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Before we get into this topic, I would like to give you a short introduction on a 50p coin made in 1992/93. Two aspects it will be covered, a). history and b). 50p coin re-size in 1997, as follows:
a). The UK in 1973 joined European Economic Community (EEC) as members under the Treaty of Rome (1957-1992). In 1973, the Royal Mint had issued Hand-in-Hand (representing a circle) on 50p coins to commemorate this event. Th 1973 50p coin makes the very first commemorative 50p coin in the UK. Upon the Treaty of Maastricht (1992-2007) European Union (EU) was formed for establishing the Single Market, and the UK was the presidency of the council of ministers during 2nd half of 1992. Therefore, in 1992/93, the Royal Mint had issued 12 stars around a table to commemorate the Single Market in Europe with dual dated 50p coins. The 1992/93 coin is the first dual-dated 50p coin even the very first dual-dated decimal coin.
b). In 1997, all UK 50p coins with 30.00mm in diameter and 13.00g in weight were resized to 27.30mm in diameter with a weight of 8.00g. Therefore, all large-sized 50p coins were legally out of circulation. (Note, the point b). mentioned here, it is the only reason to see Kew Gardens 50p coins from 2009 were a bubble created by hyper and the Mint itself. However, the EEC small-sized 50p coin reappeared to the market in 2009, due to the 40th anniversary of 50p decimalisation set.) Meanwhile, have you noted that why all happened in 2009, and it is true that things are that coincident?
The Single Market / EEC 50p coins were made in between 1992 and 1993 (i.e., dual-dated), and only had 109,000 mintage (by official number). If collectors want to find one on the market, it would be hard because of point b). said above. People argue that we have money and not THAT hard. Wrong, wrong, wrong, absolutely! Most the Single Market / EEC 50p coins come from decimal year set (i.e., BUNC). You would never know how many 1992 mint sets were made originally. All dual-dated 50p BUNC coins create more room on the demand of looking for a 1992/93 50p coin, and all BUNC coins are making troubles even a 3rd party grading company.
- The Single Market/EEC dual-dated 50p UNC coin from 1992 FDC
In contrast to a dual-dated 50p BUNC coin from 1992,
- The Single Market/EEC dual-dated 50p BUNC coin 1992 from decimal year set.
The differences between the two coins shown above are as follows:
a). Edge. FDC’s edge looks more rougher than BUNC’s edge, and nicks noted on FDC’s edge. This is due to circulating coins that are only struck ONCE and any scratches and imperfections are NOT removed and remain part of the unique appearance of the coin;
b). Mirrored field. The mirrored field of BUNC coin has a smooth surface rather than FDC’s, meaning a commemorative BUNC coin is struck TWICE.
c). Most significantly, it is scratches on a UNC coin and legend on obverse is not lightly frosted. Based on this point, how could you expect a grade like MS 68/69 on a UNC coin.
At present, the way you find a circulating commemorative EEC 50p coin uncirculated is ONLY from First Day Cover (i.e., FDC) generally. Alternatively, it comes from a sealed bag of 20 coins if you are extremely lucky. If you send your EEC 50p coin(s) either BUNC or UNC to a 3rd grading party, you only have MS status back which is a shame. Because this does not represent a true value of a EEC 50p UNC coin.
After a look between UNC and BUNC, you will make your own decision on how much you are going to pay and which one you are going to pay for.
However, this type of BUNC has changed a lot in 2000 and onwards. The mirror field has been improved a lot, equivalent to a prooflike standard. The portrait on the obverse contains a lot of details.
- Seated Britannia 50p PL coin (2000)
- Library 50p PL coin (2000)
It concludes that the Royal mint 50p coin sold in annual set is with a Prooflike (PL) finish standard after 2000. Most importantly, a BUNC coin and a UNC coin are totally different numismatic product.