The most valuable 50p coins

The Kew Gardens 50p
The Kew Gardens 50p

Fifty pence doesn't go very far these days, and most of us hand over our coins without a second thought.

But did you know that some 50p piece designs are much rarer than others, and could be worth hundreds of pounds to a collector?

See also: The £1 coin that could be worth nearly a grand

See also: The rarest £2 coin revealed - have you got one in your change?

So take a look at our guide to the most valuable 50p pieces below - and next time you're paying in cash, just check exactly what you're handing over first. Here's coin exchange website ChangeChecker's list of the ten rarest 50p piece designs in general circulation.

1. Kew Gardens
Only 210,000 of these coins were ever minted, making it the rarest 50p piece - indeed, it's the rarest British coin in general circulation. Some Kew Gardens 50p pieces in good condition have sold for more than £500.

2. Football
The football 50p is one of 29 designs minted for the 2012 Olympics - and you'll find several others in the top ten too. If you find one of these, you could be in for a windfall of up to £20.

3. Judo
Like the football 50p, the judo one is worth up to £20 - but only if it's in excellent condition.

4. Triathlon
The 2012 triathlon 50p piece is slightly less collectible than the football and judo coins, but is still worth quite a lot more than its face value. You can expect to get up to £16 if you're lucky enough to find one.

5. Wrestling
Next on the list is the 2012 Olympics wrestling coin, but this is rather less desirable than the others. You'll get up to £8 for one if you're lucky.

6. Tennis
The 2012 Olympics tennis coin is a little less desirable, but could still be worth around £5 to a collector.

7. Goalball
On its own, the 2012 Olympics goalball 50p is worth around a fiver. If it's sold as part of a 2012 Olympics collection, though, it could be worth as much as £20.

8. Jemima Puddle-Duck
Issued to celebrate what would have been Beatrix's Potter's 150th birthday, this is one of none deswigns featuring her characters. This particular one is the rarest, typically selling for between £5 and £8.

9. Rowing
Towards the bottom of the top ten, 50p pieces aren't necessarily worth much more than thewir face value. There's a 2012 rowing coin up for sale on eBay right now, for example, with a price tag of just £1.50.

10. Handball
This coin, too, isn't worth much more than its face value unless it's in perfect condition or being sold as part of a set. Expect to make £1 to £3.