Is the 2017 Isaac Newton 50p rare? What is it worth?

Uncover the Fascinating Story of the 2017 Isaac Newton 50p Coin

In 2017, to celebrate Isaac Newton’s 375th birthday, the Royal Mint issued a new commemorative 50p coin which was the first coin to be released as part of the Innovation in Science series. This series of UK coins celebrate inspirational British scientists who have made significant advancements in their respective fields.

Isaac Newton was a renowned English physicist and mathematician and is widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time. His groundbreaking discoveries laid the foundation for modern science and, to this day, continue to shape our understanding of the universe.

Newton was born on Christmas Day 1642 in Woolsthorpe in Lincolnshire, England, leading a life filled with passion for discovery.

The publication of his book ‘Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica,’ (known commonly as just ‘Principia’) became one of his most notable contributions. It presents his groundbreaking work on gravity and the laws of motion which revolutionized the field of physics.

Along with his work in the field of physics, he became Master of the Royal Mint in 1699, a position he held until his death in 1727.

Isaac Newton Portrait by Sir Godfrey Kneller 1689

His primary role was to oversee the new coinage for the accession of Queen Anne in 1702 but he then continued to supervise the process of bringing Scottish coinage into line with English coinage, following the Union of England and Scotland in 1707. The Act of Union is also featured on a commemorative £2 coin.
It was reported that when Sir Isaac Newton took on his role at The Royal Mint, as many as one in ten circulating coins were believed to be counterfeit. Always striving for perfection, he rooted out and prosecuted the known forgers, and implemented improved quality checks. He also refined the weights and measures to standards never seen before to ensure Royal Mint coins are unrivalled in their accuracy and purity to this day.

Design of the 2017 Isaac Newton 50p coin

The reverse of this commemorative fifty pence coin was designed by Aaron West and issued to commemorate the achievements and the legacy of Sir Isaac Newton.

The Isaac Newton 50 pence’s design is an illustration of Proposition 11 found in Book One of ‘Principia’. It represents one of Newton's theories showing the Sun in the middle and three ellipses representing the orbits of different planets.

The letters S E I T C F H are dispersed throughout the design, representing mathematical notations that Newton had included in his original illustrations. The image places the sun in the centre encircled by rings that get larger in circumference as they radiate out from the sun.

The sun is the common focal point and is based on the concept that all planets rotate around the sun and not the earth as previously thought.

The words SIR ISAAC NEWTON are written across the top of the coin, and the words FIFTY PENCE are curved at the bottom. The initials AW for Aaron West can be seen on the bottom right of the coin.

Regarding its design, Aaron West said. “The reason I picked this theory is because it worked really well within the lines, the lines go through the centre from the top and middle, that worked really well. One thing that I particularly liked was one of the lines that goes through diagonally, when I did the text it goes through the ‘I’ in Sir Isaac Newton, that was a little thing that worked quite well.”

The Obverse design is that of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Jody Clark.

In this version, her mature head is crowned with her coronation crown and facing right. The crown is also referred to as the Royal Diamond Diadem crown.

Surrounding her head are the words 50 PENCE * 2017 * ELIZABETH II * D * G * REG * F * D * which means Elizabeth The Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith. The designer’s initials, JC, are seen just below the Queen’s neckline.

Denomination 50p
Year 2017
Weight 8.00g
Diameter 27.30mm
Reverse Designer Aaron West
Obverse Designer Jody Clark
Metal Cupro-Nickel
Mintage 1,801,500
Mintage of the 2017 Isaac Newton 50p coin

The Isaac Newton 50p was minted only 1,801,500 times. In terms of mintages, it is rarer than the Jemima Puddle-duck 50p (2.1m) and at the date of release had the second lowest mintage value for all the commemorative 50 pence coins behind the Kew Gardens 50p coin. In 2017, the Definitive Royal Shield 50p had a slightly lower mintage of 1.8 million.

The Isaac Newton 50p coin also had a Brilliant Uncirculated mintage of 30,000, a Silver Proof mintage of 7,000, a Silver Proof Piedfort mintage of 4,500, and a Gold Proof mintage of around 600.

There is also a 2018 version of the coin, but it was not for circulation. The coin was part of the ‘Strike Your Own’ feature during the Royal Mint Experience tour in Wales.

