We’ve all read or probably heard about the craze for rare currency that has swept the nation since the new plastic fiver came into circulation on 13 September. A number of the first printed fivers that came off the press soon became desirable and exchanged hands on eBay for hundreds of pounds.
If you weren’t lucky enough to grab one of the first collectable notes, don‘t worry. Over the next four years, the Bank of England is introducing a new polymer £10 note and £20 note, as well as a 12-sided £1 coin. But before all that, you could pick up a collectable Battle of Hastings 50p coin this year. Let’s take a look at whether this will be worth having.
New 50p coin
Image Credit: Royal Mint
The new 50p coin will go into circulation in a few weeks and it’s designed to commemorate the 950th anniversary of the Battle of the Hastings. On 14 October 1066, Harold, the last Anglo-Saxon of England, was killed while fighting the invading Normans. The fight took place on the East Sussex battlefield and enabled William the Conqueror to seize the English throne.
It’s said that this battle changed the course of British history. To celebrate and remember the significance of the event, The Royal Mint will circulate 5 million special 50p coins marking the battle.
What’s on the coin?
The Bayeux tapestry has inspired the coin’s design. This 70-meter long cloth is the only real visual record of battle and the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England in 1066. Designer John Bergdahl says his coin engraving was inspired by the tapestry. It captures the moment King Harold is killed by the famous arrow through his eye. The other side of the coin features the definitive portrait of the Queen by engraver Jody Clark.
With 5 million of the Battle of Hastings 50p coins being pressed initially, it won’t be the rarest of coins. The rarest 50p coin is one produced in 2011 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Royal Botanical Gardens. Only 210,000 of these were released by the Royal Mint, so their rarity makes them more valuable. If you have one of these to hand or in your wallet, it could be sold for at least £50. There are numerous valuable coins out there such as the dateless 20p coin or the original aquatic coin, celebrating the London 2012 Olympics.
Take a look at our valuable change blog to get the lowdown on other coins to look out for. If you’re in the mood for making some extra cash, why not have a look in the garage or loft for everyday items that could be worth a small fortune.