11 February 2021
The Royal Mint's Decimal Day 50p coin celebrates a British milestone – the 50th anniversary of Decimal Day – with a design that conveys the transition from pre-decimal to decimal coins. Find out more about the Decimal Day 50p in our coin guide.
The Royal Mint celebrates the 50th anniversary of Decimal Day with a commemorative 50p coin
The introduction of a new decimal currency was formally adopted on 15 February, 1971 and was one of the largest and most intensive public awareness campaigns ever staged by the government.
UK coinage evolved from the centuries-old system of pounds, shillings and pence to a new decimal currency.
The special coin celebrates this moment in history with a design that conveys the transition from pre-decimal to decimal coins. The design was created by Royal Mint designer Dominique Evans.
How many different types of Decimal Day 50p coins are there?
- Brilliant Uncirculated Coin (Unlimited mintage, RRP £10)
- Silver Proof Coin (6,000, £57.50)
- Silver Proof Piedfort Coin (2,500, £100)
- Gold Proof Coin Strike on the Day (700, £1,250)
- Gold Proof Piedfort Coin (200, £2,175)
- Gold Proof Coin (450, £1,100)
There is no circulated version of the coin, that means the Decimal Day 50p will not be entered into general circulation, so it's very unlikely you will find an example in your loose change.
The Strike-on-the Day Gold Proof 50p coin features selected frosting, which is said to enhance the details within the design. This is the first time The Royal Mint have produced a 'strike on the day 50p coin' and they describe it as 'a truly unique way to mark 50 years since this important moment in the nation’s coinage.'
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Decimalisation took many years of careful planning and also involved a huge information campaign. In order to achieve the challenge of striking the new coins, a new factory was required along with new machinery, production techniques and processes.
The sheer volume of coins required for that changeover meant that The Royal Mint needed to move location from Tower Hill in London to a new production facility. In 1968 the new Royal Mint site in Llantrisant, South Wales was opened by the Queen and the first of almost six billion coins required for decimalisation went into production.
The first of the new coins, the 5p and 10p, entered circulation in April 1968. They bore new heraldic designs, yet corresponded exactly in size and value to the shillings and florins and, so, were able to run easily alongside them as their ‘decimal twins’.
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