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  • The Royal Mint has today posted the latest breakdown of coins that have entered circulation
  • The mintage figures come ahead of the 50th anniversary of decimalisation on 15th February this year
  • 2009 Kew Garden 50p remains the rarest coin in circulation

The Royal Mint has today posted the mintage figures for the calendar year of 2019, providing the only official guide to the rarest coins in circulation. 

In 2019 over 500 million coins were released into circulation, including three new 50 pence designs celebrating Arthur Conon Doyle’s iconic Sherlock Holmes, and Paddington the Bear at St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London.

The figures have been revealed ahead of the 50th anniversary of Decimalisation, which takes place on 15th February 2021 and saw the introduction of many of the coins used today.  The changeover inspired thousands of people to become coin collectors, and over the decades the 50 pence grew to become Britain’s most collectable coin.

The shape of the 50 pence made it the ideal canvas for special commemorative designs, and over 70 events, anniversaries and individuals have been celebrated on circulating 50 pence pieces. The famous 2009 Kew Gardens 50p remains the most coveted coin in circulation, with a mintage of just 210,000. Other rare designs include the 2011 Olympic 50p’s and the highly collectable Peter Rabbit 2018 coins.

The Royal Mint’s Director of UK Currency, Mark Loveridge, comments;The 50p was introduced as part of decimalisation and has grown to become Britain’s favourite coin. The innovate shape of the coin makes it perfect for commemorative designs, and over the years we’ve commemorated many iconic occasions, events and individuals on a 50p.

“Coin collecting remains as popular as ever, and we were delighted to release a number of special designs into circulation in 2019. The Kew Gardens remains the most coveted coin, with a mintage of just 210,000 but it’s always exciting to find a special design in your change. As we approach the 50th anniversary of decimalisation, we are proud that this iconic work of art remains in the nation’s pocket.”

In addition to making coins for the UK, The Royal Mint is also the world’s largest export mint and produced around three billion coins and blanks for 30 countries in 2019-20.


Rarest 50p designs released into circulation in 2019

2019 coins

Total mintage figures

50p Sherlock


50p Paddington at the Tower


50p Paddington at St Paul's



Rarest 50p designs in circulation:

Mintage year

50 pence coins

Total mintage figures


Kew Garden 



Olympic Football



Olympic Wrestling



Olympic Judo



Olympic Triathlon



Peter Rabbit



Flopsy Bunny



Olympic Tennis



Olympic Goalball



Olympic Shooting



The full mintage figures can be found on The Royal Mint’s website:



Media enquiries - The Royal Mint Press Office:

0845 600 5018 (calls cost 5p per minute) or email                     


The Royal Mint retains copyright ownership © of all images. These may only be used for editorial purposes and cannot be sold or used for other marketing purposes without the permission of The Royal Mint.

About The Royal Mint

The Royal Mint has an unbroken history of minting British coinage dating back over 1,100 years. Based in the Tower of London for over 500 years, by 1812 The Royal Mint had moved out of the Tower to premises on London’s Tower Hill. In 1967 the building of a new Royal Mint began on its current site in South Wales, UK, to accommodate the minting of UK decimal coinage. Today The Royal Mint is the world’s largest expert mint and has three main focuses as a business: Currency, Precious Metals and collectable and historic coins.

The Royal Mint Experience

The Royal Mint entered the tourism business in 2016 when it opened its popular visitor centre, The Royal Mint Experience, at its home in Llantrisant, South Wales. The attraction welcomes around 100,000 visitors a year.

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