Public Libraries 50p: How Much is it Really Worth 2021

The 1850 to 2000 Public Libraries Act 50p was released into circulation in the year 2000.

It is still in circulation, but being over 20 years old is less frequently seen in our change these days.

However, if you do come across one in good condition it is likely worth more than face value – read on to find out by how much.

How Much Is the Public Libraries Act 50p Worth
Credit: The Royal Mint

1850 to 2000 Public Libraries 50p Coin

The 1850 – 2000 Public Libraries Act 50p coin celebrates the 150th Anniversary of local boroughs being given the power to establish free library services for members of their communities.

The upper half of the coin design features the turning pages of an open book resting on top of the lower portion of the coin design showing which depicts the front of an old ancient style public library building with 6 standing pillars.

The denomination “50 PENCE” can be seen within the open pages of the book.

At the top of the coin we see inscribed the anniversary sates of the act, • 1850 • 2000 •

The coin itself was designed by Mary Milner Dickens, a sculptor and previous coin designer for the Royal Mint.  Her small signature mark can be seen within the pillars on the right-hand side of the coin.

1918 Public Libraries 50p

Credit: The Royal Mint

How Much is the Public Libraries 50p Worth?

The Public Libraries Act 50p is relatively common in terms of mintage numbers.  In 2021 prices for the coins in excellent to the uncirculated condition coins were selling for £1.50 to £6.00 each.

More specific estimated prices are as follows:

  • Average circulated condition 50p
  • Very good to excellent circulated condition £1.50 to £2.00
  • Uncirculated condition £4.00 to £6.00

How Many Public Library 50p Coins Were Made?

The Royal Mint minted 11,263,000 Public Library 50p coins for circulation in the year 2000.  It was one of the first designs for the smaller 50p pence piece size which came into circulation in 1997.

At the time of its release into circulation, it was only the 3rd commemorative 50p coin design after the NHS 50p and EU 50p which were both issued in 1998.

Is the Public Libraries 50p Coin Rare?

The Public Libraries 50p is not that rare with it a relatively high mintage of 11 million compared to the rarest 50p coins which typically have mintages under 2 million.

Although being over 20 years old it is less often seen in change, especially in good enough condition to be worth more than face value.

Is it Worth Selling a Library 50p?

Public Library circulated coins are relatively low value so maybe not be worth selling individually especially as there will likely be selling fees incurred.  Although people do sell them on their own and there are always buyers.

Sometimes the best thing to do is find a few 50ps above face value and sell them as a job lot.  Check out our list of the rarest and most valuable 50ps to look out for in your change.

Uncirculated coins tend to sell for 8 to 12 times face value so are worth selling to realise that value if you don’t wish to hold them as part of your collection.

About the 1850 Public Libraries Act

We take them for granted these days, but it was the 1850Public Lirbaries Act which first introduced free libraries for the public.

At the time the act was met with some opposition, mainly due to costs and taxes which would be incurred to implement it.

William Ewart was the MP who pushed hard for the right to access free libraireis and even after the 1850 Act, he succeeded in having the Act improved so that population limits didn’t stop even the smallest towns and parishes from having their own free library service.

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