First Issued Smaller version introduced September 1997 (Larger version introduced October 1969, demonetised in 1998)
Specifications (Since 1997)
Diameter 27.3mm
Weight 8.0g
Thickness 1.78mm
Composition Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)
Obverse Designers Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen
1985-1997 - Raphael Maklouf
1998 to date - Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS
Reverse
Designers
See table below
Edge Plain

Click here to learn moreBackground Information

In October 1969 the 50p joined the 5p (shilling) and 10p (florin) coins in circulation, leaving only the three copper coins to be introduced on 15 February 1971 to complete the new series of decimal coins. The design on the reverse of the 50p coin features a symbol of Britannia that has appeared on our coinage since 1672. While this design may have been traditional, the shape of the new 50p coin, an equilateral curve heptagon, was revolutionary. This made it easily distinguishable from round coins both by feel and by sight, while its constant breadth allowed it to roll in vending machines.

With the introduction of smaller 5p and 10p coins in 1990 and 1992 respectively, the 50p became the largest coin in circulation. In October 1994 the Government announced a further review of the United Kingdom coinage. The results revealed a requirement for a smaller 50p coin, which was duly introduced on 1 September 1997.

Since its issue the 50p has been used on several occasions to celebrate important events, each being commemorated by a new reverse design.

The 50p is legal tender for amounts up to £10.

Coin Image Year of Issue Design / Designer Information
1969 50p 1969-1982 Britannia

A figure of Britannia, seated beside a lion, with a shield resting against her right side,holding a trident in her right hand and an olive branch in her left hand, with the figure "50" below and the inscription "NEW PENCE" above

Designed by Christopher Ironside
1982 50p 1982-2008 Britannia - revised inscription

A figure of Britannia, seated beside a lion, with a shield resting against her rightside,holding a trident in her right hand and an olive branch in her left hand, with the figure "50" below and the inscription "FIFTY PENCE" above

Designed by Christopher Ironside
Royal Arms 50p 2008 -12

A section of the Royal Arms showing elements of the third and fourth quarterings

Designed by Matthew Dent

1973 50p

1973

United Kingdom'saccession to the European Economic Community

The inscription "50 PENCE" and the date of the year, surrounded by nine hands, symbolising the nine members of the Community, clasping one another in a mutual gesture of trust, assistance and friendship

Designed by David Wynne
1992 50p

1992-93

United Kingdom's Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the completion of the Single European Market

A representation of a table on which are placed twelve stars, linked by a network of lines to each other and also to twelve chairs around the table, on one of which appear the letters "UK", andwith the dates "1992" and "1993" above and the value "50 PENCE" below

Designed by Mary Milner Dickens

1994 50p

1994

50th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings

A design representing the Allied invasion force heading for Normandy andfilling the sea and sky, together with the value "50 PENCE"

Designed by John Mills
1998 50p

1998

United Kingdom's Presidency of the European Union, and the 25th Anniversary of the United Kingdom's accession to the European Economic Community

A celebratoryarrangement of stars with the letters "EU" between theAnniversary dates "1973" and "1998", and the value 50 PENCE below

Designed by John Mills
1998 50p 1998 50th Anniversary of the National Health Service


A pair of hands set against a pattern of radiating lines with the words "FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY" and the value "50 PENCE",accompanied by the initials "NHS" which appear five times on the outer border

Designed by David Cornell
2000 50p 2000 150th Anniversary of the Public Libraries Act

The turning pages of a book, the Anniversary dates "1850" and "2000", and the value "50 PENCE", all above a classical library building on which appear the words "PUBLIC LIBRARIES" and,withinthe pediment, representations of compact discs

Designed by Mary Milner Dickens
2003 50p 2003 100th Anniversary of the formation of the Women's Social and Political Union

The figure of a suffragette chained to railings andholding a banner on which appear the lettersWSPU, to the right a ballot paper marked with a cross and the words GIVE WOMEN THE VOTE, to the left the value 50 PENCE, and below and to thefar right the Anniversary dates 1903 and 2003

Designed by Mary Milner Dickens

2004 50p 2004 50th Anniversary of the first four-minute mile by Roger Bannister

The legs of a running athlete with a stylised stopwatch in the background and the value 50 PENCE below

Designed by James Butler
2005 50p 2005 250th Anniversary of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language

Entries from the Dictionary for the words FIFTYand PENCE, with the figure50 above, and the inscription JOHNSON'S DICTIONARY 1755 below

Designed by Tom Phillips
2006 50p 2006 150th Anniversary of the institution of the Victoria Cross

Depiction of the obverse and reverse of a Victoria Cross with the date 29 JAN 1856 in the centre of the reverse of the Cross, the letters VC to the right and the value FIFTY PENCE below

Designed by Claire Aldridge
2006 50p 2006 150th Anniversary of the institution of the Victoria Cross

Depiction of a soldier carrying a wounded comrade with an outline of the Victoria Cross surrounded by a sunburst effect in the background

Designed by Clive Duncan
2007 50p 2007 Centenary of the Foundation of the Scouting Movement

A fleur-de-lis superimposed over a globe and surrounded by the inscription "BE PREPARED", the dates "1907" and "2007", and the denomination "FIFTY PENCE".

