Fifty Pence 1969-1997 Large Sized

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The original 50p was introduced in 1969 to replace the 10 shilling note. The 50p, being half a pound, had the same value as the bank note (there used to be 20 shillings to the pound).

The larger old 50p coins on this page have been demonetized and cannot be spent, but they can however be exchanged for current coins or paid into UK bank accounts.

The Standard Design:

This was the first 50p type and was issued annually

Obverse Type 1 (bust design by Arnold Machin):

50p1982obv

Reverse Type 1 (design by Christopher Ironside):

50p1982NewPencerev

Reverse Type 2 (design by Christopher Ironside):

50p1982newrev

Mintage for Circulation, followed by Collectability/Scarcity (for scale details see here):

1969 188,400,000. Collectability 1
1970 19,461,500. Collectability 1
1971 None for circulation, proofs only. Collectability 2
1972 None for circulation, proofs only. Collectability 2
1973 None of this type, see 1973 EEC coin below.
1974 None for circulation, proofs only. Collectability 2
1975 None for circulation, proofs only. Collectability 2
1976 43,746,500. Collectability 1
1977 49,536,000. Collectability 1
1978 72,005,500. Collectability 1
1979 58,680,000. Collectability 1
1980 89,086,000. Collectability 1
1981 74,002,000. Collectability 1

Now with ‘FIFTY PENCE’ reverse 2:

1982 51,312,000. Collectability 1
1983 62,824,904. Collectability 1
1984 None for circulation – 158,820 for sets. Collectability 2

Obverse Type 2 (bust design by Raphael Maklouf):

50p1997obvlarge

The portrait of the Queen was changed in 1985. The reverse remained the same (Reverse 2)

1985 682,103. Collectability 2
1986 None for circulation – 167,000 for sets. Collectability 2
1987 None for circulation – 172,425 for sets. Collectability 2
1988 None for circulation – 134,067 for sets. Collectability 2
1989 None for circulation – 77,569 for sets. Collectability 2
1990 None for circulation – 102,606 for sets. Collectability 2
1991 None for circulation – 74,975 for sets. Collectability 2
1992 None for circulation – 78,421 for sets. Collectability 2
1993 None for circulation – 56,945 for sets. Collectability 2
1994 None
1995 None for circulation – 105,647 for sets. Collectability 2
1996 None for circulation – 86,501 for sets. Collectability 2
1997 None for circulation – number for sets not known. Collectability 2

The story behind the designs:

The first obverse bust of the Queen was by Arnold Machin. It was the first portrait used on decimal coins, but was actually the second of the Queen, as the earlier pre-decimal coins all used an earlier portrait (1953-1970). The 1985 to 1997 bust of the Queen was by Raphael Maklouf.

The standard Britannia reverse was by Christopher Ironside. In 1982 the ‘NEW PENCE’ coins (Reverse 1) were seen as no longer all that new, so the word ‘NEW’ was replaced with ‘FIFTY’ (Reverse 2).

 

The Commemorative Designs:

Commemorative 50p coin, Type 1 (1973): (info on coin type numbers here)

Obverse Type (bust design by Arnold Machin):

50p1973obv

Reverse Type (design by David Wynne):

50p1973rev

Mintage for Circulation: 89,775,000.

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

The story behind the design:

The nine hands by David Wynne symbolise the then nine members of the EEC and Britain’s entry in 1973.

 

Commemorative 50p coin, Type 2 (1992-1993): (info on coin type numbers here)

Obverse Type (bust design by Raphael Maklouf):

50p19923obv

Reverse Type (design by Mary Milner Dickens):

50p19923rev

Mintage for Circulation: 109,000.

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

The story behind the design:

The design by Mary Milner Dickens symbolises the EEC table and twelve chairs for the then twelve members. This coin marks the 25 anniversary since the UK joined the EEC and also the UK’s presidency of the council of ministers. It has the lowest mintage of any circulation 50p coin. It’s also unusual in that it shows two dates (1992 and 1993).

 

Commemorative 50p coin, Type 3 (1994): (info on coin type numbers here)

Obverse Type (bust design by Raphael Maklouf):

50p1994obv

Reverse Type (design by John Mills):

50p1994rev

Mintage for Circulation: 6,705,520.

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

The story behind the design:

The design by John Mills marks the 50th anniversary of the D-Day landings and shows ships and planes destined for the French coastline.

 

UK large (1969-1997) 50p coin specifications:

Size: 30mm
Metal composition: 75% copper, 25% nickel (referred to as cupro-nickel or copper-nickel)
Weight: 13.5 grammes

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