Introducing the NHS 50p Coin
To remember the 50th anniversary of the National Health Service, the Royal Mint released this commemorative 50p coin in 1998. The National Health Service was started 5 July 1948 by Aneurin Bevan, the Health Minister, as part of the major social reforms after WWII. The idea behind the NHS was to be able to provide healthcare for everyone, free when it was used, and only based on the patient’s needs, not their wealth. Now, the NHS employs over 500,00 doctors, nurses, and specialised staff across the UK. It’s estimated that this NHS network handles over 1 million patients every 36 hours.
1998 NHS 50p
The coin’s reverse side features a pair of hands folding open at the wrists, seemingly cupping radiating light emanating from the bottom center of the coin. Designed by David Cornell, it symbolises the hope borne from the NHS. The phrase ‘Fiftieth Anniversary’ is at the top of the inner circle while ‘NHS’ is stamped five times along the outer edge. The obverse side features the fourth crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley.
(Caption: Aneurin Bevan, often described as the founder of the NHS)
How Much is the NHS 50p Coin Worth?
The Royal Mint produced 5,001,000 coins making this a somewhat common coin to find in circulation. As of May 2019 on eBay, the highest price paid for a single circulated NHS 50p was £7.50. For a Brilliant Uncirculated version in the First Day Cover presentation pack, the price was £18.00.
Other Versions of the NHS Coin
There are other versions of the NHS 50p for more serious collectors as well. The Royal Mint has released a Silver Proof (mintage of 9,032), Silver Proof Piedfort (mintage of 5,117), and Gold Proof (mintage of 651).
In 2009, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 50p, there was a reissue of the NHS 50p in Proof Strike as well. As part of the Great British Coin Hunt Quintessentially British A to Z series, the letter ’N’ was dedicated to the NHS in 2018 on the 10p.
(75% copper, 25%
|Obverse Designer||Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen
1998 – Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS
|Reverse Designer||David Cornell|