Isaac Newton 50p: A Complete Guide

It’s not every day that a scientist combines complicated mathematic formulas with his belief in God to introduce important laws of the universe. Sir Isaac Newton helped to discover laws of gravity and motion, invented calculus, and even brought integrity to The Royal Mint. It’s only fitting that a man with such insight would be commemorated on a coin.

The Sir Isaac Newton 50p coin value may be almost as rare of a find as the man himself. If you can find one of these coins to add to your collection, expect to pay about £2.52 according to the latest sold values on eBay in 2021.

How Much is the Isaac Newton 50p Coin Worth?

The Sir Isaac Newton 50p coin value, according to the average sale price on eBay, is about £2.52. Of course, the exact amount is always going to be determined by the coin’s condition as well as which minting.

Is the Isaac Newton 50p Coin Rare?

Yes. The Newton 50p coin is considered to be the second rarest 50p coin. With its initial release, there were only 375 coins issued in 2017 which seemed fitting since it was celebrating the 375th anniversary of the year Newton was born. The mintage was increased to just slightly more than 1.8 million, with 1,801,500 eventually minted.

There was also a 2018 version of the coin produced with a mintage of less than 20,000. However, the 2018 version was only produced for a limited time and not released into circulation. These were distributed only to visitors to The Royal Mint Experience in Wales.

Additionally, there was a double-thickness Piedfort version struck in .925 sterling silver to Proof standard.

Other versions of the coin included:

  • Brilliant Uncirculated in a presentation folder with 54,057 issued.
  • Mint sets that included the 2017 United Kingdom Annual Coin Set – The Coins of 2017 with a 27,551 mintage.
  • Proof FDC with 14,555 issued including those in The 2017 United Kingdom Proof Coin Set Collector Edition and The 2017 United Kingdom Premium Proof Coin Set as well as The 2017 United Kingdom Proof Coin Set Commemorative Edition.
  • Silver Proof FDC with 3,875 issued in 0.925 silver, 8.00 grams sterling silver as well as some included in The 2017 United Kingdom Silver Proof Coin Set and The 2017 United Kingdom Silver Proof Commemorative Coin Set.
  • Silver Proof Piedfort with 1,935 issued where the coin is 16.00 grams sterling silver including some in The 2017 United Kingdom Silver Proof Piedfort Coin set.
  • Gold Proof FDC with 0.917 Gold, 15.50 grams of 22-carat gold with 282 individual coins issued plus coins in sets of The 2017 United Kingdom Gold Proof Definitive Coin Set and The 2017 United Kingdom Gold Proof Coin Set.

Design and Meaning Behind the Isaac Newton 50p

Isaac Newton 50p Coin Design

The coin is part of the 50 pence design with a 7-sided shape that forms an equilateral curved heptagon. The shape is sometimes called a Reuleaux polygon which is a curve of constant width leaving the diameter of the coin with a consistent measurement regardless of the bisection you measure. As the name implies, the face value of the coin is worth 0.50 pound sterling.

In addition to the standard 50p designs, several reverse designs have been minted on the 50p coin to commemorate important events.

The Newton 50p is part of those designed as a special commemorative coin. This one was put into circulation and marked 2017. It consists of a Cupro-nickel alloy with an 8.00 g weight, a diameter of 27.3 mm, and it is 1.78 mm thick.

The edge is plain with no inscription.

The reverse features a design by Aaron West to mark the 375th anniversary of the famous scientist’s birthday. The image represents one of Newton’s theories revealing the sun at the centre and three ellipses to represent the orbits of different planets.

The image is a diagram of the Solar system and is based on elements of Proposition 11 in Book One of Newton’s Principia Mathematica. The sun is the common focal point and is based on the concept that all planets rotate around the sun and not the earth as previously thought.

The letters S E I T C F H are dispersed throughout the design to represent mathematical notations that Newton had included in his original diagrams. The image places the sun in the centre encircled with rings that get larger in circumference as they radiate out from the sun.

The words SIR ISAAC NEWTON are curved and centred toward the top, and the words FIFTY PENCE are curved and centred at the bottom. The initials AW are seen on the bottom right to indicate the designer Aaron West.

Who Was Sir Isaac Newton?

Sir Isaac Newton was a very significant Scientific Revolution figure of the 17th century. His theories and legacy shaped our understanding of mathematics and physics.

This scientific icon also authored one of the most influential books on physics ever written. He combined complicated mathematic formulas with his belief in God to introduce important laws of the universe.

He helped to discover laws of gravity and motion, invented calculus, and even brought integrity to The Royal Mint.

Sir Isaac Newton also held the role of Master of the Mint as of 1699. When he came to The Royal Mint, Britain’s finances were nearing crisis with as many as 10% of circulating coins believed to be counterfeit and forged. He began to root out and prosecute counterfeiters.

He also improved the way coin quality is checked, known as assaying techniques, and refined measures and weights to new standards.

Part of his duties included overseeing the new coinage for the accession of Queen Anne and later supervising the process of bringing Scottish coinage into line with English coinage after the Union of England and Scotland in 1707. Because of his vision, Royal Mint coins are still unrivalled in accuracy and purity.

The Obverse Design

The Obverse design is that of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Jody Clark. At the age of 33, Jody Clark was the youngest person to design the monarch’s profile on this currency. Jody Clark was also the first Royal Mint employee to design a UK definitive coin portrait in more than 100 years.

He had only been working at the Royal Mint for about two years prior. The new design would be the first time Her Majesty’s portrait had been changed in 17 years.

Jody Clark’s design was unveiled in 2015 as the fifth definitive coinage portrait of Her Majesty and the fourth portrait of The Queen in circulation.

Jody Clark wanted to create a more positive look on the Queen’s face. Look closely, and you will notice that this designer introduced elements of personality giving the Queen a hint of a smile. He had examined several sculptures of The Queen before deciding on the warm expression.

In this version, her mature head is crowned with her coronation crown and facing right. The crown is also referred to as the Royal Diamond Diadem crown. Surrounding her head are the words 50 PENCE * 2017 * ELIZABETH II * D * G * REG * F * D * which means Elizabeth The Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith. The designer’s initials, JC, are seen just below the Queen’s neckline.

Where Can You Buy The Coin?

One of the fastest and easiest ways to shop for coins is online. The average selling price on eBay is £2.52 for this specific profile.

The Isaac Newton 50p coin value is considered to be one of the rarest 50p coins minted. As with any collector coin, the actual selling price is going to be determined on which mintage and what condition the coin is in.