THE rarest 50p coins in circulation have been revealed as the Royal Mint marks half a century since the piece was introduced.

The 50p coin, which entered circulation on October 14 1969, is considered to be the most collectable in Britain today, the Royal Mint said.

But it is the 2009 Kew Gardens 50p design which remains the nation's rarest coin, with just 210,000 created.

Mintage figures from 2018 show the 2011 Olympic wrestling design is the second rarest 50p coin in circulation, with 1,129,500 produced.

It is followed by the 2011 Olympic football design, of which 1,161,500 were created.

The Royal Mint's director of currency, Andrew Mills, said: "The official 2018 mintage figures provide a guide to the volume and variety of coins in 50p circulation today.

"Coin collecting remains as popular as ever in the UK, and October marks 50 years of the iconic 50p, widely considered to be the most collectable coin."

Prestwich and Whitefield Guide: The rarest 50p coins. Credit: Royal Mint/PA WireThe rarest 50p coins. Credit: Royal Mint/PA Wire

The rarest 50p coins produced in 2018 featured the Beatrix Potter characters Peter Rabbit and Flopsy Bunny - each with a mintage of 1.4 million.

The Royal Mint said one of the most 'significant' 50p coins released into circulation last year commemorated the 100th anniversary of The Representation of the People Act.

The coin, which depicts key beneficiaries of the act including a woman holding her ballot, a soldier and a suffragette, was produced nine million times.

Every coin in circulation is struck at the Royal Mint's facility in Llantrisant, South Wales.

While the current value of the rarest 50p coins varies, the Peter Rabbit coin is currently available on online auction sites for more than £500.

The 50p coin replaced the ten-shilling note and was entered into circulation in readiness for the decimal switchover of Britain's currency.

The rarest 50p designs in circulation, with their mintage figures, are:

  • 2009 Kew Gardens: 210,000
  • 2011 Olympic wrestling: 1,129,500
  • 2011 Olympic football: 1,161,500
  • 2011 Olympic judo: 1,161,500
  • 2011 Olympic triathlon: 1,163,500
  • 2018 Peter Rabbit: 1,400,000
  • 2018 Flopsy Bunny: 1,400,000
  • 2011 Olympic tennis: 1,454,000
  • 2011 Olympic goalball: 1,615,500
  • 2011 Olympic shooting: 1,656,500

What should I do if I think I've got a rare coin?

According to Which?, mintage figures can have a massive impact on the coin’s value in the market.

Generally, the harder the coin is for collectors to find, the more they are likely to pay for the coin.

But the amount they could go for on auction sites like eBay could range from anything between £6 or hundreds of pounds.

Collectors are advised to treat eBay listings with caution and remember coins are only worth whatever a buyer is willing to pay for them.