The Olympic Games 50p coins are some of the rarest and most sought after 50p coins currently in circulation in the UK.
Find out how rare each coin really is and check if you have them all if you are trying to complete your collection.
We have also included the estimated values of each coi in the Olympic 50p list
It was the 2011 release of the 29 Olympic 50p coins which kickstarted the popularity of modern day coin collecting, and in particular the most popular of all, the 50p coin designs.
Table of Contents
A-Z list of Olympic Games 50p Coins with Pictures
Below is the Olympic 50p coins full set list with pictures in alphabetical order.
All 29 50p coin designs were released in circulation in 2011 to celebrate London hosting the 2012 Olympic Games.
Under each coin is the mintage figure, this is the official number of coins released into circulation by The Royal Mint. To see a list of the Olympic 50p coins in order of rarity please see further down the page.
Many of these are some of the rarest 50p coins in circulation today and are worth above face value.
The list also acts as a 2011 Olympic 50p value list with all values listed under each 50p.
Estimated Values: We have included estimated values for a coin in excellent circulated condition. These prices are just a guide.
Aquatics 50p Value: £3.00 to £3.50
The 2011 Olympic Swimming or Aquatics 50p as it is formerly known is not to be confused with the 2016 Team GB Swimming 50p which is more much common.
There is also a known error of the Aquatics 50p which is swimming lines across the swimmers face. Although if looking to buy one be aware of fakes, which have sometimes even included homemade attempts to mark the lines themselves.
Swimming is one of the view events that has been at every Olympic Games since the beginning of 1896. Women have taken part since 1912.
Archery 50p Value: £1.00 to £2.00
The Archery 50p is the most common in the set with a mintage of over 3 million.
Archery itself has been an on and off Olympic Event since 1900, although a regular event since 1972. In recent times it has been dominated by South Korean medal winners.
The coin design prominently shows the archer’s handgrip pulling back on the bow.
Athletics 50p Value: £3.00
The 2011 Athletics 50p or High Jump 50p as it is often referred to is very special in terms of its designer.
At the age of just 9 years, Florence Jackson’s design was chosen as a winner of a Blue Peter competition. She is the youngest person by far to have ever designed a UK circulating coin.
The design shows the high jumpers upside-down face heading towards the “50 PENCE” denomination at the base of the coin and their lower body arching over the high jump pole.
Athletics itself has been featured at every Olympic Games since the very first Games in 1896.
Badminton 50p Value: £3.00 to £3.50
Badminton is a relatively new sporting event at the Olympics, appearing first in the Barcelona 1992 games compared to some of the others featured in the coin set.
The coin itself features a large shuttlecock. To the right of the design, we see a total of 10 small images spread over 4 rows of badminton players performing shots as might be seen in a game.
Basketball 50p Value: £3.00
Basketball has been an event for men at every Olympics since 1936 and for women since 1976. The event is typically dominated by the USA and the men’s team won gold in 2012.
The coin design features 4 images of a Basketball player in 4 positions rising as if taking a slam dunk.
The background of the coin mimics the surface of a basketball including the ribbed lines and also the fine surface indentations which aid a players grip.
Boccia 50pValue: £3.00 to £3.50
Boccia (pronounced “Bot’cha) has been a Paralympic sport since 1984. Wheelchair-bound athletes with relatively severe liabilities. Each player has the option to throw, kick or use a ramp to get their ball as close to the “jack” ball as possible.
Boccia can be played as individuals or in teams of 2 or 3.
The coin design depict a Boccia player attempting to launch a throw of the ball from his wheelchair.
Boxing 50p Value: £3.00 to £3.50
Boxing has been a regular event at the Olympics since 1904, although did miss the Sweden 1912 Games because the sport was banned at the time.
Team GB has an excellent record of winning medals in boxing.
In 2012 the Men’s won 2 gold medals, Luke Campbell at Bantamweight, and future World heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua won a Gold in the Super Heavy Weight division.
Nicola Adams won gold for Team GB in the women’s Flyweight. (She also went on to win Gold again in 2016)
The coin design features 2 sides of the roped ring in the background. In the foreground are a pair of hanging boxing gloves.
Canoeing 50p Value: £3.00 to £3.50
Canoeing has been a featured event since its first appeared in the 1936 Berlin Games.
The coin design features a canoeist paddling through the rapids checkpoints.
Cycling 50p Value:£3.00 to £3.50
Cycling ended up being Team GB’s most successful event at the London 2012 Olympics winning 8 gold medals and 12 medals in total.
Gold medalists included Chris Hoy, Bradley Wiggins, Jason Kenny and Victoria Pendleton.
Equestrian 50p Value: £3.00 to £3.50
Equestrian events have appeared at the Olympics at almost every Games since 1900. It’s only event to feature live animals (along with the same element in the Modern Penthalon).
