One of the most beautiful UK coins ever produced, the WWF 50p was released by the Royal Mint into circulation in 2011. With the unmistakable animal 50p design, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) 50p pays homage to wildlife preservation efforts.
In today's market, based on online sales with retailers and auction sites such as eBay and Amazon, we would give it a current market value of around £4-5 for a circulated version of this coin, maybe more if the coin is in great condition.
What is the history behind the coin?
The WWF 50p coin was minted in 2011 to mark and celebrate 50 years of the World Wildlife Fund, which was established in 1961. The WWF was established by a passionate group of wildlife enthusiasts and Prince Bernhard of Lippe Biesterfeld of the Netherlands to secure the funds necessary to protect species and spaces threatened by human development.
To this day, the wildlife foundation has protected a range of animals and endangered ecosystems and has recently become involved in curbing carbon emissions. It is still the largest organization in the world that is solely dedicated to environmental preservation.
WWF is a non-profit organisation focusing on six key areas: food, wildlife, oceans, climate, fresh water, and forests. When they chose the giant panda as their mascot, the world did not know much about the endangered animal. Today the species has been saved thanks to the untiring efforts of the organisation.
Besides this, WWF also works to preserve wetlands, protect the Amazon, take the tiger out of the endangered species list and take strategic climate change action. The giant panda is still the organisation's mascot even though the species is no longer in danger of extinction because of successful preservation efforts.
The Design of the Coin
The front of the WWF 50p coin has over 50 animals and ecosystems that the foundation has helped to preserve over the years. This includes seeds, fruit, rhinos, dolphins, elephants, cats, and more. The giant panda logo is in the centre of the coin, along with initials and the year of issue, 2011.
The coin was designed by Matthew Dent, a partner at Bison Bison. The company is famous for working with influential clients such as HSBC, Coca-Cola, and the London City Airport, to name a few.
In August 2005 the Royal Mint launched a competition to find new reverse designs for all circulating coins apart from the £2 coin.
The winner, announced in April 2008, was Matthew Dent.
His designs for the 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p and 50p coins depict sections of the Royal Shield that form the whole shield when placed together as shown below.
The obverse side of the WWF 50p coin features a portrait of the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley. His initials IRB are featured below the Queen's neckline.
This portrait was used on all UK coinage from 1998 to 2014 and for some 2015 coins. It was the fourth portrait of the Queen used on British coinage, succeeding the work of Raphael Maklouf on those before it.
Her Majesty the Queen can be seen wearing a tiara called The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland. The words 'FIFTY PENCE' are displayed at the bottom of the obverse.
Mintage of the Coin
According to the Royal Mint's official website, the 2011 WWF 50p had a mintage of 3,400,000 which is considered a low mintage in comparison with other 50p coins. Coins with a similar mintage were the 2011 Olympic Archery 50p and the 2003 Suffragettes 50p coins.
As well as the coins entering into general circulation, the Royal Mint also issued 28,974 Silver Proof versions of the WWF 50p coin, 2,244 Silver Proof Piedforts, 243 Gold Proofs and 67,299 Brilliant Uncirculated 50p coins.
Is the WWF 50p Coin Rare?
A mintage of just over 3 million does make this coin particularly rare and it is unlikely you will find this in your change very often, even more so as it has now been in circulation for over ten years. In comparison, the Kew Gardens 50p had a mintage of 210,000 and the 2018 Peter Rabbit 50p and mintage of 1.4 million, but the WWF 50p is still considered rare.
Most coin experts would consider it to be a rare coin and highly sought after.
How Much Is the WWF 50p Coin Worth Today?
As always it is difficult to put an exact price on a coin as all coins vary in condition. To a collector we would estimate the WWF 50p coin in good circulated to be worth around £4-£5, but if you are looking to buy one, expect to pay even more than this to cover seller's costs for postage and packaging.
Where Can I Buy the WWF 50p Coin?
You can buy this coin from Copes Coins.
You can also buy the WWF 50p coin online on auction sites such as eBay or Amazon but please ensure you look at all the information and reputation of the seller. As we said we expect this coin to be selling for £4 plus postage so be wary of any listings trying to sell this circulated coin for more than £10.
Unfortunately, as this coin is now over 11 years old, the Royal Mint no longer stock this coin so it is only available to buy on the secondary market.
Are there any known errors of this coin?
The Royal Mint has not confirmed any official errors for this coin.
Bit of Trivia...
The Giant Panda is on the WWF 50p coin, but there are 50 other animals, can you spot them all?