The 2006 Victoria Cross Award 50p coin: How much is it worth and is it rare?
In 2006, The Royal Mint released two commemorative 50p coins both to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the institution of the Victoria Cross. One being the Victoria Cross Award (medal) 50p and the other the Victoria Cross Heroic Acts (wounded soldier) 50p.
 

In this article we'll look at the Victoria Cross Award 50p which is the fifty pence that has the Victoria Cross medal depicted on the reverse. But how much is it worth?

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 £3 for a circulated version of this coin. Bear in mind you will still need to pay postage and packaging if you were looking to buy or sell this coin, in addition to the fact it has been in circulation for 16 years, so condition of the coin is to be considered.

HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. attended a special Service of Commemoration to mark this important event at Westminster Abbey on Monday 26th June 2006.

What is the Victoria Cross?

The Victoria Cross was first proposed in 1854 by the Duke of Wellington during the Crimean War and, following a debate in the House of Commons, it was agreed that Queen Victoria should create ‘an order of merit for distinguished and prominent personal gallantry to which every grade and individual from the highest to the lowest may be admissible.’

Two years later, on 29th January 1856, Queen Victoria signed the authorisation to create the medal at Buckingham Palace. The Victoria Cross was instituted by Queen Victoria (hence the name) and made retrospective to 1854 to include actions in the Crimean War.

The Victoria Cross is Britain's joint-highest award for gallantry and is awarded for 'most conspicuous bravery or some daring pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy'.

It was only equalled in status in 1940, when the George Cross (GC) was instituted for acts of conspicuous bravery not in the enemy's presence.

There is no barrier of colour, creed, sex or rank. Indeed, VC recipients have come from all social backgrounds and from all over the British Empire and Commonwealth.

Since its inception in 1856, there have been a total of 1,358 VCs awarded. This total includes three bars granted to soldiers who won a second VC and the cross awarded to the Unknown American soldier.

During the First World War (1914-18), 626 VCs were awarded and in the Second World War (1939-45) 181. Every single person who has received this award demonstrated exceptional bravery by putting their own lives on the line for the country.

The jewellers Hancock’s of London has been commissioned to produce every VC awarded since its creation.

The Design of the 2006 Victoria Cross Award Medals 50p Coin

The reverse side of the coin features a design by Claire Aldridge, who is a Senior Designer at the Royal Mint.

Aldridge has worked on numerous coins for the Royal Mint, but this was the first 50p that she designed that made it into circulation.

The reverse design depicts the two sides of the Victoria Cross. The front of the medal and the laureled ribbon are set off-centre to the left, and a somewhat smaller representation of the back of the VC is placed to its right. The letters ‘VC’ and ‘FIFTY PENCE’ are engraved on the bottom right of the coin, underneath both medals.

The obverse side of the 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.

Specifications:
Denomination 50p
Year 2006
Weight 8.00g
Diameter 27.30mm
Reverse Designer Claire Aldridge
Obverse Designer Ian Rank-Broadley
Metal Cupro-Nickel
Mintage 12,087,000
 

Mintage of the Coin

According to the Royal Mint's official website, the 2006 Victoria Cross Award 50p had a mintage of 12,087,000, which is pretty high in comparison with other 50p coins. A coin with a similar mintage was the 2000 Public Libraries Act 50p with just under 11.3 million minted.

Is the Victoria Cross Award Medal 50p Coin Rare?

A mintage of over 12 million does not make this coin particularly rare and it is quite possible you can still find this coin in your change despite it being 16 years old. In comparison, the Kew Gardens 50p had a mintage of 210,000 and the 2018 Peter Rabbit 50p and mintage of 1.4 million.

As a comparison, the other commemorative coin issued that year the 2006 Victoria Cross Heroic Acts, or wounded soldier as it is commonly known, had a mintage of 10,000,500.

As the number of coin collectors grows, more and more of these coins have been taken out of circulation to add to collections, thus increasing the scarcity.

Most coin experts would consider it to be an ordinary coin but it has a historical design.

The Royal Mint also produced other versions of the coin with 7,500 Silver Proof coins, 3,532 Silver Proof Piedfort coins and only 75 Gold Proof coins were produced, along with 137,375 brilliant uncirculated packs containing the coin.

How Much Is the Victoria Cross Award Medal 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 VC Medal 50p coin to be worth around £3 in good condition, but if you are looking to buy one, expect to pay more than this to cover seller's costs for postage and packaging. It is still six times the face value of the coin so worth holding on to.

Where Can I Buy the VC Award Medal 50p Coin?

You can buy the VC Award Medal 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 £1.50 plus postage so be wary of any listings trying to sell this circulated coin for more than £5.

We stock this coin and you can buy it here.

Unfortunately, as this coin is now over 16 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 VC Award 50p, along with the VC Heroic Acts 50p, was re-released in 2019 as part of the 50th Anniversary of the 50p Celebrations. This coin was released as a Brilliant Uncirculated commemorative issue only and did not enter general circulation.e and did not enter general circulation.

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