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Roger Bannister and Kew Gardens feature in 50th anniversary of 50p coin set

UK News | Published:

The seven-sided coin was introduced in 1969.

A special set of coins celebrating British cultural history has been unveiled to mark the 50th anniversary of the 50 pence piece.

The Royal Mint has released a proof set in honour of the “revolutionary” seven-sided coin introduced in 1969.

It said the designs had been carefully selected to celebrate key cultural milestones and favourite pieces of coin collectors.

Roger Bannister 50p
The coin marking Roger Bannister’s world record sub-four-minute mile (Royal Mint/PA)

The Kew Gardens coin is a collector’s item because of its low mintage of just 210,000 – making it the rarest 50p design in circulation.

First issued 10 years ago, the coin marked the 250th anniversary of founding of Kew Gardens in London and features the landmark Great Pagoda encircled by vines.

The building, originally completed in 1762 as a gift for Princess Augusta, recently received a £5 million facelift to restore it to its former glory.

Another coin in the set celebrated the 50th anniversary of Roger Bannister running the first sub-four minute mile in 1954.

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The British runner is depicted mid-stride on the coin as he crossed the finish line at the Iffley Road track in Oxford in three minutes and 59.4 seconds.

One hundred years of the Scouting movement was marked by a coin featuring the World Scout Emblem alongside the iconic motto “be prepared”.

50p 50th anniversary
The commemorative 100 years of the Scouts 50p (The Royal Mint/PA)

A fourth coin in the commemorative set marked 100 years of the Girl Guides.

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In 1910, Baden-Powell asked his sister Agnes to create a similar group for girls. The coin’s design features a special arrangement of the Girl Guides trefoil.

50p 50th anniversary
The commemorative 100 years of the Girl Guides 50p (The Royal Mint/PA)

The “new pence” 50p featured Christopher Ironside’s depiction of the national icon of Britannia seated beside a lion while she rests on her shield.

Nicola Howell, director of the consumer business at The Royal Mint, said: “Since the 50p entered UK circulation 50 years ago, the distinctive design has become a popular addition to the nation’s pockets and wallets.

“Over the years, the commemorative editions that The Royal Mint has released to mark British cultural and historical highlights have also become incredibly popular sparking something of a collecting craze.

50p 50th anniversary
The New Pence 50p (The Royal Mint/PA).

Visitors to The Royal Mint Experience will also be able to strike their own 2019-dated 50p Britannia New Pence in “Brilliant Uncirculated” quality.

After striking, the coin will be placed in “special, augmented-reality enabled packaging”.

The commemorative 50p set will be available to purchase from www.royalmint.com in a range of precious metal and base proof finishes, with prices starting from £90.

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