Introducing the Battle of Britain 50p Coin
Starting in July 1940 and lasting until October, a decisive and intense air battle between Germany’s Luftwaffe and Britain’s Royal Air Force waged on in British airspace. The brave pilots, dubbed “The Few” by Winston Churchill, would help turn the tide of World War II. Their victory would create the conditions for the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany. The name for the battle is drawn from a speech by Churchill who said “The Battle of France is over. I expect the Battle of Britain is about to begin.”
Battle of Britain 50p 2015
The Battle of Britain 50p coin was created in celebration for the 75th anniversary of the critical battle, a reminder of the immense teamwork and determination by the British forces. The coin is designed by Gary Breeze, featuring three brave RAF airmen running to their planes while the battle with the German air force rages on overhead.
This is the first of Gary Breeze’s design to make it to production. He credits his brother, a numismatist, in helping him hone the final design and what he wanted people to take away from the image. “In some ways the Battle of Britain appeals to our innate joy at winning against tremendous odds. I did want to celebrate that to a point but something was missing. I spent some time working on designs based around the aircraft but they didn’t say enough about the meaning of the Battle to us today. It was my brother Lee Breeze, a keen numismatist, who proposed the idea of focusing on the people rather than the hardware of war. I would like the coin to remind us of the selfless sacrifice of the Few. The airmen run away from us, they don’t walk slowly to their fate, and we may never see them again. It’s an evocative image.”
How Much Is the Battle of Britain 50p Worth?
The mintage of the Battle of Britain 50p is 5.9 million, making it a generally common coin to find. However, a presumably well-kept circulated coin (although it could be a Brilliant Uncirculated coin), went for an amazing £500 on eBay in February 2019.
Other Battle of Britain Coins
Beyond the ones in circulation, the Royal Mint has released other, more limited runs of the coin. They are the Brilliant Uncirculated coin (35,000 mintage), the Gold Proof coin (about 400 mintage), the Silver Piedfort coin (about 1400 mintage), and the Silver Proof coin (about 2,800 mintage).
There are also differences in the obverse portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II. The circulation coins present the 5th crowned portrait by Jody Clark with the ‘Fifty Pence’ denomination. The Silver Proof also have the Jody Clark design but without the denomination, while the Brilliant Uncirculated version has no denomination and the 4th crowned portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley. These BU versions are considered “error coins” due to the lack of denomination.
It’s also been rumoured that the Battle of Britain 50p will make a return in 2019 as part of the 50th-anniversary celebration collection of the 50p.
(75% copper, 25% nickel)
|Obverse Designer||2015 – Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS|
|Reverse Designer||Gary Breeze|