The 1918 Representation of the People’s Act 50p was introduced in 2018 and is an iconic 50p that you will have no doubt come across in your change. But how much is it worth today, and is it even rare?
According to an average value taken from confirmed sold listings on eBay, the coin is worth roughly £1.85 not including postage and packaging.
Let’s learn more about the coin to see why it sells for over three times face value on the secondary market.
How Many Representation of the People Act 50p Coins Were Minted?
The mintage of the 1918 Representation of the People Act 50p was 9,000,000 and the coin was introduced to circulation in 2018, which means there is still a good chance that a lot of the coins remain in circulation.
Lots of collectable coins, like the ever-popular Paddington Bear 50p coins or William Shakespeare £2 coins, become so popular that the majority of them are taken out of circulation by collectors or enthusiasts who like to keep the coins to see how much they could be worth a few years down the line.
Does This Make The Coin Rare?
Unfortunately, a mintage of 9,000,000 is quite substantial, and although it can be very hard to estimate how many coins are actually left in circulation, we can still assume that the Representation of the People Act 50p is not particularly rare to find in your change.
The rarest 50p coin in circulation, for example, is the Kew Gardens 50p which had a mintage of just 210,000.
What was the Representation of the People Act?
The Representation of the People Act was a reform of the electoral system and made it so more people were able to vote. The Act was introduced due to the impact of World War One, as it was clear that reform needed to take place as many soldiers who had been involved in the war were not able to vote upon return to England.
Furthermore, mounting pressure from women’s rights protesters created an environment for change to be implemented.
The Bill was originally passed by majority vote in the House of Commons in June 1917. Following this, Royal Assent was given in February the following year.
The main impacts of the act were that women aged over 30 who owned properties or were married to people who did, could vote and that all men over the age of 21 could also vote. The act added 9.2 million female voters alongside 4.5 million males and was a key turning point in British politics.
Another impact of the act was that women were allowed to sit in the House of Commons for the first time in history. In December of 1918, Nancy Astor was elected as MP for Plymouth Sutton and in doing so became the first woman to sit in the House of Commons.
It was not until 1928 that women were given electoral equality, but the 1918 Representation of the People Act was seen as a large step towards equality.
Design of The Coin
In 2018, the 100th year anniversary of the Representation of the People Act was celebrated by the Royal Mint with the release of a special edition 50p coin featuring a unique design.
The reverse design of the coin, created by Stephen Taylor, was inspired by posters from the year the act was passed and depicts various figures queueing to vote as shown above.
Both women and men are shown in the queue, paying tribute to the Act and what it achieved. This coin is very easy to spot in your change, so it is always worth having a look at.
The coin does have the benefit of being minted in 2018 – as previously mentioned – meaning that it is quite a recent edition into circulation and therefore many of the coins will have not been collected yet.
1918 Represenation of the People’s Act 50p Error
There is a lot of speculation online about a supposed error version of this coin, but the Royal Mint has not confirmed any errors at this time.
We have also conducted research and cannot find any examples of real errors, and those that claim to be error versions are usually just showing general wear and tear. Make sure to keep an eye out for any listings that claim to have an error version of the coin – they are simply trying to make more profit.
Where Can You Buy The Coin?
What options are there for those who are wanting to buy the coin rather than waiting for one to appear in your change?
Our personal favourite option is to browse on eBay and use our estimated value as a guideline when bidding. You should also make sure to check the postage price as some people will list a coin for a low price and make up the difference there.
The Royal Mint also sells special versions of the coin, such as gold and silver proof, if you are looking to buy a collectors version.