I know what you’re thinking, “I’m in for a 10 minute snore-fest on how things need to change with the uncertainty of Brexit”. I’m afraid that’s not exactly what I mean. I mean that I am one of the many people within the country that actually want change. Literally change. I want your 50p’s. Give them to me.
From no age I have been an avid coin collector. My journey kicked off early as I was making my communion, I received an envelope and found that there seemed to be a coin rattling around the bottom of one of my cards. As I gritted my teeth in utter disbelief, not knowing that the content of this card would give me a life long hobby, I tore opened the card anticipating another pound coin. There was something different in this one, a special coin, a £5 coin.
This coin grabbed my attention immediately, it was the weight of it and how it felt, nothing to do with the value of it. I had something that nobody else had. As of that I began to pay more attention to the face of coins, I started to notice that they weren’t all the same and there are numerous different faces to collect. I became hooked. I had an unnatural obsession with coins and had every Tom, Dick and Harry on the hunt for me.
As much as I loved collecting all different types of coins I developed an obsession with 50p’s. Beatrix Potters, Isle of Man, Kew Gardens, 2012 Olympics, you name it I have them. There was something about the shape of the coin and the look of them that grabbed my attention over all the other coins I had. I took all my 50p’s from the ugly mug which I stored my coins and put them into a fresh velvet 50p holder to show their superiority. I disregarded my other coins and went on my quest to have every 50p there is. Its hard to believe its been going on for over 10 years.
(These images display the 2012 Olympics 50 pence pieces and the 2016 Beatrix Potter collection)
The ultimate goal for all 50p collector is to get your hands on a “Kew Gardens”. It comes from the 2009 collection and is worth quite a bit of money. Averaging £140 on Ebay it is a much sough after coin. I couldn’t live knowing that the least circulated 50p wasn’t in my possession and got it for Christmas. (Try explaining to your parents you want them to spend 300 times the worth of a 50 pence piece on one.) As you could imagine, it didn’t go down too well, but being the supportive beings that they are they pulled through and now my baby rests in the velvet cradle beside some of the most iconic 50p’s in my possession.
To be honest acquiring coins on the internet isn’t something I do but for a Kew Gardens I had to make an exception. I have all my friends tortured who handle cash in their day-to-day jobs – but this is the exciting bit. As they say the chase is always the best part! On a daily basis I receive snap-chats from my friends with 50ps, “Have you got this one” often to get my response, “I have it keep looking”, and it may seem monotonous but I cant get enough of it. Its far more satisfying finding them in your change and your friends change than purchasing them online which I find boring.
10 years and 63 50p’s later I am still as hooked as ever and don’t plan on giving up my quest to complete every collection there is.
David Hughes is a Final Year BSc in Communication Management & Public Relations student at Ulster University. He can be found on: Twitter – @DavidHughes34 ; LInkedIn – linkedin.com/in/david-hughes-2a9117172.