The fifty pence coin is a small circulating denomination of the British Pound Sterling.
In August 2005 the Royal Mint launched a competition to find new reverse designs for all circulating coins apart from the £2 coin. The winner, announced in April 2008, was Matthew Dent, whose designs were gradually introduced into the circulating British coinage from mid-2008. In a world-first concept, the designs for the 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p and 50p coins depict sections of the Royal Shield that form the whole shield when placed together. The shield in its entirety is featured on the £1 coin.
The new 50p coin design, which replaced the earlier 50p design by Christopher Ironside, depicts the lowest point of the Royal Shield, with the words FIFTY PENCE below the point of the shield. The coin's obverse remained unchanged.
The 50p denomination has also been used extensively to celebrate important events by a number of circulating commemorative issues.
The coins are made of cupronickel (also known as copper-nickel; composition: 75% copper and 25% nickel).