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50 pence 1973 - European Economic Community

By Coinsanduk    |   Friday, 5 January 2024

50 cents 1973 - European Economic Community

A one-year design was produced in 1973 for the 50 pence coins. It was issued to commemorate Britain's entry into the European Economic Community (EEC).

The European Economic Community (later called the European Community, then the European Union) was a regional organisation created by the Treaty of Rome of 1957 for economic purposes. The first members were: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany.

Prime Minister Edward Heath took the UK into the EEC in January 1973 (alongside Ireland and Denmark) after President de Gaulle of France had blocked UK membership twice in the 1960s. This brought EEC membership to nine. Greece, Spain and Portugal joined in the 1980s.

On the reverse, the design shows nine unified hands forming a circle. It was made to represent strength. Like all other denomination, when the switch to decimal happened, all 50 pence coins wew designated as new as shown to the coins, to help differentiate between old and new pence. It was continued until 1981. The only circulating coin without new on reverse is this 1973 50 pence.

Under the Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, there was a UK referendum on continued membership of the EEC in 1975. The electorate voted Yes by 67.2% to 32.8% to stay in Europe.

The obverse, designed by Arnold Machin, features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.

50 cents 1973 - European Economic Community

In 2020, after Brexit, the Mint released a two-coin set including the 50 pence 2020 Brexit and a 1973 50 pence coin.

This set marks the period between the United Kingdom joining the European Economic Community in 1973 and leaving the European Union in 2020.

- The Royal Mint

This coin was also included in proof: including in a set.


  • Mintage: 89,775,000 (circulation)
  • Weight: 13.5 g
  • Diameter: 30 mm
  • Thickness: 1.78mm
  • Edge: Smooth
  • Die axis: ↑↑
  • Obverse: Arnold Machin
  • Reverse: David Wynne

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