Royal Mint marks 50 years of 50p


50p Commemorative CoinsImage copyright

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Coins that celebrate the founding of Kew Gardens and the first four-minute sub-mile are part of the 50th anniversary collection

A coin set commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 50-pence seven-sided piece was unveiled by the Royal Mint.

Commemorative coins mark events, including Sir Roger Bannister, running the first four-minute sub-mile and the 250th anniversary of the founding of Kew Gardens in London.

The Scouts and Girl Guides Foundation is also celebrated on the set.

The Mint said the five-coin collection "features some of the country's 50 cents most beloved pieces."

The 50p coin was introduced in 1969 to replace the 10-shilling note, and was one of the three decimal coins to be put into circulation prior to decimalization in 1971.

Athlete and neurologist Bannister walked the first four-minute court on the Iffley Road sports grounds in Oxford on May 6, 1954.

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Media LegendFile: Bannister reflects on his famous achievement

The 50p marks the 50th anniversary of this achievement, when he recorded a time of three minutes and 59.4 seconds in front of 1,500 spectators.

He only held the world record for 46 days, when his time was beaten by Australian rival John Landy.

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The coin celebrating the 250th anniversary of the founding of Kew depicts the Great Pagoda of the Gardens, which was completed in 1762 as a gift to Princess Augusta.

With only 210,000 coins produced, it is the rarest 50p coin in circulation.

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The Great Pagoda in Kew, photo in 2010

Other currencies in the set include:

  • A 50p mark marking the 100th birthday of the Boy Scouts, which is marked with the famous motto "be prepared". The movement was founded in 1907 by the British cavalry officer Robert Baden-Powell
  • A coin that celebrates 100 years of the Girl Guides, founded by Baden-Powell's sister Agnes in 1910
  • A 50p version that was in circulation for 40 years until 2008


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