Search is on for rare 50p coins

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The Royal Mint is encouraging people to rifle through their loose change to discover whether an “incredibly rare” 50 pence piece is hiding in their wallet, a jam jar or down the back of a sofa.

Around one in 300 people is estimated by the Mint to have the Kew Gardens coin in their possession after it was released into circulation in 2009 to mark the 250th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens. The Mint described the coins as “incredibly rare”, so much so that it is the rarest commemorative coin design to be placed into general UK circulation.

The Kew Gardens coin, which features a design showing the pagoda of the Gardens encircled by a vine plant, is prized by collectors and a search on the eBay auction website showed that several have recently sold for upwards of £20.

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