These 2018 Isaac Newton 50p coins are only found as Brilliant Uncirculated coins in special packs, with an estimated mintage of 20,000 and are extremely rare. 

The Isaac Newton 50p had a mintage of 1,801,500, which is relatively low for 50p coins. Other 50p coins minted in 2017 the 2017 Benjamin Bunny 50p, with a mintage of 25 million, the 2017 Jeremy Fisher 50p which had a mintage of just under 10 million and the 2017 Tom Kitten 50p with a mintage of 9.5 million.

Is the 2017 Isaac Newton 50p coin rare?

The 2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p can be found in your change and a total of 1,801,500 coins dated 2017 were struck to enter circulation.

Due to its limited mintage, the Isaac Newton 50p coin has become highly sought after by coin collectors and enthusiasts. Just over 1.8 million of these coins were minted, making them relatively rare compared to other circulating coins. Its scarcity and the significance of Isaac Newton make it a prized possession for many collectors.

How much is the 2017 Isaac Newton 50p coin worth?

According to the latest figures, if you find one in your change you’ll be pleased to know, the 2017 Isaac Newton 50p coin is worth around £3.50 - £4 according to the latest values in 2023 in circulated condition.

The Isaac Newton 50p coin is not just a piece of currency; it is a tribute to one of the greatest scientific minds in history. Its unique design, limited mintage, and connection to Isaac Newton's groundbreaking discoveries make it a fascinating collectible and investment opportunity. So, the next time you come across this coin, take a moment to appreciate the remarkable story it represents.

This is reflected in the average sale price on eBay fluctuating around £2.50 in recent years – around 5 times the face value of the coin.

Factors that affect the value of the 2017 Isaac Newton 50p coin

Several factors can influence the value of the 2017 Isaac Newton 50p:

  • Rarity: Limited edition versions or coins with errors or variations are more valuable.
  • Condition: Coins in excellent condition without any signs of wear or damage are more sought after.
  • Demand: The popularity of the Innovation in Science series and the coin among collectors can drive up its value. 

Where can you find the 2017 Isaac Newton 50p?

The 2017 Isaac Newton 50p was released into circulation so you may come across it in your everyday change, but due to its popularity, it can be challenging to find.

The 2017 Isaac Newton 50p coin can be obtained through various channels:

1. Royal Mint: The Royal Mint is the official distributor of this coin. You could purchase it directly from their website or visit their physical stores.

2. Coin collectors: Check with reputable coin collectors and dealers who may have this coin available for sale or trade.

3. Online marketplaces: Keep an eye on online marketplaces where collectors often sell or trade coins. Exercise caution and ensure the authenticity of the coin before making a purchase.

You can buy the 2017 Isaac Newton 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.

Alternatively, you can buy it from us by clicking here.

Unfortunately, as this coin is now 6 years old, the Royal Mint no longer stocks this coin so it is only available to buy on the secondary market.

There are several reasons why the 2017 Isaac Newton 50p coin is a valuable addition to any collection:

1. Rarity: This coin has a limited mintage, making it highly sought after by collectors.

2. Historical significance: Sir Isaac Newton is an important historical figure

3. Investment potential: As a limited edition coin, its value is likely to increase over time, making it a smart investment.

Are there any errors recorded for this fifty-pence coin?

Yes, according to @The50pC on Twitter! This coin already has incredible popularity, due to its intricate design and low mintage figure but there’s something else you should look out for...

Several collectors have reported finding an error on their 2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p. The reverse design looks normal, however the obverse appears to have several extra lines across Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait.

This is thought to be an error caused during the striking process, a result of what is known as a die clash. The extra lines aren’t grooves scratched into the surface of the coin, but rather ‘whiskers’ standing slightly proud of the surface.

Although we don’t know for sure how many of these error coins are in circulation, they’re thought to be extremely rare. They’ve even been listed on the secondary market for more than 100 times face value.

Bit of Trivia

An apple never actually fell on his head.

One of the most talked-about subjects regarding Newton is the apple that supposedly fell on his head when he was sitting under an apple tree one day.

However, this is a bit of a lie! Newton did witness an apple falling from a tree one day and this got him thinking about what caused the apple to fall to the ground.

Newton later developed his theory of gravity, believing that Earth has a force that pulls objects down, which prevents objects from aimlessly floating around.

Have you found an Isaac Newton 50p in your change? What do you think of the design? Let us know in the comments box below.

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