Royal Mint Counts All the 50p Coins so You Don't Have to

By Gary Cutlack on at

Collecting 50p pieces seems to be cool with the kids these days, seeing as 50p is about all the underpaid youth can afford to set aside for rainy days and flat deposits and so on. But which 50p is the rarest of them all? The Royal Mint has blown the doors off this perennial tabloid clickbait favourite by literally listing the mintage numbers throughout the entire lifetime of the 50p.

The production numbers of all the UK's 50p coins are here, and date right the way back to the poor old European Economic Community celebration of 1973 -- the first special edition 50p that brought fun to the pockets of the flared brown corduroy trousers of our forefathers all those years ago. They pressed up 89,775,000 of those, so they definitely are not rare, although they are now out of circulation as they were of the older, bigger format coin that you young people might not remember.

It wasn't until the 1990s that special edition 50ps took off again, with another awkward-in-hindsight one released to celebrate the European Single Market in 1992. Whoops. They only made 109,000 of those, so that's definitely a rarity. This was followed in 1994 by a D-Day 50th anniversary special they bashed out 6.7m of, so not rare.

This list goes on and on until the 2010s when it all really kicks off with the massive 2012 Olympics set, confirming along the way what every modern amateur coin collector knows: the Kew Gardens 50p is the rarest of all modern forms of the coin, with just 210,000 minted. [Royal Mint]