At the end of the month Britain will be leaving the European Union and HM Treasury have already announced a special commemorative 50p will enter circulation to mark the significant moment.
And if you want to be kept up to date with information about this new UK Brexit 50p, click here to register your interest.
But this won’t be the first time Britain’s relationship with the EU has been commemorated on coins. Whatever your feelings on our upcoming departure from the EU, our relationship with the continent has certainly produced some of the most iconic and important 50p releases ever from The Royal Mint!
Here are the coins that tell the story of Britain in the EU…
1973 European Economic Community 50p – the FIRST commemorative 50p!
After over a decade of debate and discussion, in 1973 Britain was finally successful in its attempts to join the European Economic Community, known as the EEC. And to mark this important moment, The Royal Mint issued a brand new 50p to celebrate the UK’s accession. It features nine hands clasping each other in a circle, symbolising the nine member states of the community.
This coin now stands as a hugely significant issue in British history, but it also stands as an extremely important numismatic release. That’s because it was the FIRST EVER commemorative 50p! This was the coin that started what has become the world’s most popular coin collecting craze and paved the way for the Olympic, Beatrix Potter and Kew Gardens 50ps we’re now so familiar with.
1992/3 UK European Community Presidency – the RAREST ever 50p!
The 1992/3 50p celebrates the UK’s presidency of the European Council of Ministers, and the completion of the Single Market. The design by Mary Milner Dickens features a conference table seen from above, around which are the 12 chairs for the Council of Ministers with the UK at the head of the table.
This 50p was released at a difficult time in the UK’s relationship with Europe. A strong Eurosceptic voice began to be heard in Parliament, with Thatcher having recently stepped down as Prime Minister and the formation of the UK Independence Party.
But most collectors will be aware of this 50p as being one of the most sought-after coins ever issued by The Royal Mint. There have been some extremely scarce 50ps issued since its introduction over 50p years ago, but with a mintage of just 109,000 (around half of the Kew Gardens 50p) the EC Presidency is the rarest UK 50p coin to enter circulation!
1998 UK entry to EEC 25th Anniversary 50p – the FIRST new-sized 50p!
In 1998 a new 50p was issued to commemorate 25 years of the UK in the EEC. The previous decade had been occupied with much debate and discussion over Britain’s membership of the European Union, playing a part in the decline of the Conservative Party and the landslide election victory by Tony Blair’s Labour Party.
This 50p marked a key change in the 50p – it was the FIRST to be released in the smaller sized specification we know today. The old larger coins were removed from circulation and it’s this new sized 50p that has featured some of the UK’s most iconic coin designs.
2020 Brexit 50p – the MOST IMPORTANT coin release of the decade!
To mark the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, it has been announced that a brand new 50p will be released into circulation on the 31st January. The coin will feature the inscription: ‘Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations’, as well as the historic date the UK is due to leave the EU.
There are rumours that millions coins will be struck and put into circulation and, according to royal proclamation, The Royal Mint will also be releasing a very limited number of extra special Silver and Gold versions of this important coin.
The three previous 50ps issued to mark the UK’s relationship with the EU have all become iconic releases in their own right, and I have a feeling this brand new coin may just stand as the most collectable of them all!
If you want to be kept up to date with information about the new UK Brexit 50p, then register your interest below.
If you’re interested…
Britain’s departure from the EU at the end of the month is sure to be one of the most important historic moments of our lifetime. And to mark the occasion you can own one of a limited number of Silver Britannias alongside the original 1973 EEC 50p, specially preserved in a one-day-only DateStamp™ issue to mark Britain leaving the European Union.
Royal Mail has just released their 2020 calendar announcing all of the commemorative stamp releases for the coming year.
Each new and exciting issue celebrates a part of British culture, from Roman Britain and the End of the Second World War to Queen and James Bond.
Have a look below to see the full calendar of releases:
To make sure you are one of the first to hear about these exciting new stamp releases, simply fill in your details below. Please note, we’ll only contact you with regard to these releases.
We’re into a new decade so it’s the perfect time to take a look at the coin releases from the past 10 years, and what a time it’s been for coins!
There have been some incredible releases; from the record-breaking, to the poignant, and even coins that look nothing like coins.
I’ve decided to pick out my personal TOP FIVE coin releases of the decade. So without any further ado, here are the coins I believe deserve to be considered the greatest coins of the past 10 years. Drum roll please...
1. The London Olympic and Paralympic 50ps
They’re not just the coin series of the decade. These are the coins that transformed coin collecting.
