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Details about  2011 Withdrawn 50p coin, lines on face. Aquatics Olympic error.

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2011 Withdrawn 50p coin, lines on face. Aquatics Olympic error.
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Item condition:
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27 Feb, 2014 18:50:55 GMT
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£5.00 Royal Mail International Tracked | See details
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Item location:
Gillingham, United Kingdom

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Last updated on  20 Feb, 2014 22:08:54 GMT  View all revisions

Item specifics

Denomination: 50p  

According to most coin sellers on eBay, nearly all coins are 'RARE'. Forget all that nonsense. If you want genuinely rare, this is the one:

One of the most sought after modern rarities, and with only about 10 - 12 known it is very probably rarer than the 1983 mule NEW PENCE 2p, making it the rarest decimal UK coin of all time! The much hyped dateless 2008 20p is simply not in this league.

For the 2012 Olympics the Royal Mint issued a whopping 29 different 50p coins, numbered 1 - 29. For good measure they also made a medallion to make it a round 30. Some of the coins were released into circulation and some were put into special packages with the coin mounted and sealed between two pieces of card. The earliest coins-on-card were released late in 2010.

Somehow, some of the very first issues contained the coin on offer here - the Aquatics coin with very clear lines disfiguring the swimmers face. This was what the designer intended and what the Royal Mint also approved, but they didn't like it in the flesh and these coins were withdrawn and replaced with an altered version which has no lines on the face and also other changes relating to the water-lines on her body. It is not known how many were withdrawn and melted down.

Quite how some of them managed to be sold is not known. It's a quality control cock-up to say the very least. I would imagine that normally designs are approved, checked and then double checked before they actually get made into coins for the public.

This is one of the 10 - 12 known examples. It was purchased by Rotographic for photographic purposes and is the coin that will be appearing in the forthcoming publication "Collectors' Coins - Decimal Issues of the United Kingdom", which was formerly "Check Your Change". Some of you may be familiar with it. The first picture is the print-ready image (which has had the background cropped) and all the pictures are all of the actual coin.

The coin is sealed in its card, has never been opened and is therefore truly BU. There is the odd minor crease in the card. This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity. As far as I know, the last one that appeared on eBay was back in 2011 and at that time no one knew that only 12 would come to light!

I am a British Numismatic Trade Association member. The coin will be sent fully insured and you can of course return it should you not be entirely satisfied for whatever reason. 


On 20-Feb-14 at 22:08:54 GMT, seller added the following information:

As of today, there seems to be an insane amount of interest in the 2009 Kew Gardens 50p! They are selling for up to £100 or a bit more. Articles about their relative rarity compared to the other 50p's appeared on the Daily Mail and the Guardian website and all of a sudden it's gone a bit bonkers. The mintage of the 2009 Kew Gardens 50p was 210,000. It's worth a few pounds - maybe a tenner in BU condition....or it least it will be when people realise that the hype is unfounded and the buyers dry up. Exactly the same thing happened with the dateless 2008 20p. How much were they selling for at the time? What are they worth now? 

I congratulate wholeheartedly the people currently riding the wave and selling their 2009 Kew 50p's. And I cringe a little in astonishment for the poor people that are buying them! Caveat Emptor.

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