It is a well known fact that, in the coin collector world, 50p coins are the most collected coins in the UK today. The 2003 Suffragettes 50p is a highly collectable coin and, although this coin has been in circulation for nearly twenty years, it is still very popular and highly sought after.
The Suffragettes 50p coin is one of the most popular collectable coins today due to its interesting history, so let's have a look at how much it is worth, the design of this fifty pence coin and the history behind it.
If you are a coin collector, read on to learn more about the Suffragettes 50p coin’s rich history, design, rarity, its value today, and where you can buy it.
History of the Coin
Released in 2003 by The Royal Mint, the Suffragettes 50p is a commemorative coin that commemorates the establishment of the Women’s Social and Political Union.
The Suffragettes 50p coin was released on the 100th Anniversary of the establishment of the WSPU in 2003. The Union was created back in 1903 to create awareness for women's suffrage in the UK and improve their conditions.
Women's suffrage was a national issue during Victorian times. By the 1900s, over 1 million women were allowed to vote in the general elections. However, this number was quite small compared to the overall population of women in the country. But by the year 1918, more than 8.5 million women (2 out of 3) were registered to vote.
This was mainly due to the Representation of the People Act, for which there is another 50p coin issued by the Royal Mint in 2018.
The main figure of the WSPU was Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters Sylvia and Christabel. The union was locally known as The Suffragettes, which is why the 50p coin created in their commemoration is called the Suffragettes 50p.
These women were determined to have their voices heard. In fact, they undertook severe measures such as going on hunger strikes, being aggressive with politicians, and causing civil unrest to force arrest. They even tried to release a bill for women’s suffrage in 1905. However, they were unsuccessful on this front.
Their movement became so popular that millions of women joined their group and got arrested, which put immense pressure on the authorities. One of the most notable events that occurred during their movement was when Emily Davison, one of the suffragettes, walked onto the race track and was killed by King George V’s horse as she held onto the Suffragettes flag.
Finally, in 1928, women were given equal voting rights as men under the Equal Franchise Act, which was all thanks to the women's suffrage movement.
Design of the Coin
The designer of the Suffragettes 50p reverse side is Mary Milner Dickens, a popular artist, and sculptor who has designed several iconic coins, including the Public Libraries Act 50p.
The reverse design includes a member of the Suffragettes who is chained to a railing and is holding a banner of the WSPU. There is also a ballot on the right inscribed with a cross symbol and the words GIVE WOMEN THE VOTE.
You will also see 2003 on the right, 1903 at the bottom as reference to the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the WSPU, and 50 PENCE on the left.
The obverse of the coin shows the fourth crowned portrait of Her Majesty the Queen, wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara. Captured by Ian Rank Broadley, this portrait of Queen Elizabeth II is used on each coin that was minted between 1998 to 2015.
Lettering around the edge of the obverse reads: ELIZABETH·II·D·G REG·F·D·2003 which translates as Elizabeth the Second by the Grace of God Queen Defender of the Faith.
The artists initials IRB for engraver Ian Rank-Broadley are included below the Queen's neck.
Mintage of the Coin
The Suffragettes 50p coin has an official mintage of 3,124,030 that entered general circulation, according to the Royal Mint's website. In relative terms, this is a low number and this is considered a rare coin, especially as it was released nearly 20 years ago.
The Royal Mint also released the Suffragettes 50p coin in several finishes for the coin collectors. They come in Gold Proof finishing with only 942 coins minted, Silver Proof finishing with 6,267 coins minted, Silver Proof Piedfort finishing with 6,795 coins minted and Brilliant Uncirculated Coin Pack with 9,582 coins minted.
Is the Suffragettes 50p Coin Rare?
With only around 3 million coins minted, the Suffragettes 50p is considered rarer as compared to other 50p coins. Since the mintage of this coin is only about 3 million, it is considered rare as compared to coins like the Public Libraries Act 50p.
That said, the Suffragettes 50p is not as rare as the top 6 rarest coins (excluding the Olympic 2011 50p coins), that only have a mintage of under 2 million. The Dual Date 1992 / 1993 50p (109,000 minted), the Kew Gardens 50p (210,000 minted), the 2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p (1,801,500 minted), 2018 Peter Rabbit 50p and 2018 Flopsy Bunny 50p (both 1,400,000 mintage) and the 2018 Mrs Tittlemouse 50p (1,700,000 minted) are the 6 rarest 50p coins that have entered general circulation.
The Suffragettes 50p was the only commemorative 50p coin issued in 2003. The only other 50p minted in 2003 was the Britannia 50p which had a mintage of over 23 million.
How Much Is a Suffragette 50p Coin Worth Today?
The Suffragettes 50p coin is worth around £5 today on platforms like eBay or online retailers. That’s because the coin is still in circulation today after almost two decades. This price excludes any seller costs such as tax and postage and packaging.
Where Can I Buy the Suffragettes 50p Coin?
If you are looking for a unique commemorative coin to add to your collection or a gift of British history, the 2003 Suffragettes 50p is a great option. Buy it here from Copes Coins
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 it has been so long since this coin was released, they no longer stock the 2003 Suffragettes 50p coin.
What About Error Versions of the 2003 Suffragettes 50p coin?
There are no confirmed errors for the Suffragettes 50p by the Royal Mint so beware of any sellers claiming to have an error coin.