The Battle of Britain 50p was released in 2015 to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the battle. This coin is highly collectible for all coin collectors, but also for those who have an interest in military items.
History of the coin
The 50 pence coin was first introduced in 1969 to replace the 10 shilling note prior to decimalisation in 1971. It was then the largest coin in circulation but a smaller coin was produced in 1997.
Since then the Royal Mint have released several commemorative 50p coins and in 2015 they released one to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Unlike other coins, this particular one has 3 different versions and has also been re-released in 2019 to mark the 50th anniversary of the 50 pence piece and also as part of a collection of 50p military coins.
The front of the coin features the same design on all variations, but they have different portraits of the Queen on them. The first coins released did not have a denomination on them and these were intended for presentation packs and soon became popular with collectors.
About The Battle of Britain
Most fighting took place on mainland Europe so when Germany had conquered most of Europe they turned their attention to Great Britain. The Battle started on 10th July 1940, and went on for several months.
During this conflict the Germans bombed British towns and cities. They started on the south coast, and soon turned their attention to airport runways and radar bases to try to stop the RAF from engaging in combat.
They then turned their focus on London and September 15th 1940 proved to be the turning point of the battle, earning it the name Battle of Britain Day. The RAF proved to be a force to be reckoned with and took control of the sky over Britain. After this, German raids on British towns were less frequent.
Britain won the Battle of Britain and it proved to be a turning point in the war overall.
How Many Battle of Britain 50p Coins Were Made?
The Royal Mint report that 5,900,000 Battle of Britain 50p coins were minted, but collectors are mainly interested in those which were produced with no denomination on them.
Design and Designer
- Front design:
The front design shows planes in the sky at the top, with 3 airmen running towards their planes underneath. The words ‘The Battle of Britain’ appear across the middle with the year 1940 at the bottom.
- Obverse design:
There are 2 versions of this 50p coin. One features the 4th portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley, and the other features the 5th portrait by Jody Clark.
- Designer: Gary Breeze
The Battle of Britain 50p was designed by Gary Breeze who studied Graphic Design in Norwich.
He served an apprenticeship with David Holgate, a sculptor and letter carver and has gone on to design for projects up and down the country.
One of his first commissions was the Wisdom Frieze in Glasgow’s High Court of Justiciary and he has also created commemorative designs such as the Bali Bombing Memorial in London, and Christ Church Cloister fountain in Oxford.
His design for the Battle of Britain 50p was created with the help of his brother Lee. He has also designed the Captain Cook 2018 £2 silver proof coin.
The Battle of Britain 50p is an interesting one for collectors as there are several different versions, all of which have the same design on the front.
- An earlier version has the 4th portrait of the Queen by Iain Rank-Broadley and this has no denomination on the coin. This is an uncirculated version which was released in presentation packs.
- The next version has the 5th portrait of the Queen by Jody Clark, and also has no denomination on the coin. This is an uncirculated version which was released in presentation packs.
- The denomination was then added, and has the 5th portrait of the Queen by Jody Clark and this is the version which was put in to circulation.
- In 2019 the coin was reissued as a commemorative coin as part of the 50th anniversary of the 50p coin celebrations.
- It was also released in 2019 as a brilliant uncirculated version as part of a set to commemorate Military History.