Austria was one of the original European countries that converted to euro coinage during 2002. At that point in time, all previous coinage in the denominations of groschens & shillings were obsolete and no longer accepted for daily transactions.
One of the coin denominations retired due to the euro was the Shield 50 Groschen. Coins were first issued on October 1, 1959 and replaced the previous aluminum Imperial Eagle 50 Groschen. Coinage production continued until 2001 but 1998 to 2001 issues were only available in special uncirculated mint sets. On December 31, 2001 it would cease to be a valid denomination.
The obverse was designed by Ferdinand Welz and features a large "50" to represent the value and a small alpine flower, the Gentian. Below the design is the year of issue and denomination “GROSCHEN”.
The reverse was designed by Hans Köttenstorfer and features the red-white-red shield of Austria encircled by "REPUBLIK ÖSTERREICH".
General Market Notes
Coins are readily available and no rarities exist. Though not expensive, finding one in circulation will be near impossible due to the replacement by the euro. Examples will most likely be readily available at most coin shops or on-line auction sites or even friends & family members who saved the coins as a memento.
source data: http://austrian-mint.at/muenze_oesterreich?l=en