Team GB finished top of the medal table for Equestrian events, with 5 medals in total, 3 of which were gold.
The coin itself features a horse and rider making a jump.
Fencing 50p Value: £3.00 to £3.50
Fencing has been featured in every Olympic Games since 1896.
The coin design depicts two contesting fencers, one in a deep lunge towards the other who looks to be making a strike of their own.
Football Value: £8.00 to £11.00
The Football Olympic 50p coin is one of the rarest of the 29.
The Offside Explained 50p as it is sometimes referred was chosen as the design for football as a way of also promoting discussion about the coin. The offside rule is one of those rules that can be confusing to people who only occasionally follow the game.
The coin design shows half a football pitch headed “OFFSIDE EXPLAINED”.
Using a couple of arrows and square and triangle symbols on the pitch layout the design aims to indicate which positions would be as per the inscriptions on the coin “OFFSIDE” or “NOT OFFSIDE” if the ball was passed to them at that particular moment.
Goalball 50p Value: £3.50 to £5.00
Goalball is a Paralympic event first introduced in 1976. Specifically for visually impaired participants, it’s an ear-to hand sporting event. It’s the rarest of the 50p Paralympic sports within the whole Olympic set.
A team sport with 3 players on the court at a time. The court is tactile with lines of tape over the twine so the athletes can gauge the court lines.
Gymnastics 50p Value: £3.00 to £4.00
Gymnastics is another event that has been at every Games since the first of the modern era in 1896. Women have been competing since the Amsterdam 1928 Olympics.
The coin design depicts a Rhythmic gymnastics routine with a prominent swirling ribbon rising upwards making up the larger portion of the image.
Handball 50p Value: £3.00 to £4.00
Indoor handball has been an Olympic event for men since 1972 and for women since 1976.
The coin design features a handball player in a dynamic pose ready to throw overlapping the layout of an entire handball court.
Hockey 50p Value: £3.00 to £3.50
Field hockey was first introduced as an Olympic sport in the London 1908 Games and has featured in most of the Games since. Women’s hockey has only been an event in the Olympics since 1980.
The Hockey 50p coin design features two women hockey players from opposing teams.
Judo 50p Value: £9.00 to £12.00
One of the top 3 rarest Olympic 50p designs the Judo 50p features 2 contestants mid-throw.
Judo has been an Olympic event since 1964 for men. Women first participated to win medals in the event from 1992 onwards.
Modern Pentathlon 50p
Modern Pentathlon 50p Value: £2.50 to £3.00
The men’s Modern Pentathlon has been an Olympic event since 1912. The women-only since 2000.
The coin design represents the 5 events that make up the modern pentathlon.
The events on the 50p coin from the far left anti-clockwise round are as follows:
- Épée fencing
- 3 km cross country running
- Pistol shooting
- Showjumping on horseback
- 200-metre freestyle swimming
Rowing 50p Value: £3.00 to £4.00
Men’s rowing was first introduced as an Olympic event in 1900 after being cancelled in 1896 due to poor weather conditions.
Women have been participating since the 1976 Montreal Games.
Rowing was one of Team GB’s most successful events in 2012 winning a total of 9 medals including 4 golds.
In the coin design a Coxless Pair can be seen rowing through the inscribed values of being an Olympian:
- FAIR PLAY
This is why the coin is sometimes referred to as the Excellence Friendship 50p.
Sailing 50p Value: £3.00 to £4.00
Overall for all Olympics, Great Britain has won more medals and gold medals in particular than any other nation.
Ben Ainslie continued this trend in 2012 winning a gold medal for Team GB in the Finn sailing event.
The coin design depicts the key aspects of the events. A navigation grid reference type background represents the difference between landmass and sea. 3 one-man sailing yachts can be seen racing on the surface of the sea.
Shooting 50p Value: £3.50 to £5.00
An Olympic event at most Olympics events since the very first in 1896 where they shot at live pigeons. Thankfully from 1900 onwards, they used Clay Pigeons.
Nowadays there is a wide range of different shooting events, in which overall Team GB has had a good track record.
Table Tennis 50p
Table Tennis 50p Value: £2.50 to £3.50
Table tennis has only been an Olympic event since 1988 for both men and women in singles and doubles.
The table tennis 50p or ping pong 50p as it is referred to by some depicts a table in the background. In the foreground we see 2 opposing table tennis bats gripped by the player’s hands.
Through the centre of the coin, we see the dynamic movement path of a table tennis ball.
Taekwondo 50p Value: £3.00 to £4.00
First demonstrated in the 1988 South Korean Seoul Olympics, it’s country of origin, it had to wait until the Sydney 2000 Games to become a full medal-winning event.
The coin design features two combatants both illustrating Taekwondo trademark high kick moves.
Tennis 50 Value: £3.50 to £7.00
One of the most popular sports in the world, the sport of tennis featured in the very first Olympics games in 1896.
