Introducing the Public Libraries 50p Coin
The Royal Mint released this coin in 2000, marking the 150th anniversary of the Public Libraries Act, an Act of Parliament which received Royal Assent in 1850. Introduced by William Ewart, it gave local boroughs the power to open their own free public libraries. The act became the foundation for today’s public libraries, allowing every one in society access to free knowledge and literature.
Public Libraries 2000 50p
The Public Libraries 50p reverse design shows a large open book with its pages turning while sitting on the roof of a classical architecture style public library building. Within the pediment of the building are compact disks, representing the modern changes to libraries. The years commemorating the 150th anniversary, 1850 and 2000, are shown above the book. The designer, Mary Milner Dickens, said she found inspiration for the design from British author Arnold Bennett’s line that libraries were ‘an agency for the radiation of light.’
If you have the Great British Coin Hunt Album, Volume 1, this coin fits perfectly into the fourth spot, getting you even closer to completing your collection!
(Caption: Chetham Library, one of the oldest public libraries in Britain)
How Much Is the Public Libraries 50p Worth?
The Public Libraries 50p has a mintage value of about 11.2 million, making this coin a very common find. The most sold on eBay for a circulated coin was for £5.00 as of the end of March 2019.
Other Public Libraries Coin Versions
There are other versions of the Public Library 50p as well. You can get it in Gold Proof (mintage of 710), Silver Proof (mintage of 25,000), Silver Proof Piedfort (mintage of 10,000), Proof (mintage of 5,700), and as a Brilliant Uncirculated coin.
In 2009, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 50p coin, the Royal Mint re-released the Public Libraries 50p in varying metal Proof standards. It’s in a series of 16 re-released past designs including the Johnsons Dictionary 50p, Give Women the Vote 50p, and the Roger Bannister four-minute mile 50p.
(75% copper, 25%
|Obverse Designer||Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen
2000 – Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS
|Reverse Designer||Mary Milner Dickens|