The Royal Mint Celebrates 50 Years of the 50p
28th January 2019
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- 50p coins depicting Kew Gardens, Roger Bannister’s record sub-four-minute mile, the Scouts and the Girl Guides all feature in special anniversary Proof set
To celebrate fifty years of the distinctive 50p The Royal Mint has today revealed the commemorative coins that will be struck to mark the anniversary of the revolutionary seven-sided coin, first introduced in 1969.
The coins featured in the set are some of the favourites amongst coin collectors, and includes one of the UK’s most sought after coins in circulation - the Kew Gardens 50p which is a collector’s item due to its low mintage of 210,000. The full set also includes the 50p commemorating Roger Bannister’s world record sub-four-minute mile, 100 years of the Scouts, and 100 years of the Girl Guides, alongside the iconic ‘New Pence’ 50p.
The coins featured in the set have been carefully selected to celebrate key cultural milestones they celebrate:
The First Sub-Four Minute Mile: On 6 May 1954, Roger Bannister made sporting history, becoming the first athlete to run a mile in under four minutes. Taking the tape in three minutes and 59.4 seconds, in front of 3,000 cheering spectators at the Iffley Road track in Oxford, his legacy lives on as British athletes continue to break new ground, pushing themselves to the limit of human endurance. The design marked the 50th anniversary of this achievement by showing Roger mid-stride, as he closes in on his record.
100 Years of Scouting for Boys: The scouting movement was founded in 1907 by Robert Baden-Powell, a British cavalry officer. He hoped to instil in boys aged 11–14 a sense of resourcefulness and a code of chivalrous behaviour. Originally a British movement, scouting took off all over the world. Today, those values are still upheld as millions of boys promise to be loyal to their country, help others and obey the scout law. The design features the World Scout Emblem alongside the iconic motto ‘be prepared’.
100 Years of the Girl Guides: Inspired by the popularity of his scouting movement, in 1910 Baden-Powell asked his sister Agnes to start a similar group for girls. Still going strong in the twenty-first century, through a mixture of fun, adventure and friendship, the Girl Guides encourage today’s youngsters to face the challenges of growing up and to be the they can be. The design features a special arrangement of the Girl Guides trefoil.
250th Anniversary of the founding of Kew Gardens: 2019 is the tenth anniversary of the release of the Kew Gardens 50p. Just 210,000 coins were released making it the rarest 50p design in circulation. A £5 million facelift of the Great Pagoda has recently restored Britain’s first skyscraper to its former splendour – even the dragons have returned for the first time in 200 years. Originally completed in 1762 as a gift for Princess Augusta, Kew’s landmark building will stand for centuries to come. The famous design features the Great Pagoda in all its glory, encircled by rare vines.
A Modern Classic: Restored to the coinage of Charles II in 1672, Britannia has been a fixture on the coins of every subsequent monarch. Christopher Ironside depiction of our most recognisable national icon – seated beside a lion, resting her shield – endured for 40 years before being replaced by Matthew Dent’s definitive design in 2008.
Nicola Howell, Director of the Consumer Business at The Royal Mint, commented: “Since the 50p entered UK circulation 50 years ago, the distinctive design has become a popular addition to the nation’s pockets and wallets. Over the years, the commemorative editions that The Royal Mint has released to mark British cultural and historical highlights have also become incredibly popular sparking something of a collecting craze.
“We’re delighted to be revealing the special 50p British Culture commemorative coin set to mark this historic anniversary, which features some of the nation’s most loved 50 pence pieces.”
Visitors to The Royal Mint Experience will also be able to strike their very own 2019 dated 50p Britannia New Pence in Brilliant Uncirculated quality. After striking the coin will be placed in special, augmented reality enabled packaging.
The commemorative set will be available to purchase from www.royalmint.com in a range of precious metal and base proof finishes, prices start from £90.