16 December 2020
In 2015 The Royal Mint issued a Battle of Britain 50p coin marking the 75th anniversary of the aerial battle that took place during the Second World War. Find out more including the coin's value in our coin guide…
The coin, designed by Gary Breeze, features an obverse showing a trio of airmen scrambling for their planes ready to counter the threat of enemy aircraft approaching overhead. Gary Breeze is a renowned sculptor with major commissions found throughout the UK, including the Bali Bombing Memorial at Horse Guards Road, London and the Christ Church Cloister fountain in Oxford.
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Battle of Britain 50p varieties
The Battle of Britain 50p created a stir when it was first released as collectors realised there were three different versions of the coin. It was the obverse that was different, with three different ‘heads’ sides seen.
- The first featured the portrait of the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley and had no denomination
- The second featured Jody Clark’s portrait – which was first unveiled in 2015 – and didn’t show the value
- The third featured Clark’s design and the correct wording: ‘50 PENCE’.
It was the latter version that was released into circulation, so it’s this version you are most likely to see. The other two uncirculated versions were originally sold in presentation packs and, in the days after their release, fetched prices of around £100 with many examples being described as errors.
Did The Royal Mint intend to leave the date of those early versions? We’ll probably never know.
How much is the Battle of Britain 50p worth?
Today the uncirculated versions are worth around £4 to £8, whilst the circulated coin may be worth around £1 to £1.50.
But that's not the end of the 'multiple obverse' story for this coin. In 2019 The Royal Mint issued a new version of the coin as part of a 50p Military Set. This fourth version features Jody Clark’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, the denomination, and the reissue date of 2019.
Also beware of coloured versions of the coin which sell on eBay. These ‘coloured decal’ versions are not official and just feature a coloured effect that some collectors, especially those who specialise in military items, really enjoy.