The Royal Mint celebrates as the 50p turns 50
  • The Royal Mint releases a special edition commemorative version of the coin.
  • The Royal Mint Experience also unveils an exhibition, focusing on the design history of the coin.
  • This is a commemorative coin and will not be entering general circulation.

To celebrate the iconic 50p piece turning 50 years old The Royal Mint has unveiled a limited edition commemorative coin featuring an updated version of the inaugural design, created by Christopher Ironside. The new coin carries a minting first – a special privy mark struck on the outer rim of the reverse of the coin which references the science behind its shape.

The 50p was first released in 1969 and was at first the subject of mixed reviews, even being described as a ‘monstrous piece of metal’. Since then it has become one of Britain’s favourite coins – over the 50 years it has featured over 60 designs on the reverse, commemorating the military, key political moments, sporting achievements and many other aspects of British culture.

During the design process which resulted in the ‘equilateral curve heptagon’ that we know today, the 50p went through several transformations. Early designs of the 50p included ten and twelve-sided versions, and a square coin with rounded corners was even suggested.

The iconic seven-sided shape was suggested by Hugh Conway, a member of the Decimal Currency Board and his team of engineers. The seven-sided design was preferred as it was easily distinguishable from other coins both by feel and by sight and its shape allows it to roll in vending machines and parking meters.

Nicola Howell, Director of Consumer of the Royal Mint commented: “Over the last 50 years the 50p has grown to become one of the most collectable coins. Its iconic and revolutionary shape is distinctive and has led to it becoming one of the most loved coins amongst the public. It is an honour to mark such a significant anniversary with this commemorative 50p, featuring Christopher Ironside’s design.”

As well as releasing the coin, The Royal Mint Experience, based in Llantrisant South Wales, will also be hosting a special exhibition, focused on the development and design process behind the coin. The exhibition will feature never before seen experimental designs struck from aircraft steel, as well as a host of other items connected with the history of the coin.

The 50 years of 50p exhibition at The Royal Mint Experience will open on the 11th October – with a family ticket costing £40. During your visit you will also be able to strike your own version of the anniversary 50p.

The commemorative 50p coin will be available to purchase from www.royalmint.com in a range of precious metal and brilliant uncirculated finishes, prices start from £10.

 

50 years of 50p Anniversary Coin specifications:

Coin title

50 Years of the 50p 2019 UK 50p Brilliant Uncirculated Coin

50 Years of the 50p 2019 UK 50p Silver Proof Coin

50 Years of the 50p 2019 UK 50p Silver Proof Piedfort Coin

50 Years of the 50p 2019 UK 50p Gold Proof Coin

Denomination

50p

50p

50p

50p

Issuing Authority

UK

UK

UK

UK

Metal

Cupro-Nickel

925 Ag

925 Ag

916.7 Au

Weight

8.00g

8.00g

16.00g

15.50g

Diameter

27.30mm

27.30mm

27.30mm

27.30mm

Obverse Designer

Jody Clark

Jody Clark

Jody Clark

Jody Clark

Reverse Designer

Christopher Ironside

Christopher Ironside

Christopher Ironside

Christopher Ironside

Quality

Brilliant Uncirculated

Proof

Proof

Proof

Limited Edition Presentation

Unlimited

3500

1969

300

RRP

£10.00

£55.00

£95.00

£980.00

 

For further information please visit www.royalmint.com    

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