2015 Fifty Pence

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Four different 50p designs were made in 2015. A commemorative to mark 45 years since the Battle of Britain (which has 2 distinct variations in non proof format) and two of the standard coins with the shield design, one with the Ian Rank-Broadley 1998-2015 portrait and a second with the new Jody Clark portrait of the Queen.

Obverse Type 5 (bust design by Ian Rank-Broadley):

50p2008dentobv

Reverse Type 4 (design by Matthew Dent):

50p2008dentrev

Mintage for Circulation: 20,101,000

Collectability/Scarcity: 1 (for scale details see here)

The story behind the design:

The obverse portrait of the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley was used on all UK coinage from 1998 to 2014 and for some 2015 coins. It was the fourth portrait of the Queen used on coinage. For the new design 50p coins the design on the reverse is best suited for a coin with its ‘point’ facing downwards, so to accommodate this the obverse has also been rotated.

The reverse design, by Matthew Dent shows the bottom part of the shield of the Royal Coat of Arms.

 

Commemorative 50p coin, Type 49a: (info on coin type numbers here)

Obverse Type 4 (bust design by Ian Rank-Broadley):

50p2015batteobverse1

Reverse Type (design by Gary Breeze):

50P2015Battle2015rev

Mintage for Circulation: None for circulation (but many in sets/packs).

Collectability/Scarcity: 3 (for scale details see here)

 

Commemorative 50p coin, Type 49b: (info on coin type numbers here)

Obverse Type (date but no denomination. Bust design by (Mr) Jody Clark):

50p2015batteobverse2a

Reverse Type (as 49a, above):

Mintage for Circulation: None, the type with this obverse was issued in precious metal proof form only.

Collectability/Scarcity: 4 (for scale details see here)

 

Commemorative 50p coin, Type 49c: (info on coin type numbers here)

Obverse Type (date and ’50 PENCE’ denomination. Bust design by (Mr) Jody Clark):

50p2015batteobverse2

Reverse Type (as 49a, above)

Mintage for Circulation: 5,900,000

Collectability/Scarcity: 1 (for scale details see here)

The story behind the design:

Two different obverse portraits were used for this coin and there are three entirely different versions!

The obverse portrait of the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley was used on all UK coinage from 1998 to 2014 and also on some coins dated 2015 like this one. The coin with the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait was only issued in 2015 Royal Mint sets (and in some silver proof sets of 2015 coins).

The Royal Mint noticed that they had forgotten to mark the coin with a denomination, but claimed that this was deliberate and perfectly fine as the coin released later in 2015 for circulation would have the new Jody Clark portrait of the Queen and would be marked with a denomination (in other words – rectified).

At some stage between the first Ian Rank-Broadley coin (49a) and the final circulation Jody Clark portrait coin with the denomination (49c) they seem to have somehow produced silver and gold proof versions with an entirely different obverse (49b) which has the Jody Clark portrait but also omits the denomination!

49a and 49b with missing denomination can surely not be legal tender as the public can hardly be expected to negotiate values of coins, even though that obviously applies less to the silver and gold proof versions and the coins are obviously 50p shaped! Was it a 50p, or is it, I wonder, a new larger 20p? Who knows.

I think for 49a they probably should have used obverse 4c below, which shows both the denomination and a date. Are 49a and 49b therefore mules in that they use the wrong obverse? Technically, probably not, as these were the only obverses used and therefore by default, the ‘right’ obverse. I wonder if whoever was responsible for this ‘deliberate’ error also had anything to do with the undated mule 20p of 2008. Should have probably gone to Specsavers.

The Battle of Britain was a major game changer for WWII. It was fought in the skies between July to September 1940, the RAF pilots just about managed to fend off the German Luftwaffe and put a stop to Hitler’s plan to invade Britain by air:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/battle_of_Britain

Obverse Type 4c (bust design by Ian Rank-Broadley – the obverse that probably should have been used for Commemorative Type 49a, above):

50p2013britteno

 

Obverse Type 6 (bust design by (Mr) Jody Clark):

50pobv

Reverse Type 4 (design by Matthew Dent):

50p2008dentrev

Mintage for Circulation: Not yet known.

The story behind the design:

The obverse portrait of the Queen by Mr Jody Clark was introduced in March 2015 and will now be used on all circulating coinage.

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