A super rare 50 cent coin dating back almost 60 years has been spotted in loose change — leaving many scrambling to check their wallets.
An Australian woman thought she was given the wrong change over the weekend — but upon a closer look, she realised it was a round-shaped 50 cent coin from 1966.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Reasons why round 50-cent coin disappeared.
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“It was given to me as change for 50c. Though I thought it was a 20c coin at first and that I got the wrong amount of change,” she said in a Reddit thread.
“I never knew there used to be round 50 cent coins… I’ll be sure to keep it.”
Her post was met with 220 comments — with many urging her to keep the “extremely rare” find because the coin is actually made up of 80 per cent silver.
Shortly after release, the silver price rose above the face value of the coin so the Royal Australian Mint suspended striking of the round piece in March 1968.
The current dodecagonal-shaped 50c coin contains 75 per cent copper and 25 per cent nickel.
A super rare 50 cent coin dating back almost 60 years has been spotted in loose change. Credit: Reddit
Joel Kandiah, a numismatist from Perth, says the coin is now worth 30 times more than its face value.
“It’s about $15 now as the price of silver has pushed up to be around $35/ounce. Each coin has 10.83g of pure silver,” the commerce teacher tells 7Life.
“About 36 million coins were produced but only 14 million was made into circulation.”
The avid coin collector says the Mint stopped issuing any further round 50c coins beyond 1966 due to two reasons.
“The first issue was that the coin was made up of 80 per cent silver. Due to massive silver price rises in the late 1960s, the coin’s silver value quickly became far greater than the face value of the coin,” he explains.
“This led to people hoarding the coin, taken out of the country and melting them down overseas for huge profits.”
In September 1969, a new shape and alloy was reintroduced into circulation.
The decision to reissue a 50c coin considered not only a change to materials but also different shapes to help solve the confusion with the 20c.
“People got confused with the 20c coin and it was hard to determine which coin was which,” Kandiah says.
“In 1969 it was replaced by the 50c coin we have now.”
Joel Kandiah, a coin collector from Perth, says the coin is now worth 30 times more. Credit: @thehistoryofmoney
Many considered the “hard-to-find” 50-cent coin as a “valuable piece of history”.
“These are extremely valuable. Please keep it,” one said.
Another suggested: “It’s a relatively rare coin these days. Australia officially went to decimal currency on Valentine’s day in 1966. Makes this one a ‘first edition’ 50c coin.”
One shared: “Count yourself lucky owning a very valuable piece of history.”
Another joked: “It’s worthless, I’ll happily dispose of your rubbish — send it to me.”
One added: “Wow didn’t know this. I have a couple.”
Another added: “It’s pretty rare to grab one of those in circulation still. I mean online it’s easy to find and buy one but you got yours in the wild!”
Meanwhile many coin collectors revealed the rare 50c round piece has a unique sound when it’s flicked into the air.
“Flip it up with your thumb (like in heads or tails) and it has a beautiful high pitch ring due to its silver,” one shared.
Another said: “Fun fact — you can tell if something has silver in it because of the prolonged ringing when flicked up into the air. Flicking one of those makes you feel you have a piece of pirate gold. A normal 50c for instance, has a dull ring that ends almost instantly.”
One added: “I have three of these now. All three were given as incorrect change — were mistaken for 20c coins. They sound really nice when you flick them in the air compared to all of our other coins.”
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