Rare 50p coins are selling for up to £3,500 on eBay

Time to check down the sofa! Rare 50p coins marking 250th anniversary of Samuel Johnson Dictionary are selling for up to £3,500 on eBay

  • Commemorative coins show the word fifty in style of traditional dictionary entry
  • Some eBay users are now selling the small silver coins for up to £3,500 online
  • One user, sally_w55, described coin as ‘very rare’ – but some experts disagree

Rare 50 pence coins marking the 250th anniversary of Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language are being sold for up to £3,500 online.

The commemorative coins, which show the word fifty in the style of a traditional dictionary entry, are being viewed by dozens of eBay users an hour. 

One user, sally_w55, put the Johnson’s Dictionary coin up for sale for £3,500 – describing it as a ‘very rare’ coin.


The commemorative coins, which show the word fifty in the style of a traditional dictionary entry, are being sold for up to £3,500 on eBay

Another valued the same commemorative coin at £3,300, the Sun reported.

User ckyp2009 said: ‘Circulating commemorative 50p coin. Only a limited number produced.’


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The coins, however, may not be quite as extraordinary as these sellers assumed.

According to the coin experts at Change Checker, the Samuel Johnson coin isn’t that unusual.

One user, sally_w55, described the Johnson’s Dictionary coin as a ‘very rare’ coin – but some coin experts disagree

It has a ‘Common’ rating on the website’s scarcity index – despite the fact it was minted 15 years ago.

The 50 pence piece was released in 2005 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language.

The Royal Mint produced 17,649,000 of the anniversary coins, compared to 22.7million featuring the Royal Arms in 2008, the Mirror reported.

But while this coin may not be as rare as some users believe, there are dozens of valuable pieces in circulation. 

Other pricey coins include one featuring Beatrix Potter’s Jemima Puddle-Duck, some of which have sold for more than £106 on eBay

A commemorative Peter Rabbit coin, which is not in circulation, was on sale on the Royal Mint website for £55, but quickly sold out. The coins were then sold for in excess of £600 on eBay

A coin featuring the image of Jemima Puddle-Duck was released to mark the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth in 2016.

There were only ever 2.1million in circulation and one of the coins recently sold for £106 on the online marketplace.

Others in the collection, including a special coloured edition of a Peter Rabbit coin sold only through the Royal Mint, have sold for as much as £600.

Despite having the monetary value of a 50p, the special edition coins sold on eBay for more than £20 in the same year they were released

The most sought after 50 pence piece  is the Kew Gardens design which is sold on eBay for up to £160

The coin was originally on sale through the Royal Mint for £55.

Another silver version of the Peter Rabbit coin, which was released into general circulation, was selling for more than £20 in the same year it was released. 

But according to Change Checker, the most sought after 50 pence coin in circulation is the Kew Gardens design, which has been sold on eBay for up to £160.

The design, released in 2009, had a mintage of just 210,000 and is the least owned and most requested swap. 

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