The Royal Mint releases updated mintage information on the ten rarest circulating 50 pence coins

Probably the most popular of all British circulating currency when it comes to collectability, the iconic seven-sided fifty pence coin has seen an explosion of new releases over the last decade. In the proof commemorative market alone, the Royal Mint has issued a ton of popular culture, nature, history and literature themed designs, but we’re taking a small detour from our usual fare as the mint has issued an updated list of mintages for the circulating versions.

As you’d expect, the Kew Gardens coin that has repeatedly made newspaper headlines here in the UK, is still the number one by far. As you can see in the graphic above, the 10th rarest design sits at under 1.7 million pieces, while the second rarest design nuts in at a tad over 1.1 million. Staggeringly, the Kew Gardens coin is not only the rarest, but the rarest by far. Just 210,000 of these were struck for circulation. It sounds a lot by the standard of coins we usually cover at AgAuNEWS, but to put it in perspective, the standard old Britannia design of 50p coin hit a mintage of 456,364,100 units just in 1999 alone, and over 1.5 BILLION in total!

So, UK readers might want to take a look at their change every once in a while, given this coin regularly sells for 300 times its face value on the usual auction sites. The coin pictured below is a proof silver, and the commemorative range also seems to be sought after.


In 2020, over 330 million coins were released into circulation, including new 50 pence designs commemorating ‘Diversity Built Britain’ and the UK’s Withdrawal from the European Union. Ten million of each design were released into circulation, making them widely accessible.

The 50 pence is Britain’s most collectable coin and provides the ideal canvas for commemorative designs – with more than 50 different versions released into circulation since 1969. 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 collectible Peter Rabbit series.

In January 2020 The Royal Mint issued a new 50 pence to mark the UK’s departure from the European Union, featuring the inscription “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations” as a symbol of continued unity. In October 2020 a fifty pence was issued to celebrate ‘Diversity Built Britain’ as part of Black History Month. To accompany the release The Royal Mint issued a coin and education pack to every primary school in England and Wales.

The Royal Mint’s Director of UK Currency, Mark Loveridge, comments: “As the original maker of UK coins, we are delighted to play our part in celebrating the story of the nation. In 2020 two important new designs were issued on fifty pences, commemorating British diversity and the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

“Coin collecting remains a popular hobby in the UK, and finding a special design in your change adds to the excitement. If you are lucky enough to find a commemorative 50 pence you can find more information about its history, design and mintage on our website.”