At the end of the month Britain will be leaving the European Union and HM Treasury have already announced a special commemorative 50p will enter circulation to mark the significant moment.
And if you want to be kept up to date with information about this new UK Brexit 50p, click here to register your interest.
But this won’t be the first time Britain’s relationship with the EU has been commemorated on coins. Whatever your feelings on our upcoming departure from the EU, our relationship with the continent has certainly produced some of the most iconic and important 50p releases ever from The Royal Mint!
Here are the coins that tell the story of Britain in the EU…
1973 European Economic Community 50p – the FIRST commemorative 50p!
After over a decade of debate and discussion, in 1973 Britain was finally successful in its attempts to join the European Economic Community, known as the EEC. And to mark this important moment, The Royal Mint issued a brand new 50p to celebrate the UK’s accession. It features nine hands clasping each other in a circle, symbolising the nine member states of the community.
This coin now stands as a hugely significant issue in British history, but it also stands as an extremely important numismatic release. That’s because it was the FIRST EVER commemorative 50p! This was the coin that started what has become the world’s most popular coin collecting craze and paved the way for the Olympic, Beatrix Potter and Kew Gardens 50ps we’re now so familiar with.
1992/3 UK European Community Presidency – the RAREST ever 50p!
The 1992/3 50p celebrates the UK’s presidency of the European Council of Ministers, and the completion of the Single Market. The design by Mary Milner Dickens features a conference table seen from above, around which are the 12 chairs for the Council of Ministers with the UK at the head of the table.
This 50p was released at a difficult time in the UK’s relationship with Europe. A strong Eurosceptic voice began to be heard in Parliament, with Thatcher having recently stepped down as Prime Minister and the formation of the UK Independence Party.
But most collectors will be aware of this 50p as being one of the most sought-after coins ever issued by The Royal Mint. There have been some extremely scarce 50ps issued since its introduction over 50p years ago, but with a mintage of just 109,000 (around half of the Kew Gardens 50p) the EC Presidency is the rarest UK 50p coin to enter circulation!
1998 UK entry to EEC 25th Anniversary 50p – the FIRST new-sized 50p!
In 1998 a new 50p was issued to commemorate 25 years of the UK in the EEC. The previous decade had been occupied with much debate and discussion over Britain’s membership of the European Union, playing a part in the decline of the Conservative Party and the landslide election victory by Tony Blair’s Labour Party.
This 50p marked a key change in the 50p – it was the FIRST to be released in the smaller sized specification we know today. The old larger coins were removed from circulation and it’s this new sized 50p that has featured some of the UK’s most iconic coin designs.
2020 Brexit 50p – the MOST IMPORTANT coin release of the decade!
To mark the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, it has been announced that a brand new 50p will be released into circulation on 31st January along with special commemorative Gold, Silver Proof, and Brilliant Uncirculated editions available to order from that date.
The final design features the inscription ‘Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations’ and the historic date 31st January 2020 – the date the UK will officially leave the European Union.
The three previous 50ps issued to mark the UK’s relationship with the EU have all become iconic releases in their own right, and I have a feeling this brand new coin may just stand as the most collectable of them all!
If you want to be kept up to date with information about the new UK Brexit 50p, then register your interest below.
If you’re interested…
Britain’s departure from the EU at the end of the month is sure to be one of the most important historic moments of our lifetime. And to mark the occasion you can own one of a limited number of Silver Britannias alongside the original 1973 EEC 50p, specially preserved in a one-day-only DateStamp™ issue to mark Britain leaving the European Union.
The Stories of British Coins Collection includes 16 of the most remarkable coins from over 200 years of British history, but many of them are in high demand and difficult to source, especially those which are historic artefacts in their own right!
Join Adam as he unboxes a fascinating coin collection that together tells the story of Britain.
Despite ruling over 400 million people in an empire that covered almost a quarter of the world’s surface, Queen Victoria had never set foot in many of the countries that she ruled over.
For many of those people, the only way to catch a glimpse of their empress was by looking at the portraits on the coins that passed through their hands every day. These coins formed a vital connection between people, even though they may have lived on opposite sides of the world and experienced very different lives.
India became known as the Jewel in the Empire’s crown, and was so important to Victoria that she was awarded the title of the “Empress of India” in 1876. Although she never stepped foot in the subcontinent, the currency of India (the rupee) was minted with her portrait on from 1840, so people could recognise their empress despite living 4,500 miles away!
The rupee is one of the oldest currencies in the world, so to feature a British monarch for the first time was an important moment in numismatic history. The later portrait issued on rupees was similar to the Gothic Head effigy can be considered one of the most beautiful coins of the empire.
Another numismatic first took place in Australia in 1855, one more country that Victoria never visited (which is hardly surprising as it would have taken her almost two months to get there!). As the empire grew, so did the need for coins and the Royal Mint opened branches in Australia to mint sovereigns for the empire. In 1855 the first ever sovereign to be minted outside of the UK, the Sydney sovereign, was issued. It featured a portrait of Victoria that was based on the Young Head effigy, but with a sprig of banksia weaved through Victoria’s hair, giving the portrait a distinct Australian feel.
A number of Royal Mint branches were opened throughout Australia after the success of the Sydney sovereign. To identify the mint that sovereigns were produced in, mintmarks were added to the coins, with a small ‘P’ for Perth, and an ‘M’ for Melbourne. The sovereign became legal tender in the majority of British colonies in the 1860s, and its importance in British trade, and worldwide circulation earned it the title “the King of Coins”. By the final years of the British Empire, the sovereign was minted in four continents across the globe.
India and Australia weren’t the only countries that saw Victoria’s portrait. Her image also reached as far as Hong Kong, Ceylon, East Africa and New Zealand. In 1870 the first Canadian dollar with Victoria’s portrait was issued, taking Victoria’s image to a new side of the world for people to see.
Victoria never left Europe, but her portrait and image stood strong on coins around the world. Whilst she never stepped foot in many of the countries that she ruled over, that didn’t stop people recognising her image around the world. The coins that they used every day provided a link to the empire that they were a part of, despite the miles between them.
If you’re interested
You can now own a genuine Victorian Silver Rupee, minted over 4,500 miles away! Click here for more info>>>>