The humble 50p may be forever associated with The Queen’s Nose (if you’re too youthful to remember that, it was a 90s TV show about a magic 50p), but it’s about to enjoy another moment in the spotlight.
Experts have revealed that there are 54 different 50p coins currently in circulation, with the rarest kinds selling for up to £500.
Sure, it’s not quite as exciting as the hunt to find the £5 notes worth £50,000, but we can think of plenty of things we’d happily splash £500 on (paying off our student loan probably, sob).
So how do you know if your 50p could bag you big dollar?
Handy website changechecker.org has come up with a ‘scarcity index’ to let you know how much each variation of the coin is worth. These are the ones you really want to hunt out:
The Kew Gardens
This pretty coin featuring a Chinese pagoda found in Kew Gardens is not just the rarest 50p, but the rarest British coin currently in circulation. There are just 210,000 of them and some have recently sold for £510.
Twenty-nine different designs were released to celebrate the 2012 London Olympics. A full set fetches around £35, which might not rival the Kew Gardens coin but is still a decent round at the pub. Football, triathlon, judo and wrestling are the rarest and can fetch up to £15 each.
Released to mark Beatrix Potter’s 150th birthday recently, coins from this collectors’ collection sell for around £15 on eBay. Coloured versions sell for hundreds but did cost £55 to buy upon release. The Jemima Puddle-Duck and Squirrel Nutkin coins are the rarest.
Minted in 2003, the Suffragettes coin commemorates the centenary of the establishment of the Women’s Social and Political Union. The Suffragettes movement eventually led to women aged over 21 being given the vote in 1928. There were 3,124,030 of these and they now sell for £25 on eBay.
The WWF coin was minted 3.4 million times in 2011. The reverse of the design features 50 different icons representing the work that that the wildlife charity does. It sells online for around £10 with the limited edition fetching up to £1,000.