Introducing the Swimming 50p Coin
In honour of the 2012 XXX Summer Olympics in London, the Royal Mint released a range of 29 coins that celebrated the Olympic and Paralympic sports. Even though the coin is known by collectors as the ‘Swimming 50p’, the coin is officially named by the Royal Mint as the ‘London 2012 Aquatics Coin.’ It celebrates the entire aquatics programme, which includes diving, synchronized swimming, water polo, and swimming.
Swimming 2011 50p
The Swimming 50p coin is designed by Jonathan Ollifee, a designer and silversmith from Oxford, England. His design features a swimmer in the middle of a swimming stroke, fully submerged in the water.
In an interview with the Royal Mint, Jonathan explains why he chose aquatics for his design submission. “I choose aquatics because of the challenge that water posed in creating that illusion of water on a fifty pence coin. My background as a silversmith I feel helped in a sense of thinking about how engraving works and the illusion of the lines engraved into the metal and the simplicity of engraving.”
(Caption: Pictogram for the Swimming event at the 2012 London Olympics)
How Much is the Swimming 50p Coin Worth?
There were 2.179 million coins minted by the Royal Mint. In the context of the 2012 Olympic 50p coins, this is one of the higher mintages. On eBay as of 2019, the highest price for a circulation coin was £6.50.
Other Versions of the Swimming 50 Pence Coin
The current design isn’t actually the initial version of the coin. The Royal Mint briefly released and then withdrew from circulation a design where the waves also passed over the swimmer’s face. The current design removes the waves from the face. This special version is hard to find, with an estimated 600 coins released.
Of the current design, there is also a Brillant Uncirculated version and a Silver Proof (mintage of 30,000) version of the Swimming 50p coin.
Other Olympics Coins
Besides the 29 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sports 50p coins, the Royal Mint released a series of £2 coins to celebrate the Handover Ceremonies and a £5 coin series from 2009 to 2012 to countdown to the 2012 Olympics.
The Royal Mint also celebrated Team GB with another 50p swimmer design for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. In 2008, it commemorated the 100th anniversary of the 1908 London Olympics with a 2-pound coin.
(75% copper, 25% nickel)
|Obverse Designer||Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS|
|Reverse Designer||Jonathan Olliffe|