Issued to mark London’s hosting of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, this coin series played a huge part in transforming the 50p into world’s most popular collectable coin. In 2012, 29 50ps were released to commemorate the London Olympics and millions rose to the challenge of collecting them all.
The Royal Mint now estimates that as many as 75% of the Olympic 50p coins have been removed from circulation by collectors, which is a testament to their popularity.
It was the Olympic 50p series that paved the way to the 2010s becoming the decade of the 50p, so had to be included at the top of my list!
2. The Masterpiece Poppy
In terms of coins that push the boundaries of what is possible in coin design and production, there’s only one coin that deserves a mention – The Masterpiece Poppy issue.
Released to mark Remembrance Day, the 2018 Masterpiece Poppy was issued in support of the Royal British Legion. However, it’s not just the significant theme that makes this coin stand out for me.
The Golden colour poppy that adorns the coin was made from inert brass British artillery shell fuses recovered from First World War battlefields like The Somme.
And that’s not all. Each poppy features a central disc of red enamel which was mixed with earth recovered from several locations along the British Front Line of the Somme and Passenchendale.
These poppies are not only made of metal from WWI, but they also possess the very essence of the battlefield which the brave soldiers fought and died upon, and that many still lie at peace beneath.
As has been the case with all previous annual issues of the Masterpiece Poppy Coin, the 2018 issue has completely SOLD OUT. We do however have a tiny allocation left of the new 2019 Mother of Pearl Masterpiece Poppy Silver 5oz Coin. And this certainly doesn’t disappoint! If you’d like to find out more about this incredible coin, you can do so by clicking here >>
3. The Beatrix Potter 50ps
It would be a crime not to mention the Beatrix Potter series. I’m sure you, just like me, remember reading the fascinating tales of Peter Rabbit and co. as a child, and the 50ps certainly do justice to those memorable tales.
3 years, and 14 coins later, the Beatrix Potter 50p series is one of the public’s favourite ever coin series. Since The Royal Mint released the first Beatrix Potter 50ps in 2016, these charming coins have created a collecting frenzy, becoming increasingly sought-after to this day.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that this is one of the stand-out coin releases of all time, let alone the decade!
Are you a Beatrix Potter 50p fan? Or are you missing some key characters from your collection? Then you’ll be pleased to know that we still have limited numbers available of the Complete 2017 UK Beatrix Potter 50p Collection. Click here to check out the details and secure yours today >>
4. Bicentenary Sovereign
But it’s certainly not all been about 50ps. In 2017 we saw The Royal Mint commemorate one of the UK’s oldest coin denominations, and it was an opportunity to see just what the Mint can do when it comes to high quality striking.
To mark the 200th anniversary of the UK’s premier gold coin, the Sovereign, The Royal Mint decided the remaster the 200 year old dies from the infamous designer Bennedito Pistrucci. And in doing so they created one of the most beautiful gold coins in the world.
This important release brought the Sovereign back to its glory days and reminded the world of why it’s known as the ‘Chief coin of the world’! Unsurprisingly this coin was snapped up by collectors and sold out in no time at all.
If you’re interested, we do still have limited numbers available of the brand new 2020 UK 2020 Gold Proof Sovereign. Though you’ll need to be quick if you’d like to secure one for your collection as demand has been extremely high. Click here to find out more >>
5. The Official Peter Pan 50p Coins
And last, but by no means least, I couldn’t leave out the stand-out 50p release from 2019 which might be the best of them all – The Peter Pan 50ps.
2019 marked the 90th anniversary of JM Barrie’s gift to Great Ormond Street Hospital of the rights to his creation, Peter Pan. And to commemorate this generous gift a brand new series of British Isles Peter Pan 50p coins were issued.
Not only do they look absolutely incredible, for every coin sold a donation is made to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity to help support the hospital and the seriously ill children from across the UK who are cared for there. Through the sales of Peter Pan 50p coins, collectors have helped raise over £250,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital and Children’s Charity a truly incredible amount.
The Silver Proof Peter Pan 50p Set pictured above SOLD OUT shortly after its release, but you can still own ALL 6 of the sought-after 50p coins in the complete Brilliant Uncirculated Set. Find out more by clicking here >>
It’s so hard to cram a decade of incredible coin releases into a top five (and there are so many other incredible releases I could have included) but for me these five coins have been my personal stand outs.
Let me know your top five in the comments – but feel free to make it a top ten if you can’t narrow it down to just five!