2005 50 Pence Coin – Johnsons Dictionary

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2005 was the 250th Anniversary of Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language published in 1755. The fifty pence coin shows part of the definition of the words '50 Pence'.

The reverse, designed by Tom Phillips show entries from the Dictionary for the words FIFTY and PENCE, with the figure 50 above, and the inscription JOHNSON’S DICTIONARY 1755 below. 

Obverse is the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley.

See our extended article: Samuel Johnson and the 2005 50p Coin – Johnson’s Dictionary


Mintage: 17,649,000 (may include coins issued as part of a set). Minted at The Royal Mint.
Remember 2005 ?
Elizabeth II was in her 53rd year as Queen. George W Bush is U.S. President. Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans. Pope John Paul II dies, Benedict XVI becomes new Pope.
General Description: 50 Pence Coin

The British Fifty Pence (50p) coin was introduced in October 1969 as part of the decimalisation of the British currency. It replaced the 10 shilling note, both being equivalent to half of one pound (£0.50). It is colloquially called the '50 pee'. The coin has 7 sides (heptagonal) but has rounded corners on each apex so that the coin will roll and work in vending machines.

Originally, the coin has a diameter of 30mm and weighed 13.5g, but in 1997 this was replaced with a smaller version of diameter 27.3mm and weight of 8g. The thickness was kept at 1.78mm. The coin is made of Cupro-Nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel). The larger version was demonitised (i.e. ceased to be legal tender) in 1998.

All coins have an obverse featuring the portrait Queen Elizabeth II. There are three versions:

  • 1985-1997 - Designer: Raphael Maklouf
  • 1998-2015 - Designer: Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS
  • 2015 to date - Designer: Jody Clark
The reverse has shown a large variety of important UK milestones or people, and in doing so has made the coin very popular with collectors. Besides the coins intended for circulation, the Royal Mint have issued silver (normal and Piedfort), platinum and gold proof versions of the 50 pence piece.

There are also 29 different variants which were minted in 2011 in celebration of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Which Mint: The Royal Mint
The Royal Mint is the designated place for the UK to mint coins. It dates back well over 1000 years and is a Government-owned company. 

Formed in the reign of Alfred the Great about the year 886, it moved to the Tower of London in 1279 and remained there for over 500 years. The Master of The Royal Mint has included famous figures such as Sir Isaac Newton. Since 2010 it has operated as Royal Mint Ltd, a company owned by HM Treasury, under an exclusive contract to supply all coinage for the UK although it also produces medals and coins for other countries. It is currently located at Llantrisant, Wales.
The Monarch: Elizabeth II (1952-)
Queen Elizabeth II is the current and longest reigning monarch ever. Born on 21 April 1926 to King George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, she became Queen in 1952 and her Coronation was on 2 June 1953.

Queen Elizabeth II has issued many coins and was monarch during decimalisation.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
The United Kingdom (UK) is the Union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is often refered to as Great Britain (GBR). It has a long, rich history.

It's orignal coinage was Pounds, Shillings and Pence but since decimalisation on 15 February 1971, it is £1 = 100p, that is One Pound = 100 pence. The coinage of the UK is also a long history, the Royal Mint being established as long ago as 886AD when coins were hammered. Today there is perhaps 30 billion coins in circulation, and many (numismatic) collectors coins and sets are issued frequently in gold, silver and other metals.
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