The Basketball 50p is one of the elusive Olympic coins released to commemorate the 2012 Olympic Games held in London, but how much is it worth today?
According to eBay, the Basketball 50p sells for around £2.12 in circulated condition in 2022.
Keep reading to discover what makes the coin worth so much more than face value and how to spot one in your change.
Basketball 50p Coin Mintage
When looking only at mintage numbers, the Basketball 50p is considered to be the 14th rarest in the set of 29 coins. There were 1,748,000 of these coins minted.
All 29 coins in the Olympic 50-pence series, including the Basketball 50p Olympic coin, were also minted in a Specimen in Card. The Basketball Coin is labelled 5/29. This coin was also minted in a Silver Brilliant Uncirculated 0.925 Silver variety.
Additionally, two sets of the Basketball Coin were minted with unknown mintage in the London 2012 Sports Collection Collector Album set and the London 2012 Silver 50p Sports Collection. Both sets included all 29 coins in the series. The London 2012 Silver 50p Sports Collection set included all 29 coins minted in 0.925 silver. The silver set had a limit of 30,000, but the actual mintage is unknown.
One unique Gold Proof FDC 0.917 Gold was presented to the artist, Sarah Payne.
Basketball at the Olympics
Basketball is played inside on a court with a hoop, or net basket, high above the players’ heads on both ends. Teams of 5 players each use a basketball to shoot into the basket net hoops.
Behind the baskets is a backboard which, depending on the throw, helps push the ball into the net or makes it more difficult to get the ball inside the hoop by bouncing off.
Players must throw, dribble and bounce the ball as they move to the other end of the court. The opponents try to block the other team from scoring but must follow specific rules of play.
A demonstration tournament was held at the 1904 Olympics, but basketball was not an official Olympic sport until many years later. Basketball was first played in the Olympics at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games.
At the London 2012 Summer Olympics, the basketball event was held at the new purpose-built Olympic Park in the Basketball Arena at Stratford which held 12,000 spectators. Some tournaments were also held at The O2 Arena, North Greenwich Arena which held 20,000 spectators.
Basketball was played from July 28 through August 12 alternating days between Men and Women, starting on the first day with the Women’s teams. The sport hosted 12 teams in the Men’s tournament and 12 teams in the Women’s tournament.
The United States dominated the medal board. USA won the gold medal in both the men’s and the women’s events. Spain followed in the Men’s event by winning the Silver, and Russia took home the Bronze. For the women, France took the Silver, and Australia won the Bronze.
Olympic Coin Design
As part of the standard 50 Pence coin design, the Olympic 50p coins hold the heptagon shape that is sometimes called a Reuleaux. The coins measure the same across regardless of where you take the measurement.
Like all 50p coins, the face value of the coin is 0.50 pounds sterling. They consist of a Cupro-nickel alloy with an 8.00g weight, a diameter of 27.3mm, and are 1.78mm thick.
The Obverse of the Olympic 50p coins is the profile of Queen Elizabeth II crowned and facing right. She is wearing is the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland diamond tiara. The image was designed by Ian Rank-Broadley. His initials of IRB are seen under the Queen’s neckline. The words ELIZABETH * II * D * G REG * F * D * 2011 encircle Her Majesty’s image.
The edge is plain with no inscription.
Basketball 50p Coin Design
The Basketball 50p coin features four basketball athletes pictured against a background of a textured basketball that fills the entire coin. The image of the background ball has the basketball curved lines and dots.
The four players in the forefront show a lot of movement as two contend for the ball to the left of the coin, the one on the right is jumping as if to sink the ball into a net that is not pictured. The athlete in the middle is passing the ball between his legs as he dribbles.
As in keeping with the layout of the 29 coin designs, the Olympic logo is positioned at the top of the reverse side. The logo was designed by Wolff Olins consultancy firm.
Slightly curved upward on each end and centred at the bottom of the coin are the words 50 PENCE.
Basketball 50p Designer
Each of the 29 Olympic 50p coins was designed by individual designers who were the winners of a contest to determine who the Royal Mint would use for each coin. The Basketball Olympic 50p coin was designed by Sarah Payne.
Sarah Payne, from Llanishen, Cardiff, not only entered her basketball design which showed lots of movement as she had intended, but she won the contest for her design.
She entered the contest at her grandmother’s encouragement. She entered at her request and learned that she had won after her grandmother’s death. Her grandma is who inspired her.
As a child, Sarah had a large coin collection that captured her interest in artistic designs. She went on to become a professional designer who created cards and designed toys.
Where To Buy or Sell the Basketball 50p
eBay is a great option if you want to quickly buy or sell a circulated version of the Basketball 50p, just make sure that you deal with a reputable seller and agree on a fair price based on the average (around £2).