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Rarest of 50p coins are being sold for up to £100s on eBay

Emma Featherstone
It's worth checking if you have a rare 50p: Teri Pengilley

The rarest of 50p coins are being sold for up to £499 on eBay.

Among special edition 50 pence pieces, which can be sought after by collectors, the latest release is the Sir Isaac Newton commemorative coin of which 375 were released last month to mark 375 years since the physicist and mathematician's birth.

But the 50p pulling in the highest prices online is a Jemima Puddle-Duck 50 pence released in 2016 to mark 150 years since Beatrix Potter's birth - the highest successful bid The Independent found on eBay was for £499.

Previous commemorative coins that can be valued at much higher sums than their worth include the Kew Gardens 50p. It was produced in 2009 to mark 250 years of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and is one of the rarest with 210,000 in circulation.

This circulation figure suggests the Kew Gardens 50p is the rarest coin in British currency. Website Change Checker, which has a 50p scarcity index, puts the coin at the top of its list.

Both circulated and uncirculated Kew Gardens 50ps can be found on eBay with the uncirculated versions generally having higher listing prices. The typical listing price on the site is between £100 and £300.

The next four scarcest coins 50p coins were all produced in 2012 for the London Olympics, featuring football, judo, the triathlon and wrestling.


The football coin has a helpful diagram to illustrate the controversial offside rule. The highest price listed for a single one of these coins on eBay is £24.99.

While only at number eight on Change Checker’s 50p scarcity index, the Jemima Puddle-Duck 50 pence - of which 2.1 million were released into circulation in 2016 to mark 150 years since the Beatrix Potter’s birth - has achieved a higher selling price on eBay than the five rarest coins.

Meanwhile, the London 2012 Aquatics 50p coin that features the image of a swimmer is not among the top 10 most valuable, but it might be rarer than it seems.

While the Royal Mint sent 2.179 million of these into circulation it has estimated that 75 per cent of these have been held by collectors making them harder to come by.

The latest rare 50p, the sir Isaac Newton coin, is a collaboration between the Royal Mint and the National trust was released into tills in Woolsthorpe Manor in Lincolnshire, where he was born. More coins are being put into circulation over the next few months.