The Withdrawal from the European Union 2020 UK 50p Coin (also known as the Brexit 50p) has proved incredibly popular with collectors since its release in 2020.
Also known as the 'Peace Prosperity And Friendship With All Nations' 50p, it entered circulation in January 2020 to mark the UK's withdrawal from the European Union.
The coin features the words "Peace Prosperity And Friendship With All Nations" in italics and the date 31st January 2020 at the bottom, to show the date of the UK's withdrawal.
Having been recently released in 2020, it is quite possible for you to find this fifty pence coin in your change.
History of the Brexit 50p coin
This 50 pence coin was issued to commemorate Britain leaving the European Union, on Friday 31 January 2020. As is tradition in the UK, the Royal Mint likes to commemorate momentous occasions in British history by minting coins depicting the events and the UK's Brexit in 2020 was certainly momentous and yet controversial.
On the 23rd June 2016, the 'Leave campaign' won the EU referendum, to end Britain's 47-year relationship the EEC which it joined in 1973 (which was also commemorated on a 1973 50p coin) which later became the EU.
The release of this coin was far from straight forward which was to be expected, given the controversy surrounding the UK's exit from the EU. The original leaving date of 31 October 2019 was to be placed on the coin but this had to be amended given the protracted negotiations of the withdrawal. Just days before the UK was supposed to leave the EU in October 2019, it was confirmed that approximately 3 million coins would be recycled since the date of 31 October would be incorrect so millions of 50p coins had to be melted down.
Then Chancellor and Master of the Mint, Sajid Javid MP. said 'Leaving the European Union is a turning point in our history and this coin marks the beginning of this new chapter.”
Due to Brexit being such a divisive issue some people refused to accept the coin. Some people to create alternate versions of the coin bearing Remain campaign slogans, some campaigned to scrap the coin altogether and some MPs at the time told shopkeepers to remove the coins from their tills and refuse to accept them or hand them out in change.
So as you can see this British coin caused much controversy and stimulated much national debate between politicians and the general public.
Design of the Coin
The reverse features the embossed quote ‘Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations’ in a flourished, cursive script.
The quote is a paraphrase of Thomas Jefferson’s inaugural address as the third President of the United States (1801-1809).
Jefferson’s actual words were ‘peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations: entangling alliances with none’, as he laid out his administration’s priorities during his election campaign.
The date ‘31 January 2020’ is inscribed beneath the quote in a smaller font, representing the date that the UK officially left the EU. This date replaces earlier versions that displayed ‘31 October 2019’.
The coin's design also caused controversy with some asking why an American president's words should feature on a British coin that was commemorating UK ties with Europe. Others argued that it was grammatically incorrect and that there should be an Oxford comma between the words ‘prosperity’ and ‘and’ on the coin.
Despite all the attempts to boycott the coin, the coin continued to be minted without any alterations.
The obverse features a right-facing portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the inscription ‘50 PENCE · 2020 · ELIZABETH · II · D · G · REG · F · D.
This is the fifth portrait of Her Majesty the Queen by artist Jody Clark. Her initials JC are present below the Queen's neckline.
Mintage of the Brexit 50p coin
The coin was released into circulation on 31st January 2020, with an initial minting of 3 million coins, and is the only official UK coin to commemorate the occasion. A further 1.5 million were released soon after, rising to 7 million by September 2020. By December of 2020, it was estimated that the mintage of the Brexit 50p was to be around 10 million.
The official mintage from the Royal Mint was declared as 10,001,000. Only 3 other coins have a mintage of over 10 million mintage since 2006, those being the Diversity Built Britain 50p (10.3m), 2017 Peter Rabbit 50p (19.9m) and 2017 Benjamin Bunny 50p (25m).
There were different versions of this coin other than those that entered general circulation
- Brilliant uncirculated
- Silver Proof Brexit 50p with a mintage of 47,000 (now sold out)
- Gold Proof Brexit 50p with a mintage of 1,500 (now sold out)
- A two-coin set was also made available, including the Brexit 50p and the 1973 50p coin which marked the United Kingdom’s accession into the European Economic Community. This set was limited to 5,000 copies but has since sold out.
Is it rare?
With just over 10 million put into circulation and only released in 2020, the coin is hardly rare but to find one in your change is becoming less likely. The main reason being because collectors are keeping them to add to their collections. Others have been kept as a memento to mark the historical event and of course, campaigners who disagreed with Brexit are destroying them or taking them out of circulation.
How much is it worth?
Examples of the Brexit 50p have been sold on auction sites such as ebay for around £2 - £3, but we recommend you keep an eye on your change to find an example for face value.
Articles have been published in national newspapers of this coin selling for hundreds of pounds but these are 'false' listings looking to trick collectors.
Where can I buy the Brexit 50p coin?
You can purchase this coin here at Copes Coins.
If you can not wait to find one in your change then online market places such as eBay and Amazon have coins available, but as always, check out the seller, the listing description, photos and do as much research before buying.
The Royal Mint has an online shop where you can buy various coins in circulated, uncirculated, silver proof and gold proof condition, but as we mentioned, they no longer stock the Silver or Gold proof versions of the 2020 Brexit 50p coin.
Are there any known errors for the Brexit 50p coin?
Whilst some newspapers reported that versions of the coin with the incorrect date may surface, no finds have been reported.
Bit of trivia...