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Royal Shield 50p

by Simon Barker

royal shield 50p

  • Circulation: 175,550,030 up to 2019
  • Year issued: 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019
  • Value circulated: 50p
  • Value circulated in excellent condition: 50p
  • Value uncirculated: £1.00
  • Composition: cupro-nickel
  • Scarcity index: 1

The Royal Shield 50p was first put in to circulation in 2008, to replace the Britannia design. It is designed to be placed as one of 6 coins which together make up the Royal Shield. With the coin being minted and circulated regularly, there is the opportunity to make a complete Royal Shield with coins from different years.

History of the coin

Prior to decimalisation in 1971, the Royal Mint issued a new set of coins. One of these was the 50p which was first seen in 1969. This 7 sided coin featured Britannia and this was replaced in 2008 with a design which represented part of the Royal Shield.

When it was first introduced it represented 10 shillings, but after 1971 it was simply 50 new pence. The shape of the coin has always remained the same, but when it became the largest coin in circulation, it was reduced slightly in size.

About the Royal Shield

The Royal Shield is part of the Royal Coat of Arms.

The shield is divided in to quarters and each part represents a part of the UK. Two quarters show the three passant guardant lions of England, one quarter shows the rampant lion and double tressure flory – counterflory to represent Scotland and Ireland is represented by a harp.

The shield was broken up to create the design on coins and six coins are needed to make a whole shield, while the complete Royal Shield is shown on the £1 coin.

The Royal Arms can only be used by Her Majesty The Queen, and is found on many official documents, including a passport.  Variations of the Arms are used by UK organisations and by individual member states.

How many Royal Shield 50p coins were made?

The Royal Shield 50p was first minted in 2008. Up to 2019, 175,550,030 were put in to circulation. The numbers for each year they were minted are:

  • 2008 – 22,747,000
  • 2012 – 32,300,030
  • 2013 – 10,301,000
  • 2014 – 49,001,000
  • 2015 – 20,101,000
  • 2015 – 39,300,000
  • 2017 – 1,800,000
  • 2019 – unknown

 Design and Designer

  • Front design:

The design of the Royal Shield 50p shows the bottom of the Royal Shield.

  • Obverse design:

2008-2015 the coin featured the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley.

2015 onwards the coin featured the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark.

  • Designer: Matthew Dent

Matthew Dent is a graphic designer. His coin and medal designs have won him D&AD black and yellow pencil awards and his Royal Shield design won the IACA award for best new coin series.

He studied at the Coleg Menai in Wales and at the University of Brighton and has always had a love of coins.

His design for the coin set was based on creating something which defined the UK, and after trying various designs he settled on the Royal Shield.

He has designed many coins for the Royal Mint and has also been shortlisted for many others. Among his circulating coins are the WWF 50p and the Charles Dickens £2 coin.


From 2008 – 2018 the circulation of the Royal Shield 50p was 175,550,030. As it is the current design this figure will increase.

  • Brilliant uncirculated coins are available
  • Silver Proof coins are available.
  • Gold Proof coins are available.

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