Rare 50p coins: which are the most valuable coins in circulation?

Rare 50p coins: which are the most valuable coins in circulation?

While rare 50p coins often have sky-high asking prices on eBay, that doesn’t mean you’ll actually get that much. We asked the experts what collectors will really pay for the most valuable 50p coins still in circulation.

lovemoney staff

Saving and Making Money

lovemoney staff
Updated on 26 June 2023

A new 50p piece, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the HM Empire Windrush arriving in the United Kingdom, has been launched by the Royal Mint.

Windrush has become the term used to describe the generation of migrants who moved to the UK from the Caribbean between 1948 and 1971.

The 50p piece was designed by artist Valda Jackson, who was born in Jamaica and moved to Britain in the 1960s.

The coin is not to go into circulation, with prices starting at £11.

However, there are plenty of coins which have entered circulation yet have gone on to be worth far more than their face value to collectors.

Indeed, earlier this month we saw a rare 50p potentially sell for £136 on eBay. A listing for a 2009 Kew Gardens 50p coin achieved a winning bid of a whopping £136. 

You may have noticed that we said the coin "may" have sold rather than "has" sold.

As we've reported before, we've sadly seen a number of confirmed sales fall through on the auction site in the past, so we'll have to wait for confirmation of a successful sale.

That's not to say the coin in question isn't valuable and couldn't fetch such a price.

As you'll see below, genuine rare 50p coins have already been known to sell for £70.

So how can you tell whether your 50p piece is actually worth more than its face value? Read on to find out.

Don’t believe the hype

Be wary of both tabloid articles and asking prices online, says Luke Hearn of the Change Checker website.

Both can give a very over-inflated idea of what a coin is really worth.

"To be honest, there is a lot of misinformation written in the press regarding coins," he says.

"The first and most obvious example of this is when people list coins for a ridiculous amount on eBay when actually nobody is ever going to pay that much.

“I think the reason behind this is nothing more complicated than people chancing their arm on the off chance they may get lucky."

It's best, then, not to be too optimistic – and, if you're checking prices out on eBay, make sure you look at the prices coins have actually sold for, rather than the asking price.

Still have some of the old £1 coins? Find out if they are worth more than face value

What collectors are looking for

If you do find a rare coin, it'll need to be in good condition with little sign of wear and tear if you're to get any more than the face value.

Collectors are particularly keen on ‘Brilliant Uncirculated’ coins, which are made with a special superior finish.

However, it's still worth checking your change for 50p coins that were never intended for circulation but somehow have slipped out.

"This sometimes happens when some poor soul is robbed of their coin collection and the thieves simply break them out of their packaging and spend them," says Perkins.

"Some of these coins are valuable: for example, the 2011 Olympic Aquatics coin with extra lines on the swimmer's face, which was a design that was withdrawn, not adopted and shouldn't have seen the light of day.

“They are rarely offered for sale as they are rarely encountered. The withdrawn 50p in its original packaging is worth £1000-plus."

But it’s not all about the super-rare coins. There are many far more common 50p versions that are worth a few quid to collectors.

So if you've got a spare couple of minutes, you may want to fetch your purse or wallet right now.

The 2009 Kew Gardens 50p: up to £136

The Kew Gardens 50p was released in 2009 to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens. It's the rarest coin of any denomination currently in circulation, with only 210,000 ever issued.

Kew Gardens 50p (Image: Check your Change)


The 2011 Olympic Football 50p: around £8

Of the 29 50p coins issued to mark the 2012 Olympics, the Football version is the most valuable.

Offside explained 50p coin (Image: Check Your Change

The 2016 Flopsy Bunny 50p: £6 – £8

A host of the 50ps in the Beatrix Potter coin series are sought after by collectors. However, the scarcest according to the experts at ChangeChecker is the Flopsy Bunny coin. 

Only 1.4 million are in circulation.

It’s also keeping an eye out for Jemima Puddle-Duck and Mrs Tittlemouse coins from the set.

The 2011 Olympic Triathlon 50p: around £10

There are 2.18 million of these in circulation, depicting a runner, a cyclist and a swimmer.

2011 Olympic Triathlon 50p (Image: Check Your Change)

The 2011 Olympic Judo 50p: around £11

With 1.16 million in circulation, this is one of the rarer Olympic coins.

2011 Juo 50p coin (Image: Check Your Change)


The 2011 Olympic Wrestling 50p: £6 - £9

Designed by Roderick Enriquez, this shows two wrestlers in action.

2011 wrestling 50p coin (Image: Check Your Change)


The 2003 Suffragette 50p: around £3.50

This is worth far more than its face value.

2003 Suffragettes 50p coin (Image: Check Your Change)

The 2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p: around £2.50

Finally, there is the Isaac Newton 50p, which has recently sold for around five times its face value.

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