Andy Murray actually went on to win A Gold Medal for Team GB in the Men’s Singles on grass courts in the 2012 event celebrated on the coin.
Triathlon 50p Value: £8.00 to £11.00
A Summer Olympics event for both men and women since the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games the 2012 Games would have been only the 3rd time it featured.
Team GB’s Alistair Brownlee went on to win a Gold medal in the men’s 2012 triathlon event.
Volleyball 50p Value: £2.50 to £3.00
Volleyball has been an Olympic event for both men and women since 1964.
Beach Volleyball was also introduced from 1996 onwards.
The coin design depicts beach volleyball with the net stretching across the coin and female contestants reaching up towards the volleyball which doubles as a sun in the sky with rays appearing to shine from within it.
Weightlifting 50p Value: £2.00 to £3.00
Weighlifting was one of the original events in the 1896 Athens Games and has been featured in every Olympic Games since 1920.
The 50p coin design features the outline of a contestant in a squatting position ready to perform their lift with their heavy barbell.
Wheelchair Rugby 50p
Wheelchair 50p Value: £2.50 to £3.50
Wheelchair Rugby has been a Paralympic event since 2000.
Its a mixed team event played on a Basketball size court with a white volleyball like ball.
The coin design has a thinned ribbed lined background, over which we see a Wheelchair Rugby player, hands on the wheels and call in their lap ready to make the next move.
Wrestling 50p Value: £7.50 to £10.50
An Olympic event since the very first Olympic Games in 1896, this 50p coin depicts 2 freestyle wrestlers each aiming to throw and pin their opponent to the wrestling mat and secure a win.
As you can see in the dynamic coin design, one wrestler has up-ended another.
What is the Olympic 50p Coins Full Set Value?
The value of the Olympic 50p coins is dependent on the condition they are in.
If you have a full set in excellent circulated condition, you can expect it to be worth in the region of £104 to £137.00
This is considerably above the face value of 29 x 50p coins which equates to £14.50.
Collections in average to very good would be worth less, and mint uncirculated would be worth more.
Full List of London 2012 Olympic Games 50p Coins
There are 29 designs of 50p coins in the Olympic Games range which were released to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The top 7 are actually some of the 10 rarest 50p coins in circulation.
Even the Athletics 50p coin which was minted in the highest numbers was done so in relatively small numbers compared to other commemorative releases, so completing a collection of the full set is quite an achievement.
Olympic 50p Coins List in Order of Rarity:
- Football 50p – 1,125,500
- Wrestling 50p – 1,129,500
- Judo 50p – 1,161,500
- Triathlon 50p – 1,163,500
- Tennis 50p – 1,454,000
- Goalball 50p – 1,615,500
- Shooting 50p – 1,656,500
- Taekwondo 50p – 1,664,000
- Handball 50p – 1,676,500
- Modern Pentathlon 50p – 1,689,500
- Rowing 50p – 1,717,300
- Gymnastics 50p – 1,720,813
- Table Tennis 50p – 1,737,500
- Basketball 50p – 1,748,000
- Sailing 50p – 1,749,500
- Wheelchair Rugby 50p – 1,765,500
- Hockey 50p – 1,773,500
- Weightlifting 50p – 1,879,500
- Cycling 50p – 2,090,500
- Fencing 50p – 2,115,500
- Badminton 50p – 2,133,500
- Volleyball 50p – 2,133,500
- Equestrian 50p – 2,142,500
- Boxing 50p – 2,148,500
- Boccia 50p – 2,166,000
- Canoeing 50p – 2,166,500
- Aquatics 50p – 2,179,000
- Athletics 50p – 2,224,000
- Archery 50p – 3,345,500
What’s the Rarest Olympic 50p Coin (Worth £750+)
The absolute rarest of all the Olympic 50p coins is a first edition of the Aquatics 50p which featured lines across the swimmer’s face. Only 600 of these were minted for circulation.
In terms of those, you might find in general circulation the 2012 Football Offside explained is the rarest Olympic 50p coin with a mintage of 1,125,500. This also makes the 2nd rarest of all 50p coins currently circulating in the UK.
Which Olympic 50p Coins are Valuable?
The most valuable of all Olympic 50p coins would be the Aquatics first edition which was only released in a very limited number of 600 before the design was changed to the second edition design without the lines over the face.
This Aquatics coin could be worth anywhere between £750 to £1000+ even if it’s been in circulation.
Of the other Olympic coins uncirculated versions of the 4 rarest, Wrestling, Football, Judo and Triathlon would be the most valuable.
How Many 2011 Olympic 50p Coins Are There?
There are 29 different sports designs covered in the Olympic Games 50p range released in 2011 to commemorate the London 2012 Olympics.
It’s also worth mentioning that in 2016 a new Team GB Swimming 50p was released into circulation in support of the Great Britain team in the 2016 Olympics.