Designed by Kerry Jones
2009 50p 2009 250th anniversary of the foundation of the Royal Botanic Gardens

A design showing the pagoda encircled by a vine and accompanied by the dates “1759” and “2009”, with the word “KEW” at the base of the pagoda

Designed by Christopher Le Brun
2010 50p 2010 Celebrating 100 Years of Girlguiding UK

Designed by Jonathan Evans and Donna Hainan
2011 50p 2011 Celebrating 50 years of the work of WWF

Designed by Matthew Dent
Ironside 50p 2013 Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Christopher Ironside

Designed by Christopher Ironside
Benjamin Britten  2013 The 100th Anniversary of the Birth of Benjamin Britten

Designed by Tom Phillips CBE RA
2014 50p Coin 2014 The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Designed by Alex Loudon with Dan Flashman
2015

75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain 

Designed by Gary Breeze

View products that feature this coin

London 2012 50p's

 
Year
Design
 Aquatics Coins
2011

Aquatics

A swimmer submerged in water, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Jonathan Olliffe

 Archery
2011

Archery

A bow being drawn, with the London 2012 Paralympic logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Piotr Powaga

 Athletics
2009

Athletics

An athlete clearing a high jump bar, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Florence Jackson

 Badminton
2011

Badminton

A shuttlecock and a diagram of badminton actions, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Emma Kelly

 Basketball
2011

Basketball

Basketball players against the textured background of a large basketball, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Sarah Payne

 Boccia
2011

Boccia

A boccia player in a wheelchair throwing a ball, with the London 2012 Paralympic logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Justin Chung

 Boxing
2011

Boxing

A pair of boxing gloves against the background of a boxing ring, with1 the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Shane Abery

 Canoeing
2011

Canoeing

A figure in a canoe on a slalom course, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Timothy Lees

 Cycling
2011

Cycling

A cyclist in a velodrome, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Theo Crutchley-Mack

 Equestrian
2011

Equestrian

A horse and rider jumping over a fence, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Thomas Babbage

 Fencing
2011

Fencing

Two figures fencing, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Ruth Summerfield

 Football
2011

Football

A diagrammatic explanation of the offside rule in football, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Neil Wolfson

 Goalball
2011

Goalball

A goalball player throwing a ball, with the London 2012 Paralympic logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Jonathan Wren

 Gymnastics
2011

Gymnastics

A gymnast with a ribbon, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Jonathan Olliffe

 Handball
2011

Handball

A handball player throwing a ball against the background of a handball court, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Natasha Ratcliffe

 Hockey
2011

Hockey

Two hockey players challenging for the ball, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Robert Evans

 Judo
2011

Judo

A judo throw, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
David Cornell

 Modern Pentathlon
2011

Modern Pentathlon

A montage of the five sports which form the modern pentathlon, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Daniel Brittain

 Rowing
2011

Rowing

A rowing boat accompanied by a number of words associated with the Olympic movement, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Davey Podmore

 Sailing
2011

Sailing

Three sailing boats accompanied by a map of the coast of Weymouth, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Bruce Rushin

 Shooting
2011

Shooting

A figure shooting, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Pravin Dewdhory

 Table Tennis
2011

Table Tennis

Two table tennis bats against the background of a table and net, with the London 2012 Paralympic logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Alan Linsdell

 Taekwondo
2011

Taekwondo

Two athletes engaged in Taekwondo, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
David Gibbons

 Tennis
2011

Tennis

A tennis net and a tennis ball, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Tracy Baines

 Triathlon
2011

Triathlon

A montage of the three sports which form the triathlon, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Sarah Harvey

 Volleyball
2011

Volleyball

Three figures playing beach volleyball, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Daniela Boothman

 Weightlifting
2011

Weightlifting

The outline of a weightlifter starting a lift, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Rob Shakespeare

 Wheelchair Rugby
2011

Wheelchair Rugby

A wheelchair rugby player in action, with the London 2012 Paralympic logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Natasha Ratcliffe

 Wrestling
2011

Wrestling

Two figures wrestling in a stadium, with the London 2012 logo above and the denomination, "50 PENCE", below.

Designed by:
Roderick Enriquez