Author Topic: 50p - The British Fifty Pence - Part 1, the large size  (Read 12975 times)

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50p - The British Fifty Pence - Part 1, the large size
« on: December 07, 2009, 01:06:32 PM »
50p -  The British Fifty Pence - Part 1, the large size.

The 50 NEW PENCE was introduced in October 1969 for decimalisation from 15 February 1971 and it replaced the 10/- (Ten Shillings) note which was demonetised 22 November 1970.   This narrative is split into two parts as the coin was changed to a smaller design during 1997.   Some of the designs are of a 'minor commemorative' nature, particularly in more recent years.

Quoting from the Royal Mint website: "The design on the reverse of the 50p coin features a symbol of Britannia that has appeared on our coinage since 1672. While this design may have been traditional, the shape of the new 50p coin, an equilateral curve heptagon, was revolutionary. This made it easily distinguishable from round coins both by feel and by sight, while its constant breadth allowed it to roll in vending machines."   A different reverse design is, of course, used on the commemorative issues.

Details are given, where possible, of the quantities struck to Circulation, BU and Proof standard.   Where the word 'issued' appears, I hope to eventually replace it with either an actual quantity or the maximum authorised.   Please note that in this context the word 'Circulation' relates to the quality of manufacture and not the method of distribution.

This part covers the larger coins of 1969 to 1997, first issued in October 1969 and demonetised 28 December 1998.   Part 2 will follow soon to cover the smaller coin issued from 1997 to today.

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

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1969 to 1972 and 1974 to 1981 Britannia
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2009, 01:08:36 PM »
1969 to 1972 and 1974 to 1981 Britannia

Obverse by Arnold Machin which shows the year.
Reverse  'A figure of Britannia, seated beside a lion, with a shield resting against her right side, holding a trident in her right hand and an olive branch in her left hand, with the figure "50" below and the inscription "NEW PENCE" above'.   Designed by Christopher Ironside.
Edge plain (equilateral curve heptagon)
Metal Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)
Diameter 30 mm
Weight 13.5 grams

1969  Circulation 188,400,000.
1970  Circulation   19,461,500.
1971  Circulation - none.  Proof issued in sets during 1973.
1972  Circulation - none.  Proof issued in sets during 1976.
1973  (Commemorative issue only, see below).
1974  Circulation - none.  Proof issued in sets during 1976.
1975  Circulation - none.  Proof issued in sets during 1976.
1976  Circulation  43,746,500.  Proof issued.
1977  Circulation  49,536,000.  Proof issued.
1978  Circulation  72.005,500.  Proof issued.
1979  Circulation  58,680,000.  Proof issued.
1980  Circulation  89,086,000.  Proof issued.
1981  Circulation  74,002,000.  Proof issued.

Demonetised 28 December 1998.

The coin illustrated is for 1970

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

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1973 Accession to EEC
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2009, 01:10:05 PM »
1973 Accession to EEC

Obverse by Arnold Machin 
Reverse  "The inscription "50 PENCE" and the date of the year, surrounded by nine hands, symbolising the nine members of the Community, clasping one another in a mutual gesture of trust, assistance and friendship."   Designed by David Wynne
Edge plain (equilateral curve heptagon)
Metal Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)
Diameter 30 mm
Weight 13.5 grams

1973 EEC  Circulation 89,775,000.  Proof issued.  Silver Proof issued.

Demonetised 28 December 1998.

Note that the year is shown on the reverse.

Bill.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 01:30:00 PM by UK Decimal + »
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1974 to 1981 Britannia
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2009, 01:11:14 PM »
1974 to 1981 Britannia

See 1969 to 1972 and 1974 to 1981 above.

Demonetised 28 December 1998.

Bill.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 01:31:28 PM by UK Decimal + »
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1982 to 1984 Britannia
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2009, 01:55:49 PM »
1982 to 1984 Britannia

Obverse by Arnold Machin 
Reverse  A figure of Britannia, seated beside a lion, with a shield resting against her right side, holding a trident in her right hand and an olive branch in her left hand, with the figure "50" below and the inscription "FIFTY PENCE" above.   Designed by Christopher Ironside.
Edge plain (equilateral curve heptagon)
Metal Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)
Diameter 30 mm
Weight 13.5 grams

1982  Circulation 51,312,000.  UNC issued.  Proof issued.
1983  Circulation 62,824,904.  UNC issued.  Proof issued.
1984  Circulation none.  BU issued.  Proof issued.

Demonetised 28 December 1998.

The inscription NEW PENCE has been replaced by FIFTY PENCE.

An example of the 1983 UNC is illustrated.

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

People look for problems and complain.   Engineers find solutions but people still complain.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: 50p - The British Fifty Pence - Part 1, the large size
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2009, 09:08:51 PM »
At the time they were issued, there were rumours that the 1973 issue consisted of coins with equal sized hands and coins with a small hand at 3 o'clock. I don't hear this anymore. Was it a numismatic legend?

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

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Re: 50p - The British Fifty Pence - Part 1, the large size
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2009, 09:46:24 PM »
Here is the D-day 50p for you.


