Are Silver Proof 50p coins from The Royal Mint a good investment?
What is a Silver Proof 50p coin?
It is 8g of .925 Sterling Silver (92.5% Silver, 7.5% other metal) struck using proof finish quality dies to produce a coin.
How much is 8g of Sterling Silver worth?
Pure silver is currently about £0.60 per gram, so (8 x £0.60) x .925 = £4.44
Royal Mint Silver Proof 50p Coins: 2016 to 2020
When you buy a silver proof coin, you are buying more than just the metal of course - there are costs associated with the production of the coin and packaging.
How much does a Silver Proof 50p from The Royal Mint cost?
The current recommended retail price and initial selling price is normally £55 for coins that do not include any colour printing and £65 for those that do.
My coin is a limited edition, does that mean the future price of my Silver Proof 50p will be higher than the price I paid?
Secondary market prices for silver proof 50p coins are dependent on a number of factors, including subject matter desirability and maximum mintage numbers for the presentation and the coin itself.
Limited Edition Presentation (LEP) – maximum number of the coin presented in the same packaging.
Maximum Coin Mintage (MCM) – total maximum number of the coin that could be produced, demand will determine production numbers, but if this number is reached – no more are produced.
This is a table showing all Silver Proof 50p coin releases since 2016 – there are 39 products and 14 (about 36%) are currently worth more than the original selling price.
|Coin||Year||Colour Printed||RRP on release||Current Price||LEP||MCM||Total Sales|
|Battle of Hastings||2016||No||£50||£70||3000||6000||2338|
|Beatrix Potter Anniversary||2016||No||£50||£210||7750||7750||7471|
|The Tale of Peter Rabbit||2017||Yes||£60||£39||30000||40000||39384|
|Mr Jeremy Fisher||2017||Yes||£60||£27||30000||40000||35749|
|Sir Isaac Newton||2017||No||£50||£57||4000||7000||3875|
|Representation of the People Act||2018||No||£55||£35||1918|
|The Tailor of Gloucester||2018||Yes||£60||£28||30000||45000|
|Paddington at the Station||2018||Yes||£65||£34||60000||75000|
|Paddington at Buckingham Palace||2018||Yes||£65||£34||60000||75000|
|Paddington at the Tower of London||2019||Yes||£65||£47||25000||32500|
|Paddington at St Paul's Cathedral||2019||Yes||£65||£50||25000||32500|
|50 years of the fifty pence||2019||No||£55||£56||3500||3510|
|The Gruffalo & The Mouse||2019||Yes||£65||£61||25000||30000|
|Wallace & Gromit||2019||Yes||£65||£50||25000||27500|
|The Snowman & James||2019||Yes||£65||£62||25000||27500|
|Exit from the E.U||2020||No||£55||£52||47000||47000|
There are a few other considerations that can impact value. Prices presented here are based on secondary market sales of the coin in original packaging with a non-remarkable Certificate of Authenticity (COA) number.
Low or special COA numbers can increase the price that can be achieved when selling – for example 0001 would likely sell for more than any other number.
If the coin has been removed from the original packaging and graded at a high grade such as PF70 – it is likely to be worth more than an ungraded coin in original packaging.
If the coin (metal) has begun changing colour due to the effects of the environment / packaging, it is very likely that the coin will be less desirable and therefore worth less.
There are some rare exceptions where toning can look good and increase value – for example rainbow toning may occur in certain conditions on specific coins – but silver 50p coins tend to see light brown toning which make the coin look dirty and is not attractive.
The coin in this picture is the 2019 Stephen Hawking Silver Proof 50p.
How to check your Silver Proof 50p's for signs of toning
You can watch the How to check if your Royal Mint Silver Proof 50p is toning video on the Coin Hunter YouTube channel.
Lift the coin in the capsule out of the presentation box and take it to a window or outside where there is plenty of natural daylight.
Closely inspect both sides, especially the obverse (heads side) as it seems to be more prone to toning. If you have a phone camera that can zoom and focus clearly on parts of the coin - use it to help you inspect the coin, as the first signs of toning can be difficult to see with the naked eye.
The coin shown here (2019 Battle of Hastings from the Celebrating 50 Years of the 50p Military Set) is beginning to tone, it is just possible to see the slight discolouration near to the edge of the coin.
Toning that can just be seen on close inspection with the naked eye, can be seen in great detail and very clearly with a high quality phone camera.
This is the 2019 Heroic Acts Victoria Cross 50p from the same silver proof coin set as the 50p obverse shown in the image above.
You can see the dark brown reaction in the metal edge closest to the black foam material that surrounds the coin.
Whilst coin toning is a natural chemical process that occurs when something reacts with the surface of the metal - if coins are kept in optimal conditions, the process should occur slowly and would normally be seen on coins much older than those dated 2019.
Silver Proof coins from 2017 that have been kept in the exact same conditions as the coins shown above are currently showing no signs of toning.
The only difference of note is that the foam material that surrounds and touches the coins is white and appears to be made from a different material.
To investigate further, samples of both materials are being prepared to be sent to a testing lab. The lab will be looking for anything in the material that could have reacted with silver or the other metals to trigger or facilitate a chemical reaction.