We look back at some of the 50p piece’s best-loved designs to mark its 50th anniversary

The Sun Finance 1 week ago

MONDAY marks the 50th anniversary of the 50p piece.

Believe it or not, that coin could once buy you five pints of beer.

We look at the 50p piece’s most iconic designs to mark its 50th anniversary

When it launched in 1969 to replace the 10-shilling note, right, the shiny, seven-sided coin was worth the equivalent of £8.16 today. But years of inflation have reduced its buying power. Mr Money looks back at some of the best-loved designs over five decades of the 50p – and examines how the value of our money has changed.

In brackets, we have also included what the amounts for each year equate to in today’s money for the average house price, salary, cost of a grocery shop, car price and fuel.

1969

Issued on Oct 14, 1969, 16 months before decimalisation on Feb 15, 1971. Had the words ‘New Pence’
  • Worth: £3
  • Buying power: £8.16
  • House: £4,145 (£67,660)
  • Salary: £962 (£15,700)
  • Car: £1,060 (£17,300)
  • Litre fuel: 7p (£1. 14)
  • Groceries: £1.10 (£18)

1973

Nine joined hands marked UK joining EEC on Jan 1
  • Worth: £2
  • Buying power: £6
  • House: £9,388 (£112,597)
  • Salary: £1,539 (£18,458)
  • Car: £1,340 (£16,071)
  • Litre fuel: 8p (96p)
  • Groceries: £1.69 (£20.97)

1982

Eleven years after launch, the words ‘Fifty Pence’ replaced ‘New Pence’
  • Worth: £2
  • Buying power: £1.75
  • House: £21,551 (£75,429)
  • Salary: £5,613 (£18,458)
  • Car: £4,515 (£17,300)
  • Litre fuel: 36p (£1.26)
  • Groceries: £5.35 (£18.73)

1994

Special issue to mark the 50th anniversary of D-Day
  • Worth: £4
  • Buying power: 99p
  • House: £51,144 (£100,886)
  • Salary: £12,900 (£25,446)
  • Car: £10,600 (£20,909)
  • Litre fuel: 57p (£1. 12)
  • Groceries: £9.04 (£17.83)

2009

Marking 250 years of Kew Gardens. Only 210,000 were issued, making it the most sought-after coin
  • Worth: £148
  • Buying power: 67p
  • House: £136,166 (£181,138)
  • Salary: £24,250 (£32,259)
  • Car: £16,522 (£21,978)
  • Litre fuel: 90p (£1.20)
  • Groceries: £14.21 (£18.90)

2019

Special edition with words ‘Peace, prosperity and friendship to all nations’. More than three million will go into circulation on Oct 31
  • Worth: 50p
  • Buying power: 50p
  • House: £203,186
  • Salary: £29,009
  • Car: £19,000
  • Litre fuel: £1.29
  • Groceries: £24.31

Inflation over 50 years

INFLATION in the Sixties was quite low but in March 1969 it rose to 5.6 per cent – in part because of devaluation of the Pound in 1967, which pushed up prices.

By December 1973, inflation had soared to 11.3 per cent – due to rising wages, the growth of credit and a shock hike in oil prices. In August 1975 it hit 25 per cent.

We look at how the value of money has changed over 50 years

In less than a decade the value of 50p fell from being worth £6 in today’s money to £1.75. In May 1980, inflation hit 18.5, putting Britain in recession.

Economic growth and rising inflation vanished in a slump caused by high interest rates and falling house prices in 1991. Inflation was 1.5 per cent in 1994.

A major recession hit after the 2008 financial crisis, again causing inflation to plummet due to reduced spending. Inflation was 1.1 per cent in September.


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