16 September 2018
The Kew Gardens 50p coin, issued in 2009, is the rarest UK 50p circulation coin due to the low mintage. The coin commands prices around 160 times the face value of the coin, and regularly sells on eBay for up to £100. The exact value varies but is said to be around £80.
Why the Kew Gardens 50p is so rare
The coin commands prices around 160 times the face value of the coin, and regularly sells on eBay for up to £100, this is because the mintage of the coin was just 210,000. According to The Royal Mint: 'Demand for the 50p denomination was not high at the time of release into circulation which explains the low mintage of this particular design.'
- Released in 2009, the coin celebrates the 250th anniversary of the famous London gardens
- 'Brilliant uncirculated' and 'proof' versions of the coin were also issued and are not as rare
- The circulation coin consistently tops the 50p scarcity index produced by firm ChangeChecker
- If you find one in your loose change be sure to hang on to it!
- Find the latest 50p coins in the Royal Mint shop! (opens in new window)
- Buy the 'Collect Modern Coin' souvenir guide
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The Kew Gardens 50p coin was issued in 2009 to mark the '250th anniversary of the foundation of the Royal Botanic Gardens'.
The design, by Christopher Le Brun, features a pagoda encircled by a vine and the dates 1759 and 2009, and the word 'KEW'.
How much is the Kew Gardens 50p worth?
Copies of the circulation Kew Gardens 50p generally sell for between £75 and £100 each. We put the value at around £80, that's 160 times more than the coin's face value. However, examples have been sold on ebay for around £170 and prices will fluctuate depending on supply and demand, and the coin's condition.
The circulation coins are often sold in groups, with one eBay lot of ten coins selling for £1,220 in February 2018.
Is there more than one version of the Kew Gardens 50p?
As with most new coins, The Royal Mint produce special versions of the coins, usually in different metals and with different mintages. These other versions are as follows:
- Brilliant Uncirculated Kew Gardens 50p (with a mintage of 128,364). Worth around £100 to £200
- Gold proof Kew Gardens 50p (629). Worth thousands, prices vary from £1,800 to up to £10,000!
- Silver proof Kew Gardens 50p (7,575). Worth up to £150
- Silver proof Piedfort Kew Gardens 50p (2,967). Worth between £200 and £400
In 2019 another uncirculated version of the coin was produced by The Royal Mint for inclusion in a 'Celebrating 50 Years of the 50p 2019 British Culture Set'. The 2019 version features a different effigy of HM The Queen and obviously features the 2019 mintage date. So if you're considering buying a Kew Gardens 50p, make sure you check the date, and remember 2009 is the rare one!
The Royal Mint website states: 'While this reissue gives collectors a chance to own a 2019-dated version of this sought-after design, it takes nothing away from the original circulating coin for anyone lucky enough to own one.'
The 'Celebrating 50 Years of the 50p 2019 British Culture Set' features five uncirculated coins, all dated 2019, and retails for £45, with a range of other versions available.
Is it the rarest coin in the UK?
There are many other British coins that are scarcer than the Kew Gardens 50p, but they are no longer in circulation, and so you won't ever find one in your everyday change.
The Kew Gardens 50p is therefore Britain's rarest circulation coin.
However, due to the low mintage and the face that many people are on the look-out for the coin, it is likely the majority of the circulation coins have been found and now reside in coin collections… but you never know!
Find out more
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