2016 marked the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. As one of our most well known battles a 50p coin was designed and minted to commemorate this historical event. This coin is a lovely item for anyone who enjoys British history and as a limited number were put in to circulation, it’s a nice item as a keep sake which will only increase in value.
History of The Coin
The 50p coin was one of the new decimal coins which were used from 1971. Minted in 1969 it was one of the first ones to be produced to replace the old 10 shilling note. The heptagonal coin featured Britannia on the front and this is still the common design today.
After the 5p and 10p coin were reduced in size, the 50p coin was the largest in circulation and so it too was reduced in size in 1997.
The Battle of Hastings 50p is just one of many commemorative 50p coins in circulation, and this one commemorates one of our most famous battles.
About the Battle of Hastings
The Battle of Hastings was fought in 1066 between King Harold II of England and Duke William II of France. King Harold was killed by an arrow in the eye and William became the first Norman king of England.
William became known as William the Conqueror and was crowned king on Christmas Day 1066.
The battle and the build up to it have been immortalised in the Bayeux Tapestry. This is 70 metres long and contains 70 scenes. It is unclear where or when the Tapestry was completed, but it is believed to be in the 1070s. One scene depicts Harold with an arrow and it is this scene which the Battle of Hastings 50p has been based on.
The tapestry hangs in the Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux in Normandy.
How Many Battle of Hastings 50p Coins Were Made?
In 2016, the Royal Mint circulated 6,700,000 Battle of Hastings 50ps.
Design and Designer
- Front design:
The design of the Battle of Hastings 50p shows King Harold on the battlefield with an arrow in his eye. The words ‘Battle of Hastings’ are written around the edge and ‘1066’ is on the middle to either side of King Harold.
- Obverse design:
The 5th portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark.
- Designer: John Bergdahl
John Bergdahl is a coinage artist who has created many coins for the Royal Mint.
Included in his portfolio are many coins commemorating Royal events, and one of his most recent commemorated the birth of HRH Princess Charlotte. He has also designed a £5 coin to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria.
His other historical coins include the £2 coin commemorating the Magna Carta and coins relating to World War I and the Mary Rose.
His design for the Battle of Hastings 50p was based on the images on the Bayeux Tapestry. This is the only visual record of the battle, and the image he created is in keeping with the style used on it.
The Battle of Hastings 50p had a circulation of 6,700,000.
- Brilliant uncirculated coins are available
- 3,000 Silver Proof coins were produced.
- 1,500 Silver Proof Piedfort coins were produced.
- 350 Gold Proof coins were minted.