Rare 2011 Aquatics 50p coin with lines across the face
The first Aquatics 50p coin designs released for the London 2012 Olympics depicted an Olympic Swimmer with lines across the face being covered in water.
Only 600 of these coins were ever issued. The design was subsequently changed to remove the water lines so that the swimmer’s face is clearly visible.
This makes this coin the rarest 50 pence to be released.
Aquatics 50p coin image
Is the Aquatics 50p a rare coin?
The Aquatics 50p has a quite low mintage with 2,179,000 coins released to circulation. The withdrawn first edition is a rare coin with only 600 issued.
Is the Aquatics 50p an error coin?
Aquatics 50p rare coin
Many people call this an error coin. It is not a minting error, the design was withdrawn and replaced with a new design which is not an error in the minting process. You could say they made an error in releasing it and then changing their minds over the final coin design.
The Royal Mint decided to change the design so you could see the swimmer’s face. We suspect that most of the first design coins were withdrawn and destroyed from the shops.
How much is it worth?
One of the rare versions of this 50 pence coin sold on eBay attracting 48 bids with a final selling price of £820!
The second design of the coin is not rare and can be seen at auction with starting bids from £1.00
Make sure you understand the difference in these coins before considering coins in sales listings as “rare”.
How to spot the rare Olympic swimming coin?
A reminder of the rare swimmer coin vs the common one, left is the rare one where the swimmers face is covered in flowing water
Right is the common one where the swimmer’s face is clearly visible.
Beware Fake Coins
Beware! due to the high value of this coin, we have seen many fake coins listed for sale.
Check the listing details for the word “COPY” or “IRB COPY”.