The New 50p Coin

John —  20 August 2013 — 12 Comments


The Sunday Times is, at the last count, the UK’s largest selling ‘quality’ newspaper. I buy one every week and it ls usually mid-week before I have looked at everything I want to read. Besides the main news section, it has standalone News Review, Business, Sport, Money and Appointments sections – all broadsheet. There are three magazines (The Sunday Times Magazine, Culture, and Style) and three tabloid supplements (Travel, Home and Driving).

An item that caught my eye last week was this:


The gist of the report by the Arts Editor, Richard Brooks, was how it had taken nearly half a century but but this week the royal coat of arms will appear on the 50p coin because the Royal Mint is producing 450 gold commemoratives. That’ll be a great find for a future detectorist!.

We are also told that later in the year the Mint will also release more than a million 50p coins with the Royal Mint design … and that’s good news. Richard didn’t get it quite right. I can confirm that the coin has already been issued. The moral holds good – don’t believe everything you read in the papers!

In March of this year one of my friends was a recipient of The Royal Maundy Money at a ceremony in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. I had taken photographs and, in addition to the Maundy coins, there was also a 50p piece showing the royal coat of arms.


Showing the 50p piece presented with this year’s Maundy money – © JW

As Richard says, this design was drawn up by Christopher Ironside in the 1960′s as Britain prepared foe decimalisation but was rejected in favour of a more ‘patriotic’ portrayal of Britannia – also by Ironside and produced with the help of his wife posing in the kitchen … but that’s another story!


© Royal Mint

You can learn more about C. Ironside by clicking on the picture

The design in its original form used the designation NEW PENCE but this would be inappropriate for 2013 and the value has been amended to FIFTY PENCE.


Make an old man happy!

Paul the Polish Pedant - his site is like an irritant itch you can’t leave alone - recently exhorted his readers to subscribe to my blog by using the above phrase. Don’t know whether his unwelcome interference worked or not, but I suspect the latter.

Once upon a time a couple of years ago when I first started this blog, Mr Barford actually said something nice about me. I was so pleased and overcome with emotion that I fixed his kind words on the front page for all my followers to see.

Alas, my scribblings didn’t have an auspicious start. When I made investigations I was told that people were boycotting my blog because of Barford’s presence. It made sense. The ‘sticky’ was removed pronto!

My followers now stand at 194 – an increase of 15 since my post of a few days ago. Thank you!


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12 responses to The New 50p Coin

  1. Hi John for my second comment to your blog I will just say a very nice 50p, I hope this wasn’t a simpleton comment Mr Barford , I just couldn’t cope with being referred to as simple twice in one week… :) P.s I couldn’t resist the simpleton smiley face…

    • Thanks for your comment. You are becoming a regular!
      What PPP says is often obtuse and incomprehensible … I wouldn’t worry about it!

  2. John, thanks for showing the new 50 pence piece, which I will look forward to seeing in the flesh very soon, either in my change or from a depositors loss on one of my local beaches.

    Very best of luck with your blog, which is now rapidly approaching 200 subscribers. This is only because your various posts are extremely interesting, humorous and most importantly HONEST, unlike the area where your itch has derived from.

    Keep up the good work and thank you.

  3. They used the Britannia design because it had been used on coins since 1672 and of course on some Roman coins I hope it reappears on future British coins

  4. Interesting points about the fifty pence piece,Thanks John.

  5. Polish Paul the fake Archie! I like others have tried to find his credentials but without success. Interesting blog here
    With a link to some Archaeologist site that really shows him up to be nothing more than an amateur Victor Meldrew

  6. I guess if Mr Salmond wins the referendum on Sottish Independence future issues of coins by the Royal Mint will have to be amended to suit the new situation? That would be a shame as we’ve all enjoyed finding coins with the existing coat of arms.

    I can’t really comment about the arch(ie) enemy just yet as I do not want to presume before I’ve read some of his contributions. As we live in a democratic society everyone has the right of freedom of expression. I just hope with such freedoms, the truth is the primary tool, rather than spurious lies?

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