Fifty Pence Coin – 50th Anniversary of Decimalisation


The 2021 Fifty Pence Coin - 50th Anniversary of Decimalisation

This 50p coin is to commemorate the 50 year anniversary of decimalisation. It was probably obvious that the Royal Mint would recognise this milestone but they created a nice surprise with the obverse portrait.

This coin was runner-up in The Royal Mint Coin of the Year 2021.

There are many collectors who can personally remember decimalisation on 15 February 1971 and it's strange to think it is now 50 years ago. From what I remember it went fairly smoothly. It you don't remember it it may be interesting to read Introduction to British Coins – Current and Pre-Decimal.

The Reverse, by Dominique Evans, shows fragments of the coins we had to say goodbye do at decimalisation, such as the shilling, half-crown and the Wren of the farthing.

The Obverse may be a surprise. It features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Arnold Machin (30 September 1911 – 9 March 1999) which was the one used at the time of decimalisation and was used on coins between 1968-1984.

Coin shown is the Proof version. This coin is only available in the 2021 Annual Sets.

Image credit: The Royal Mint.


Mintage: Not known
Minted at The Royal Mint.
Remember 2021 ?
The Monarch is Queen Elizabeth II. Prime Minster is Boris Johnson. New (20 January) US President is Joe Biden (D-Delaware) and vice-president is Kamala Harris. The Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic still dominates World news and face masks are the norm. People and Businesses struggle after a long lockdown.
Elizabeth II (1952-Present)
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.
General Description: 50 Pence Coins

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:

  • 1969-1984 - Designer: Arnold Machin
  • 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, during the period 1279-1812 it was generally referred to as The Tower Mint as it was housed at the Tower of London. 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.

There is also an on-line shop at The Royal Mint Shop.
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.

The 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.
If you don't see a coin in the list below try the 50 Pence Coins page on eBay UK

List of items on:

UK On eBay UK:
Rare & Valuable UK 50p Coins Fifty Pence Circulated Beatrix Potter Olympics WWF
Rare & Valuable UK 50p Coins Fifty Pence Circulated Beatrix Potter Olympics WWF
£ 3.55
50p COINS FIFTY PENCE,OLYMPICS,BEATRIX POTTER,COMMEMORATIVE,KEW COIN
50p COINS FIFTY PENCE,OLYMPICS,BEATRIX POTTER,COMMEMORATIVE,KEW COIN
£ 4.99
Rare 50p Coins Olympic Beatrix Potter Kew Isle of Man WWF Snowman Fifty Pence
Rare 50p Coins Olympic Beatrix Potter Kew Isle of Man WWF Snowman Fifty Pence
£ 3.99
Rare Two £2 Pound Coin UK Coins Olympics Commonwealth NI Navy Bible Mary Rose
Rare Two £2 Pound Coin UK Coins Olympics Commonwealth NI Navy Bible Mary Rose
£ 24.99
2022  50 years of Pride Brilliant Uncirculated  50p Coin With Coloured Decal
2022 50 years of Pride Brilliant Uncirculated 50p Coin With Coloured Decal
£ 13.99
2022 Platinum Jubilee HM Queen BU 50p Coin Pack Brilliant Uncirculated
2022 Platinum Jubilee HM Queen BU 50p Coin Pack Brilliant Uncirculated
£ 9.99
CHEAPEST 50p COINS FIFTY PENCE KEW GARDENS BEATRIX POTTER OLYMPICS BREXIT
CHEAPEST 50p COINS FIFTY PENCE KEW GARDENS BEATRIX POTTER OLYMPICS BREXIT
£ 26.99
50P COINS CIRCULATED/UNCIRCULATED ROYAL MINT BRITISH COIN HUNT - VARIOUS
50P COINS CIRCULATED/UNCIRCULATED ROYAL MINT BRITISH COIN HUNT - VARIOUS
£ 4.49

List of items on:


List of items on:

UK On eBay UK:
2021 50th Anniversary Decimalisation Gold Proof Fifty Pence: Strike of the Day
2021 50th Anniversary Decimalisation Gold Proof Fifty Pence: Strike of the Day
£ 1,200.00

List of items on: