Collecting every edition of the 50p can’t be that hard, can it? Determined to create a thoughtful and original gift for her husband on their golden wedding anniversary, Jean, from Hampshire, set out to do just that.
“We got married in 1969, the year the 50p was released, and of course, this year the coin marks 50 years in circulation. With the coin turning 50 and Alan and I celebrating 50 years of marriage, it seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up and that’s what got me started back in the summer of 2017. As an idea it seemed easy enough”.
Little did Jean know, though, just how many variations of this much-loved coin there are. With so many different designs, it turned out to be a bigger challenge than first expected. However, determined to find a full set, she carried on regardless. Friends and family were roped in to help, while Jean herself kept her eyes peeled on every trip to the shops, even heading to the bank to swap her notes for coins - all the while, trying to stop her husband knowing what she was up to.
Storage was an issue as well. If her husband accidentally discovered the treasure trove of coins, Jean’s surprise would have been ruined. At first, she kept them at the bottom of her wardrobe but, after some home improvements, including the addition of a new walk-in wardrobe which the couple share, she had to find a new hiding place. Thankfully, her son was able to step in and keep the hoard safe from the possibility of prying eyes finding them.
Bit by bit, the collection grew and came together. And Alan’s reaction, when he was presented with the fruits of Jean’s labour? Speechless at the time, effort and love put into this very special gift. The couple hope it will become a family heirloom, to be treasured for generations to come.
It’s hard for Jean to name a favourite design from all the coins she’s collected, but she’s a big fan of the Beatrix Potter and Paddington collections. And it seems her enthusiasm for the project has rubbed off on some of her friends, who’ve started their own 50p collections.
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