Released way back in 2006, the Victoria Cross (VC) Medal 50p coin is one of two 50p coins commemorating the Victoria Cross Medal, but how much is it worth today?
According to average sold values on eBay in 2022, the Victoria Cross Medal 50p costs £1.18 in circulated condition not considering postage and packaging.
In the rest of this article, we’ll explain why the coin is worth this much, how rare it really is and how to distinguish it from the other Victoria Cross 50p coin.
How Many 2006 VC Medal 50p Coins Were Made?
The cupronickel commemorative Victoria Cross (VC) Medal 50p coin was released in 2006 with a mintage figure of 12,087,000. This mintage is considered to be quite large, and for this reason, the VC medal 50p is not very rare.
The Royal Mint also released limited-edition proof versions of the coin featuring different metal compositions and varying mintages:
|Silver proof piedfort||3,532|
Not To Be Mistaken For The VC Heroics 50p
A lot of people think that there is just one 50p coin commemorating the victoria cross, but there are actually two – the heroics and medal 50p coins.
Both of these coins were minted in 2006, however, the medal version is often searched for due to the inscription on the design ‘VC’, which makes it easier to identify the coin.
Interestingly enough, the VC heroics 50p is actually rarer with a mintage of 10,000,500.
In 2019 the VC medal 50p was re-issued as part of the 50 years of the 50p celebration in the Military Histories set.
This set includes the VC medal 50p, alongside 4 other coins:
This set was issued in brilliant uncirculated, silver proof, silver proof piedfort as well as gold proof.
Design Of The 2006 VC Medal 50p Coin
The obverse side of the coin features a portrait of the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley. This portrait was used on all UK coinage from 1998 to 2014 and for some 2015 coins. It was the fourth portrait of the Queen used on British coinage, succeeding the work of Raphael Maklouf on those before it.
The reverse side of all versions features a design by Claire Aldridge, a Senior Designer at the Royal Mint. Aldridge has worked on numerous coins for the Royal Mint, including the Olympic Countdown series, but lists the VC Medal 50p as her favourite, being the first coin she designed that made it into circulation.
On the reverse, placed at the top, are two depictions of the Victoria Cross. The front of the medal and the laureled ribbon are set off-centre to the left, and a somewhat smaller representation of the back of the VC is placed to its right. The letters ‘VC’ and ‘FIFTY PENCE’ are engraved on the bottom right of the coin, underneath both medals.
The front-facing coin features the imagery present in the centre of an actual VC – a bronze cross pattée. The medal features the crown of Saint Edward surmounted by a lion. The actual VC is 41 mm high and 36 mm wide.
The back-facing medal is bare, aside from ‘29. JAN 1856’ inscribed in the middle, added by the designer to celebrate the date the VC was created. An actual VC contains no such engraving.
Why Was It Made And What Does It Commemorate?
Established on 29th January 1856 for British and Commonwealth servicemen and women who have demonstrated ‘most conspicuous bravery, or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice, or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy’, the Victoria Cross is the highest and most prestigious medal in the British honours system.
The VC was conceived during the Crimean War (1853-56), where the combined British, French and Ottomon armies drove the Russians out of Sebastopol and the Black Sea. The War is widely regarded as a turning point in modern warfare where industrial tactics started to come to the fore, and with them very high casualty and injury rates.
The Times journalist William Howard Russell remarked on the bravery of the common soldier and advocated for a medal that could be given to the common soldiery.
At the time of its creation, only British Army officers were awarded medals – it was the (now rather baffling) consensus that it was the officers’ leadership that compelled men to bravery, rather than an inherent sense of valour.
MPs were receptive to the idea, and following a debate in the House of Commons, it was agreed that Queen Victoria should create ‘an order of merit for distinguished and prominent personal gallantry to which every grade and individual from the highest to the lowest may be admissible.’
The jewellers Hancock’s of London has been commissioned to produce every VC awarded since its creation. The popular myth is that of the medals being cast from the bronze of Russian cannons captured at Sebastopol, but modern metallurgical studies have traced the origins of the metal to China, likely from artillery captured during the First Opium War.
Where Can You Sell A VC Medal 50p?
If you’re looking to sell a VC medal 50p then eBay is a great option – just make sure you use the guide price in this article to make sure you are getting a fair offer.
If you have a proof version, consider speaking to a coin dealership as they might be interested in purchasing it.