The Public Library 50p celebrates 150 years since the Public Libraries Act. Found one in your change? Here’s how rare the coin is and how much it’s worth.
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Do you keep a jar for spare change? Taking this stash to the bank every so often can earn us a few pounds – but how many of us check the specific coins we have in our change?
In some cases, you can find rare commemorative 50p coins that are worth more than you might think.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about the Public Libraries 50p, including its history, current worth, and circulation.
Public Libraries 50p overview
The Public Libraries 50p coin was commissioned in 2000 by the Royal Mint to mark the 150th anniversary of the Public Libraries Act.
The Public Libraries Act of 1850 put in place legislation that provided universal free access for everyone to literature and information.
In the UK today, there are more than 3,500 public libraries. As well as providing access to reading materials, many libraries have community-focused groups and initiatives. This can all be traced back to the historic act in 1850.
The Royal Mint collaborated with the Library Association to create the commemorative 50p coin featuring a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley on one side. The reverse design was provided by the renowned artist Mary Milner Dickens.
Dickens created an enduring illustration of an open book with turning pages, atop a classic library building.
This was not the first 50p design by Mary Milner Dickens, as she has worked on three other commemorative coins over the years. The 1992-1993 coin celebrating the completion of the Single Market and the UK’s presidency of the European Council of Ministers was her first.
She also went on to design the 2001 Falkland Islands Centenary 50p coin commemorating the death of Queen Victoria. 2003 saw her design the Women’s Social and Political Union centenary 50p coin.
The Public Libraries 50p is not the most sought-after or valuable 50p, but it has a special place in many people’s hearts – not only the hearts of coin collectors. It commemorates an important act that first gave local boroughs access to free public libraries.
Many people use their local public library without considering how it came about. This Public Libraries coin is a fitting tribute to the act and well worth adding to your collection, even though its current value is relatively small.
The Public Libraries 50p has a high circulation amount of 11,263,000.
Due to the high circulation of the Public Libraries 50p coin, it currently has a worth of around £1.23.
Take a look to find out if you have any rarer 50p coins in your collection.
Year of release
Mary Milner Dickens
27.3 mm in diameter