RARE Olympic Aquatics 50p coin

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.

Aquatics 50p with lines across the face

View on eBay

Only 600 of these Olympic 50p swimmer 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. check our 50p Coin Values for pricing.

Aquatics 50p coin image

This is the second edition design, without the lines across the face.

Aquatics 50p
Aquatics 50p

Is the Olympic swimming Aquatics 50p rare?

The Aquatics 50p has a low mintage with 2,179,000 coins released to circulation. The withdrawn first edition is a rare coin with only 600 issued of this Olympic 50p swimmer coin. This coin is rare and highly sought-after by UK coin collectors.

Is the Aquatics 50p an error coin?

withdrawn aquatics 50p
withdrawn aquatics 50p

Aquatics 50p rare 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 It is not a minting error, the design was withdrawn and replaced with a new design which is not an error in the minting process.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 We suspect that most of the first design coins were withdrawn and destroyed from the shops.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?

The rare version of the Aquatics 50p has historically been selling for around £1,000, however one appears to have been sold for £2,108.50 on eBay.co.uk in September 2021.

Aquatics 50p value


The second design of the coin is not rare and can be seen at auction with starting bids from £1.00 for a circulated coin

Make sure you understand the difference in these coins before considering coins in sales listings as “rare”. There are also many fakes being offered for sale online so buyer beware!

How to spot the rare Olympic swimming coin?

Swimming 50p coins
Swimming 50p coins

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.

See our 50p coin values page for a list of all 50p coins (with images), their mintage and approximate value. See other rare coins.

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”.