How Much is the Johnsons Dictionary 50p Really Worth 2021

Have you found a Johnson’s Dictionary 50p coin in your change or coin ollection?

Its ometimes referred to as the Plural of Penny 50p or the Saxon 50p, due to the words featured on the design.

If you do have one, even in circulated condition it is one of the rare 50p coins that are often worth more than face value, sometimes a lot more!

We keep an eye on all the latest market prices so read on to find out the worth of your Dictionary 50p.

How Much Is the Johnsons Dictionary 50p Worth
Credit: The Royal Mint

Johnsons Dictionary 50p Coin

The Johnsons Dictionary 50p coin was released into circulation in 2005 to mark the 250th anniversary since the Dictionary was first published.   For over 170 years it was the go-to Dictionary for the English language.

The coin design features words taken from the Johnson Dictionary itself relating to the coin.

We see dictionary words as well as partial definitions including “FI’FTY”  “PENCE” and “Saxon” and “plural of penny”.

It is these inscriptions that lead to the coin sometimes being referred to as the Saxon 50p or the Plural of Penny 50p.

At the base of the coin is the inscription  “JOHNSON’S DICTIONARY 1755”, marking the date of the books first publication.

The coin was designed by Tom Phillips and his signature mark is seen in small lettering at the very base of the coin.

Johnsons Dictionary 50p Coin
Credit: The Royal Mint

How Much is the Dictionary 50p Worth?

The Johnson’s Dictionary is one of the more common commemorative 50p coins that might be found in your change, but it is still worth more than face value at around £2.50 in very good circulated condition and up to £10.00 uncirculated.

Estimated Prices are as follows:

  • Average circulated condition 50p
  • Very good to excellent circulated condition £2.50
  • Uncirculated condition £7.00 to £10.00

Given how the high mintage the prices of uncirculated were higher than might be expected.

You might also be interested in our full list of the rarest and most valuable 50p coins in circulation.

How Many Johnsons Dictionary 50p Coins Were Made?

There were 17,649,000 (seventeen million, six hundred and forty-nine thousand) Dictionary 50p coins minted in 2005.  It was the only commemorative design released this year along with the standard Britannia.

Is the Johnsons Dictionary 50p Coin Rare?

The rarest 50p coins tend to have a mintage of 2 million or less.  With a mintage of 17 million, the Dictionary 50p is relatively common by comparison.  However, it is still rare enough to be worth more than face value.

Currently, there are only 2 commemorative 50p coins with higher mintages out of 60+ different designs in circulation.

Really rare 50p coins are the ones with mintages of less than 2 million, which includes many of the Olympic Games 50p coins as well as the mega-rare Kew Gardens 50p.

Is it Worth Selling a Dictionary 50p?

Dictionary 50p coins in very good to excellent condition are worth about 5 times their face value, so certainly some people consider selling on eBay to people who will regularly pay those prices.  Uncirculated examples can fetch 3 to 4 times more than that of an excellent condition coin.

About the Johnsons Dictionary

Written solely by Samuel Johnson and taking 7 – 8  years to complete the Johnsons Dictionary was viewed at the preeminent dictionary for the English language for over 150 years until surpassed by the Oxford dictionary.

Originally published as A Dictionary of the English Language. Samuel Johnson or DR Johnson as he was sometimes referred to was approached by a number of publishers who put forward the idea of him creating the dictionary.

Although dictionaries existed at the time, there was much dissatisfaction with them.

For many years it was acclaimed as “one of the greatest single achievements of scholarship”.

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