The 2023 Atlantic Salmon 50p Mintage - is it rare? How much is it worth?

On Thursday 12th October 2023, the 8 definitive coins, ranging from the 1p to the £2, were completely redesigned to feature iconic British wildlife, paying tribute to King Charles III and the four nations of the UK.

From 2023 onwards, each of the definitive coins have a new wildlife-inspired reverse design and feature King Charles III on the obverse. They aim to reflect King Charles III’s passion for conservation and the natural world and are inspired by flora and fauna found across the UK. 

However, one coin in particular is causing a stir...

The circulating definitive 2023 Atlantic Salmon 50p coin, released into circulation in November 2023, is currently one of the most talked about coins in the coin community - but why?

Having been released late in the year, current mintage rumours estimate that there were only 500,000 of these coins released into general circulation back in November 2023. Since then, these coins have become much harder to find in your change, and prices on online marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon, have continued to rise, fuelling the speculation that the 2023 Atlantic Salmon 50p is to become one of the rarest coins to enter circulation in the last 15 years.

Demand is high and supply is, so far, somewhat limited. 

Design of the 2023 Atlantic Salmon circulating 50p coin

These coins can be found in your change with the reverse design featuring an Atlantic salmon on the right hand side of the coin leaping from the water. To the left is the inscription '50 PENCE' on a background of three interconnecting C's repeated from top to bottom to represent King Charles III.

The obverse features the 1st portrait of King Charles III by British sculptor Martin Jennings with the inscription CHARLES III • DEI • GRA • REX • FID • DEF • 2023 •

As mentioned, the obverse bears the first definitive coinage portrait of His Majesty the King. He faces left in line with tradition where each King or Queen faces in the opposite direction to the one who came before them. 

Previously featured Kings never wore crowns on our circulating coins, instead, tradition showed Queens with headwear. On the contrary, Queen Elizabeth II sported 5 portraits during her reign, each adorned with headwear.

The versions you find in your change won't include the special privy mark shown below behind the King's head, as these were only issued for collectors in sets or the Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) version.

Denomination 50p
Year 2023
Weight 8.00g
Diameter 27.30mm
Reverse Designers The Royal Mint
Obverse Designer Martin Jennings
Metal Cupro-Nickel
Mintage 500,000 (Estimate)

Mintage of the 2023 Atlantic Salmon King Charles III 50p coin

According to the Royal Mint the official mintage of this coin has not yet been released and the actual figure is expected around September 2024. If the rumours of a mintage of just 500,000 are correct, this would mean it is the second-rarest 50p coin in circulation today behind the 2009 Kew Gardens 50p coin.

Like most commemorative 50p coins, the Royal Mint issued the 2023 Atlantic Salmon King Charles III 50p in a variety of uncirculated versions for collectors to purchase directly from their website. Each of these coins will have the special privy mark shown on their obverse.

How much is it worth?

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. At the moment, the latest sales figures show these coins are being sold for around £7 - £8.

If you can't find one in the wild, you do have another option: circulated versions are available from ourselves for £4.99 by clicking here.

The Royal Mint has an online shop where you can buy various coins in circulated, uncirculated, silver proof and gold proof condition.

Are there any known errors for the 2023 Atlantic Salmon 50p coin?

The Royal Mint has not confirmed any official errors for this coin.

Bit of trivia...

The definitive coins were last redesigned in 2008, when the Royal Mint ran a competition asking people to submit designs for the 1p - 50p coins.

The winning designer was Matthew Dent, where the definitive coins from 1p to 50p when placed together, would combine to create a shield as shown above.

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