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Posted: 1st Nov 2018

The Autumn Budget saw an announcement that a new 50p coin will be issued to mark the UK’s departure from the EU, in circulation from spring 2019. Similar coins have been issued when the UK joined the European Economic Community (1973) and when the UK held presidency of the EU (1998).

Although it is not known what the design will look like, it has been speculated by The Sun that it will feature the date of 29 March 2019 and the phrase “friendship with all nations”.

Last year the Royal Mint issued more than 66 million new 50p pieces, featuring a series of Beatrix Potter characters and the physicist Sir Isaac Newton. Here are some facts about the 50 pence piece:

  • A 50p coin was first introduced in 1969, joining the 5p (shilling) and 10p (florin) coins.
  • The coin is an equilateral curve heptagon, which makes it distinguisable from round coins but also allows the coin to “roll” when used for payment in car park / vending machines
  • The original 50p coin was demonitised in 1998, after the newer, smaller design was introduced in 1997 (this is the version still in use today)
  • Since its issue the 50p coin has been used to celebrate important events, with limited editions featuring special designs on the reverse
  • The 50p coin holds a Guinness World Record – in 2010, to celebrate the release of the Olympic Sports 50p coins, Royal Mint employees along with families and friends successfully attempted the world’s largest coin toss, throwing 1,697 of the coins in the air at the same time
  • This year the Royal Mint has announced there will be a new 50p coin circulated to mark 40 years of the Raymond Briggs story, The Snowman.

One final fact which might come in handy one day – the collection or study of currency is known as “numismatics”.

For more information visit the Royal Mint website.

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