Sports fans watching the Olympics this weekend might be tempted to buy a Team GB commemorative 50p coin – and if past experience is any guide, it could turn out to be a good investment.
In January 2020, the Royal Mint launched its Team GB 50p, but only as a special purchase as part of an annual set.
After the Games were delayed by 12 months, the Mint updated the coin in June this year. As a result they are one of only a small handful of UK 50ps to feature a dual date, which experts say could add to their collectability.
The downside is they are still only available as a special purchase rather than in general circulation, and start on the Royal Mint website at £10.
However, coin collectors should examine every 50p they are given in change in case they have one of millions specially minted coins that celebrated the 2012 London Olympics.
There are still thousands in circulation, and some are worth good money, according to the ChangeChecker website.
In 2011 the Royal Mint introduced 50p coins each featuring one of 29 different sports to celebrate the London Olympics/Paralympics, and some are among the rarest in circulation.
The rarest of the London coins is the football 50p coin, which features an explanation of the offside rule. The wrestling 50p coin is also highly desirable.
The football coin regularly sells for between £13 and £20 on eBay, with the wrestling coin values not far behind.
In both cases about 1.12m were put in circulation and while many have been snapped up by collectors, they do still turn up in people’s change.
The 2012 table-tennis 50ps can be bought for £4.
Rebecca Morgan, the Royal Mint director of collector services, says: “Coin collecting remains a popular hobby in the UK, and it’s exciting to find special designs in your change. We issued millions of coins in 2011 to celebrate the Olympics and Paralympics being in Britain in 2012, and as the event returns we expect more people will check their change to try and find one.”
The rarest and most valuable 50p to go into circulation remains the 2009 Kew Gardens coin, which can be worth up to £200.