eBay is full of 50p coins of differing designs, and a recent addition is a 2000 Public Libraries design.
Seller ‘terryneuk’ has listed the 50 pence piece for a whopping £200, claiming it is “rare”.
Writing in the description, the seller said: “Very Rare Collectable Public Libraries 1850-2000 50p”.
This particular design was released in millennium year to celebrate 150 years of the Public Libraries Act.
Describing the design, Royal Mint wrote: “The turning pages of a book, the anniversary dates “1850” and “2000”, and the value “50 PENCE”, all above a classical library building on which appear the words “PUBLIC LIBRARIES” and, within the pediment, representations of compact discs.
“When the Public Libraries Act received the Royal Ascent in 1850, Charles Dickens hoped ‘that the books thus made available will prove a source of pleasure and improvement in the cottages, the garrets and the cellars of the poorest people’.
“Without doubt, laying the foundations for today’s network of public libraries, the Act brought knowledge and literature within the reach of every member of society.
“The start of the new millennium marked the 150th anniversary of the Act, and a chance to celebrate everything the modern library service offers.
“The reverse designer, Mary Milner Dickens, drew inspiration for the design from Arnold Bennett’s comment that libraries act as ‘an agency for the radiation of light’.”
A stunning coin, how rare is it really?
Royal Mint list the mintage as 11,263,000, making it 54th on the Scarcity Index, and ranked as common, according to change checker.org.
50p coins do tend to stir up interest, and another design was recently listed on eBay for £500.
The coin listing is titled: “Rare Suffragettes 50pence coin collection”.
The listing description below reads simply: “one from my rare 50pence collection”.
But what is so distinctive about this particular 50p coin?
The Royal Mint website provides some further details.
The coin’s official title is the 2003 Women’s Social and Political Union 50p, according to the site.
It was first issued in 2003 and has a mintage of 3,124,030.
The description reads: “The figure of a suffragette chained to railings and holding a banner on which appear the letters WSPU, to the right a ballot paper marked with a cross and the words GIVE WOMEN THE VOTE, to the left the value 50 PENCE, and below and to the far right the anniversary dates 1903 and 2003.
“The design featured on the reverse of the 2003 fifty pence coin celebrates the hundredth anniversary of the foundation of the Women’s Social and Political Union, a seminal movement initiated by Emmeline Pankhurst that campaigned passionately for equal voting rights for women.”