Public Libraries 50p

What’s the Public Libraries 50p worth?

The Public Libraries 50p is worth it’s face value of fifty pence, however some UK coin collectors may pay up to £1 on eBay to add the coin to their collection.

It’s a common coin with over 11 million in circulation however due it being released over 20 years ago, finding one in good condition may be a challenge.

There were 3 versions of this coin produced by The Royal Mint. Those in general circulation (that you find in pocket change), a special edition in BU as a First Day Cover and Silver Proof.

We have seen circulated versions of this coin typically sell for £1 on eBay.

Prices are a guide only and are based on recent sales we have seen on eBay. We do not value individual coins as condition and authenticity can vary wildly. Check our 50p coin values page for other coin prices.

Coin Design

The Public Libraries 50p coin design features an open book above a grand library with the words “Public Libraries” on the face.

In addition are the key dates of 1850 and 2000 and the words 50 pence.

Public Libraries 50p

Coin Specification

Issued 2000
Diameter 27.30mm
Weight 8.00g
Thickness 1.78mm
Composition Cupro-nickel (75% copper, 25% nickel)
Obverse Designer Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen 2000 – Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS
Reverse Designer Mary Milner Dickens
Edge Plain
Mintage 11,263,000

Coin Characteristics

Example circulated coin

Public Libraries 50p
  • The dates 1850 to 2000
  • 50 pence in words
  • Classic Library Building with the words PUBLIC LIBRARIES
  • The circles within the pediment of the Library Building are meant to resemble compact discs (CDs)

150th Anniversary of the Public Libraries Act

Commonly found in pocket change, this 50p was issued in the year 2000 to commemorate 150 years since the Public Libraries Act came into power in 1850.

Around 1 in 160 of 50 pence coins in general circulation have this design.

The purpose of the Public Libraries Act was to improve our quality of life by giving everyone free access to books. Previously only rich people could afford books in those days.

How many coins were produced?

The rarity of the Public Libraries 50p is sometimes hyped in the UK press as a “rare coin”, however with 11,263,000 Public Libraries 50p coins put into general circulation, it is collectible but not rare. Special Proof versions were also minted for the serious coin collector along with special presentation packs that are rarer.

Public Libraries First Day Cover

A limited-edition of 35,000 coins and stamps were issued as a First Day Cover by The Royal Mint. Also known as a PNC (Philatelic Numismatic Cover).

It looks like a red and white envelope with the issue number and the words “Philatelic Numismatic Cover”.

To read more on the history of Public Libraries, see

Silver Proof Coin

The Silver Proof Coin with Certificate of Authenticity (COA).

Certificate of Authenticity
Certificate of Authenticity

Minted in .925 Silver weighing 8gms with a limited edition presentation of 25,000 coins.

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