(75% copper, 25% nickel)
|Obverse Designer||Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen 2011 - Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS|
|Reverse Designer||Matthew Dent|
As one of the nation's best loved and respected organisations, WWF holds a special place in the hearts of animal and nature lovers alike. 50 years after it was launched, WWF was tackling much more than the conservation of endangered species and their habitats; they were battling environmental problems across the world. The 50p was created by award-winning graphic designer Matthew Dent.
Matthew said: 'I wanted to design a selection of stylised icons to represent the various facets of WWF that would be recognisable when fitted onto the coin's face. Peer closely and you'll see mammals, birds, fish, insects and lizards, fruit, seeds, trees and plants, and icons representing the human impact'.
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 featured 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 on a new reverse design.
The 50p is legal tender for amounts up to £10.