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1985 to 1993 and 1995 to 1997 Britannia
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2009, 10:02:57 PM »
1985 to 1993 and 1995 to 1997 Britannia

Obverse by Raphael Maklouf
Reverse  A figure of Britannia, seated beside a lion, with a shield resting against her right side, holding a trident in her right hand and an olive branch in her left hand, with the figure "50" below and the inscription "FIFTY PENCE" above.   Designed by Christopher Ironside.
Edge plain (equilateral curve heptagon)
Metal Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)
Diameter 30 mm
Weight 13.5 grams

1985  Circulation   682,103.  BU issued.  Proof issued.
1986  Circulation none.  BU issued.  Proof issued.
1987  Circulation none.  BU issued.  Proof issued.
1988  Circulation none.  BU issued.  Proof issued.
1989  Circulation none.  BU issued.  Proof issued.
1990  Circulation none.  BU issued.  Proof issued.
1991  Circulation none.  BU issued.  Proof issued.
1992  Circulation none.  BU issued.  Proof issued.  (Single Market commemorative also issued, see below).
1993  Circulation none.  BU issued.  Proof issued.
1994  (D-Day commemorative issued, see below).
1995  Circulation none.  BU issued.  Proof issued.
1996  Circulation none.  BU issued.  Proof issued.
1997  Circulation none.  BU issued.  Proof issued.  Silver proof issued.

Demonetised 28 December 1998.

Not many issued to Circulation standard!   I have Proofs for 1992, 1993 and 1994 which all have matt relief.

The illustration is of a 1992 Proof; note the matt relief.

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

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1992 1993 Single Market
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2009, 10:06:12 PM »
1992 1993 Single Market

Issued to commemorate "United Kingdom's Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the completion of the Single European Market".   Note that the date reads 1992 1993.

Obverse by Raphael Maklouf
Reverse  "A representation of a table on which are placed twelve stars, linked by a network of lines to each other and also to twelve chairs around the table, on one of which appear the letters "UK", and with the dates "1992" and "1993" above and the value "50 PENCE" below."   Designed by Mary Milner Dickens.
Edge plain (equilateral curve heptagon)
Metal Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)
Diameter 30 mm
Weight 13.5 grams

1992 1993  Circulation  109,000.  BU issued.  Proof issued.  Silver Proof issued.  Silver Proof Piedfort issued.  Gold proof issued.   (The Proof is included in the 1992 year set).

Demonetised 28 December 1998.

A Proof example is illustrated; note the matt relief.

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

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1993 Britannia
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2009, 10:08:07 PM »
1993 Britannia

See 1985 to 1993 and 1995 to 1997 Britannia above.

Demonetised 28 December 1998.

Bill.
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1994 D-Day 50
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2009, 10:20:11 PM »
1994  D-Day 50

Issued to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings.

Obverse by Raphael Maklouf
Reverse  "A design representing the Allied invasion force heading for Normandy and filling the sea and sky, together with the value "50 PENCE"."   Designed by John Mills.
Edge plain (equilateral curve heptagon)
Metal Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)
Diameter 30 mm
Weight 13.5 grams

1994  Circulation  6,705,520.  BU issued.  Proof issued.  Silver Proof issued.  Silver Proof Piedfort issued.  Gold Proof issued.

Demonetised 28 December 1998.

A Circulation issue is illustrated.

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

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1995 to 1997 Britannia
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2009, 10:21:44 PM »
1995 to 1997 Britannia

See 1985 to 1993 and 1995 to 1997 Britannia above.

Demonetised 28 December 1998.

Bill
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

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1992 1993 Single Market 50p.
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2009, 10:22:35 PM »
1992 1993 Single Market

Issued to commemorate "United Kingdom's Presidency of the Council of Ministers and the completion of the Single European Market".   Note that the date reads 1992 1993.

Obverse by Raphael Maklouf
Reverse  "A representation of a table on which are placed twelve stars, linked by a network of lines to each other and also to twelve chairs around the table, on one of which appear the letters "UK", and with the dates "1992" and "1993" above and the value "50 PENCE" below."   Designed by Mary Milner Dickens.
Edge plain (equilateral curve heptagon)
Metal Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)
Diameter 30 mm
Weight 13.5 grams

1992 1993  Circulation  109,000.  BU issued.  Proof issued.  Silver Proof issued.  Silver Proof Piedfort issued.  Gold proof issued.   (The Proof is included in the 1992 year set).

Demonetised 28 December 1998.

A Proof example is illustrated; note the matt relief.

Bill.


Bill,
  This coin is very difficult to find loose.Eventually,I came across one & bought it.

I'm not sure if it was in circulation like the 1994 D-Day 50th. Anniversary one was.

Do you know what the prices for the loose one are in the 2010 Spink's catalogue?

Aidan.

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Re: 50p - The British Fifty Pence - Part 1, the large size
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2009, 10:23:27 PM »
This ends the narrative on the large version of the 50p coin, but I will update any of the above as any additional information becomes available.

Pert 2, detailing the smaller version of the 50p will follow in due course.

Comments, particularly any additional information would be welcome.

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

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Re: 1992 1993 Single Market 50p.
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2009, 10:34:53 PM »
Bill,
  This coin is very difficult to find loose.Eventually,I came across one & bought it.

I'm not sure if it was in circulation like the 1994 D-Day 50th. Anniversary one was.

Do you know what the prices for the loose one are in the 2010 Spink's catalogue?

Aidan.

No idea.  Within the UK we tend to use Coin Yearbook for UK coins.   The prices in the 2010 edition are:-
Circulation unc £5, BU £8, Proof £12, Silver Proof £35, Silver Proof Piedfort £75, Gold Proof £500.

Having said that, most prices for UK coins shown in catalogues are grossly inflated as far as we are concerned as they reflect auctions with international buyers.   My regular dealer has Circulation examples at £0.75 for GEF and £1 for BU condition.

Bill. 

Re-reading this, I think that I might have misunderstood you.   The details above are for the 1994 D-Day issue.   The 1992 1993 issue is shown as:-
Circulation unc £15, BU £10, Proof £12, Silver Proof £30, Silver Proof Piedfort £75, Gold Proof £500.
I have not seen Circulation issues advertised.

Bill.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 11:41:33 PM by UK Decimal + »
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

People look for problems and complain.   Engineers find solutions but people still complain.