The 1998 NHS 50p coin is a 50p coin dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of the formation of the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948. The NHS was created as part of the social reform following World War 2 and is entirely funded by taxation.
The 1998 NHS 50p coin has an average market value of £2.16 according to eBay, including postage and packaging.
Read more to find out about the design of the coin and how rare it is, or check out our top 5 rarest 50p coins list to see which 50p coins are the rarest!
History of the 50p
The 50p coin was introduced in 1969 alongside the 5p and 10p during the decimalisation of the currency. It was not until 1971 that decimalisation was complete, which meant that the pound was equal to 100 new pence. Prior to this change, each pound was subdivided into 20 shillings with each shilling worth 12 pence; meaning one pound was equal to 240 pence. The shape of the 50p coin – an equilateral curve heptagon – meant nothing had ever been minted like it before.
Prior to 1997, each 50p coin had a weight of 13.5 grams and a diameter of 30 millimetres. Following the introduction of smaller 5p and 10p coins in the early 90s, it was decided that the 50p coin had to also become smaller. The change occurred in 1997 and the new 50p coin had a weight of 8.0 grams and a diameter of 27.3 millimetres.
Design of the 1998 NHS 50p
The 1998 NHS 50p coin features a design by David Cornell showing a pair of hands with light radiating from them. Around the edge, the inscription ‘NHS’ can be found 5 times in total. The design pays tribute to the hope that the NHS brought to many following its creation in 1948.
Is the 1998 NHS 50p rare?
The 1998 NHS 50p coin is a circulating 50p, as it was minted after 1997 following the change in the design of the 50 pence coin which reduced the coin’s diameter and thickness. This means that the coin can be found in your change.
The mintage for the coin was around 5,001,000 in cupro-nickel composition, with a weight of 8.00 grams, a diameter of 27.30mm and thickness of 1.78mm.
Does a mintage of 5,001,000 mean the coin is rare?
Well, not exactly. For example, out of all circulating 50p coins produced after the changes to the coin in 1997, the rarest one is the 2009 Kew Garden’s 50p coin which had a mintage of 210,000. To even break the top 5 rarest 50p coins the coin would need a mintage of lower than 1,801,500 which it is very far away from.
All hope is not lost, however, since the coin has been in circulation from 1998 there is a lot of room for coins to be discarded or degraded during that time. By far and away this 50p is not the most sought after or considered particularly rare, but it does have a very nice representation behind it and for such a low value it is probably worth picking one up if you’re interested.
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