The Royal Mint has today posted the mintage figures for the calendar year of 2020, providing the official guide to the rarest coins in circulation.
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.
There were two new 50p coins minted in 2020 – the Withdrawal from the European Union 50p and the Diversity In Britain 50p. Based upon mintage numbers, these rank 61st and 62nd respectively among the rarest 50p coins.
The Royal Mint said one of the most ‘significant’ 50p coins released into circulation in 2018 commemorated the 100th anniversary of The Representation of the People Act.
The coin, which depicts key beneficiaries of the act including a woman holding her ballot, a soldier and a suffragette, was produced nine million times.
Every coin in circulation is struck at the Royal Mint’s facility in Llantrisant, South Wales.
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.”
As well as the coins found in your change, The Royal Mint issues a range of commemorative coins each year to celebrate landmark events, anniversaries and individuals that have shaped the nation. In 2021 that has included collectable coins celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s 95th birthday, Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics and the 50th anniversary of Mr Men and Little Miss.
The rarest 50p designs in circulation, with their mintage figures, are:
Kew Gardens 50p – 210,000
Football Olympic Games – 1,125,500
Wrestling Olympic Games – 1,129,500
Judo Olympic Games – 1,161,500
Triathlon Olympic Games – 1,163,500
Flopsy Bunny Beatrix Potter 50p – 1,400,000
Tennis Olympic Games – 1,454,000
Goalball Olympic Games – 1,615,500
Shooting Olympic Games – 1,656,500
Taekwondo Olympic Games – 1,664,000
Handball Olympic Games – 1,676,500
Modern Pentathlon Olympic Games – 1,689,500
Mrs Tittlemouse Beatrix Potter – 1,700,000
Rowing Olympic Games – 1,717,300
Gymnastics Olympic Games – 1,720,813
Table Tennis Olympic Games – 1,737,500
Basketball Olympic Games – 1,748,000
Sailing Olympic Games – 1,749,500
Wheelchair Rugby Olympic Games – 1,765,500
Hockey Olympic Games – 1,773,500
Sir Isaac Newton 50p – 1,801,500
Weightlifting Olympic Games – 1,879,500
Cycling Olympic Games – 2,090,500
Jemima Puddle-Duck Beatrix Potter 50p – 2,100,000
Fencing Olympic Games – 2,115,500
Badminton Olympic Games – 2,133,500
Volleyball Olympic Games – 2,133,500
Equestrian Olympic Games – 2,142,500
Boxing Olympic Games – 2,148,500
Boccia Olympic Games – 2,166,000
Canoeing Olympic Games – 2,166,500
Aquatics Olympic Games – 2,179,000
Athletics Olympic Games – 2,224,000
Suffragettes 50p – 3,124,030
Archery Olympic Games – 3,345,500
WWF 50p – 3,400,000
Tailor of Gloucester Beatrix Potter – 3,900,000
Squirrel Nutkin 50p Beatrix Potter – 5,000,000
NHS 50p – 5,001,000
Paddington at the Station – 5,001,000
EU 50p – 5,043,000
Benjamin Britten 50p – 5,300,000
Battle of Britain – 5th Portrait 50p – 5,900,000
Paddington at the Palace – 5,901,000
Team GB 50p – 6,400,000
Glasgow 2014 – 6,500,000
Battle of Hastings 50p – 6,700,000
Beatrix Potter Portrait 50p – 6,900,000
Christopher Ironside 50p – 7,000,000
Girl Guiding 50p – 7,410,090
Scouting Movement 50p – 7,710,750
Sherlock Holmes 50p – 8,602,000
Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle Beatrix Potter 50p – 8,800,000
Representation of the People – 9,000,000
Paddington at St Paul’s Cathedral – 9,001,000
Paddington at the Tower – 9,001,000
Roger Bannister 50p – 9,032,500
Tom Kitten Beatrix Potter 50p – 9,500,000
Jeremy Fisher Beatrix Potter 50p – 9,900,000
VC – heroic acts – 10,000,500
Withdrawal from the European Union 50p – 10,001,000
Diversity 50p – 10,300,000
Public Libraries Act 50p – 11,263,000
VC – award – 12,087,000
In celebration of coin collecting, The Royal Mint will host its’ annual ‘Collect Week’ from 20th September. The event features a host of expert webinars and behind the scenes content – all of which is free and can be streamed from home.