royal Mint redesigned the 20p by switching the date from the back of the coin to the front. An error meant that the new coin mismatched with the old and new design, leaving the coin dateless. There were around 50,000 – 200,000 of these released. Reportedly at the time, one eBay seller sold theirs for a massive £7,100 — You're checking your 20p jar aren't you?


Kew Gardens 50p coin

2009 Kew Gardens 50p coin.
2009 Kew Gardens 50p Coin

  • Year of issue 2009
  • Mintage 210,000
  • Reverse designer Christopher Le Brun

The kew gardens 50p is listed as one of the rarest and most valuable of the 50p coins. In 2014, its rarity hit the headlines and sent us all ‘Kew garden’ crazy. Although listed as the most scarce, it is by no means the most valuable. These coins usually sell on eBay for around £100.00, the most expensive sale recorded so far being £160.99. Which when you consider it's a 50p coin, is a pretty impressive return.

Kew gardens eBay sale 50p coin.
Kew Gardens sold on eBay for £160.99

The Aquatics Olympic 50p

Aquatics Olympic 50p coin.
The coin on the left is the rare original design, with waves passing over the swimmer’s face

  • Year of issue 2011
  • Mintage 2,179.00
  • Reverse designer Jonathan Oliffe

Take a look at the Aquatics coin, listed as the 27th rarest in circulation according to change checker. This scarcity listing bases it’s findings on the ordinary Aquatics coin. But there was an original design released with waves passing over the swimmers face. No one actually knows how many of these made it into circulation before the modified coin. (Modified by removing the waves from the swimmers face). The fact that nobody knows just how many of these coins are out there makes it even more desirable for collectors. You will be more likely to find the newer, modified version in your change. But you never know, so keep your eyes peeled for the original.

The aquatics 50p coin was sold on eBay for 820 pounds.
The rare Aquatics Olympic 50p sold on eBay for £820.00

The Athletics Olympic 50p

athletics olympic coin 50p.
2009 ‘Blue Peter’ Competition Designed 50p Olympics Athletics Coin

  • Year of issue 2009 & 2011
  • Mintage 2,224.000
  • Reverse designer Florence Jackson

This coin is much rarer than the Kew Gardens one, but seems to be keeping itself out of the limelight for the time being. You will no doubt recognise this coin as one of the 29 Olympic coins issued in 2011. But are you aware that in 2009, nine-year old Florence Jackson won a Blue Peter competition to design a coin for the 2011 Olympic collection. After revealing the winner, a special edition Blue Peter presentation pack released. These editions are dated 2009, making them the only Olympic coin without a 2011 date. There were 100,000 of these special edition packs released, and even more surprising, ONLY 19,751 SOLD.if you can find a rarer silver* 50p coin, I’ll eat my hat. Excited yet? Because we are, one of our writers owns one of these special editions.

eBay sale of 2009 Athletics Olympic 50p Coin[/caption]

Offside rule explained 50p coin

Offside rule explained 50p coin.
2011 Offside Rule Explained 50p Coin

  • Year of issue 2011
  • Mintage 1,125.100
  • Reverse designer Neil Wolfson

The Royal Mint released over 1 million of the‘Offside rule explained’ 50p coins. The rate at which collectors snapped these up has ensured its place as one of the rarest coins around. This coin enters the scarcity index at number two, sitting behind Kew Gardens. Reported as being the most publicised of all the commemorative coins issued. That’s no surprise considering the popularity of football. There is a lot of these coins for sale on eBay and some sellers are asking for as much as £250. But look around, because you can grab one for as little as £10.

Offside Rule 50p eBay sale.
Offside Rule Explained 50p sold on Ebay

Issac Newton 50p coin


Issac Newton 50p coin 2017.
Sir Issac Newton 2017 50p coin

  • Year of issue 2017
  • Mintage 1,800.00
  • Reverse designer Aaron West

The Royal Mint announced the release of a 2018 Issac Newton 50p.But don’t get too excited. You could only get your hands on these coins through the The Royal Mint Experience in Wales. Those that were lucky enough to visit the experience during 2018. Got to strike the coin themselves and leave with it for their own collection. The 2018 coins won’t make it into circulation. The mintage figures have been released, and ONLY 19,934 of these coins were struck. Therefore the 2018 Issac Newton 50p is more scarce than Kew Gardens. But it won’t make it onto the Scarcity index, as it’s not a coin in circulation. If you missed out on this opportunity, and want to get your hands on one, get yourself over to Ebay, sharpish. These won’t hang around for long.

2018 Issac Newton 50p Coin Strike Your Own, Royal Mint Experience.
Sir Issac Newton Royal Mint Experience coin for sale on ebay


The Rarest of them all

The designer's gold edition 50p coin.
The designer’s gold edition 50p coin

We said earlier that the Blue Peter 50p is the rarest silver 50p coin. But there is a more rare 50 pence. Reportedly valued to be the most expensive commemorative coin in existence. The winning designers of each coin were presented with a Gold version of their designs. Only one of each exists. The chances of you finding one of these in your change?.. well, you will have more luck with a lottery ticket.

Do you hold any of these coins in your collection? What’s your favourite? Let us know in a comment below.

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