Goalball 50p: Is It Actually Rare or Worth Anything?

The Goalball 50p has an average soled value of £2.20 according to recent values on eBay, but what makes the coin so valuable to collectors?

In 2011, the Royal Mint issued special commemorative coins to represent individual sporting events of the 2012 London Olympics. The Goalball 50 pence coin was one of the 29 coins minted. The coin’s design represents a very special sport that is part of the Paralympics.

What Is Goalball And How Is It Played?

Goalball was actually created as a form of therapy for World War II veterans. It eventually became a sport in the paralympic games. It is played by athletes who have vision impairment.

Since the athlete’s individual impairment ranges from partial sight to total blindness, all goalball athletes play with a blindfold eyeshade covering. Players who have partial sight also wear eyepatches under the eyeshades just in case the blindfold shifts during play.

Goalball is played in teams of three and requires great hearing-hand coordination. The ball has bells embedded inside. The players attempt to throw the ball into the opponents’ goal using only their hands and not their feet as they rely on their sense of hearing instead of sight.

The game takes place on a volleyball court inside. Since the sport relies on hearing the bells inside the balls, the crowd is asked to not cheer and to silence their cell phones. Additionally, the referees do not make loud vocal calls.

During the London 2012 Paralympics, goalball was played from August 28 through September 9. It featured one separate tournament for men and one for women. The gold medal went to the Finnish men’s team and the Japanese women’s team.

How Rare Is The Goalball 50p Olympic Coin?

The Goalball 50 pence 2011 Olympic coin is considered to be the sixth rarest of the 29 Olympic coins based on mintage numbers alone. With a total mintage of 1,651,500 for the Goalball 50p coins, there were less than 2 million issued. This is comparable to some of the other Olympic coins, such as the Offside or Tennis coins.

Additionally, the Goalball Olympic 50 pence coin was minted in sets including:

  • London 2012 Sports Collection Collector Album with an unknown mintage. The set consisted of all 29 Olympic sporting events and their corresponding 50p coins of which the Goalball coin was on card 13/29.
  • London 2012 Silver 50p Sports Collection with an unknown mintage with the set consisting of all 29 special Olympic coins.

The Goalball 50p was also minted in:

  • Specimen in Card labeled 13/29
  • Silver Brilliant Uncirculated 0.925 Silver with an unknown mintage and a limit of 30,000
  • One 0.917 Gold Proof FDC that was presented to the artist

About the Commemorative Goalball Reverse Side Design

The Goalball Paralympic 50p coin was designed by Jonathan Wren. As with all of the 29 special commemorative Olympic 50p coins, he was chosen after submitting his design entry to the Royal Mint as part of a contest to determine who the designers would be.

The image he designed depicts a goalball player throwing a ball. The throwing motion is indicated by five lines coming off of the ball in a swirling motion. The ball has a picture of a bell on it. He put the bell on the ball to indicate it is a sport that relies on sound and not sight.

The Goalball Olympic 50p Coin
Goalball Olympic 50p Coin Design

As with all London 2012 Paralympic 50p coins, the 2012 logo designed by the consultancy firm of Wolff Olins is found above the image centred at the top. The words 50 PENCE are centred and slightly curved upward at the bottom of the reverse side of the coin and underneath the goalball sport design.

50p Olympic Coin’s Design

Like other 50 pence coins, the 29 Olympic coins issued in honour of the 2012 London Olympics are a 7-sided shape that forms an equilateral curved heptagon made of Cupro-nickel alloy. These coins weigh 8.00 g, have a diameter of 27.3 mm, and are 1.78 mm thick.

The obverse design features an Ian Rank-Broadley design of Queen Elizabeth. The artist is indicated by his signature mark IRB. Her Majesty is wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland diamond tiara. The words ELIZABETH II * D * G * REG * F * D * 2011 surround her image.

The edge of the 50p Olympic coins is plain with no inscription.

About the Designer of the Goalball 50p

The 29 commemorative Olympic 50p coins are unique in that each was designed by individuals chosen by the Royal Mint. The designers were the winners of a competition that was held to determine who the Royal Mint would use to represent each of the 29 sports of the upcoming 2012 Olympics that was held in London.

The Goalball Olympic 50p coin was designed by Jonathan Wren. His design was the one selected to represent the Paralympic sport of goalball.

Jonathan Wren is from southeastern Buckinghamshire, England, Chalfont St. Peter to be exact. He was just 36 years old and working as an animator when he was chosen to design the goalball coin.

He created four designs that reflected both the Olympic and the Paralympic games. One was selected to be used on the final issue of the Goalball coin.

His interest in goalball drove him to pursue illustrating the sport. Before entering the competition to be the next coin designer, he knew nothing about the sport. The more he learned about goalball, the more fascinated he became in Paralympics and this individual sport.

He wanted to demonstrate how fast the sport is played, so he chose to use spiralling lines coming out off of the ball and encircling the goalball player. Since the sport is unique and not known by many people, he made sure that he included a picture of a bell on the ball to explain a bit about the sport.

Where To Buy The Coin

One of the fastest and easiest ways to shop for collectable coins is online at eBay. The average selling price on eBay is £2.20 for this coin.

Always conduct due diligence before you buy anything from eBay, as there are quite a few scammers out there who are looking to make an easy profit on people who are less informed.