Introducing the Offside Rule 50p Coin
To pay tribute to the upcoming 2012 XXX Summer Olympics in London, the Royal Mint released a series of 29 coins in 2011, each depicting a different sport in the games. The football 50p, now better known as the “Offside Rule 50p,” caused much furor when sports lovers and refereeing experts had issues with the information shown in the diagram, saying that the coin is showing out-of-date information.
The designer of the coin, sports journalist Neil Wolfson, refuted the claim saying that he only merely wanted to show what an offside position was, not explain the detail of the rule. “The coin simply states that the player is ‘offside’ – which is true, irrespective of whether or not an ‘offside offence’ results from this scenario. Furthermore, there are clearly space limitations on the coinface so it was obviously impossible to go into the finer details of the offside rule. But for those who don’t understand offside, it’s not a bad starting point (with further explanation) – and the coin seems to amuse those who do appreciate the offside rule.”
Offside Rule 2011 50p
The offside rule 50p coin shows a midfielder making a decision to pass to either one teammate on the left, listed ‘offside’ or the other teammate that’s on level with the defender, listed as ‘not offside.’ At the top of the coin is the 2012 Summer Olympics logo, designed by Wolff Olins, a brand consultancy firm.
(Caption: Logo of 2012 London Summer Olympics)
How Much is the Offside Rule 50p Coin Worth?
The Offside Rule 50p has an extremely low mintage of 1,125,500. Combined with the controversy over the design, the coin is an extremely rare find, very similar to the famous Kew Gardens 50p coin. It’s also the scarcest 2012 Olympic 50p. On eBay, as of the end of March 2019, the highest price for a single circulation coin is £23.00.
Other Versions of the Offside Rule 50p
There is also a Brilliant Uncirculated version of this coin, sold in presentation packs. There was also a joint release of the coin with the Royal Mail’s special football stamp on a commemorative envelope.
Other Olympics Coins
The Royal Mint loves to celebrate the Olympics. Just for the 2012 London Olympics, it released 29 50p coins, including the Triathlon 50p. It also celebrated Team GB for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro with a 50p design featuring a swimmer.
For the 100th anniversary of the 1908 London Olympics, the Royal Mint issued a 2 pound coin. It also released a 2-pound coin for the 2008 Olympic Handover Ceremony between Beijing to London and again for the 2012 Olympic Handover Ceremony between London to Rio.
Five-pound coins were released for the 3 year, 2 year, 1 year, and 0 year countdown to the 2012 London Olympics. Another special 5-pound coin was released to commemorate the 2012 Summer Olympics itself.