Half of Britons don’t know their own coins –
well that’s what the Royal Mint says…
A recent survey commissioned by the Royal Mint suggests that the British population has very little idea about the coins they use every day.
It seems that 17% of people had no idea that Queen Elizabeth II was featured on the obverse (head side) of British coins, with a slightly concerning 4% suggesting it was Queen Victoria and 3% former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
As for the designs on the coins 68% struggled with what was on the penny and perhaps most remarkably practically half of the adult population (48%) were unable to identify the correct number of denominations currently in circulation.
Growing interest in circulating coin collecting
In fact the Royal Mint’s research flies in the face of growing interest in the UK’s circulating coinage. Fuelled by the incredible interest in the Olympic 50 pence coins, that has seen 70% of the 15,000,000 coins that went into circulation disappear – apparently into individual collections – change collecting has gathered considerable momentum over the last couple of years.
In fact there are currently 93 different £2, £1 and 50p coin designs and with only the very latest releases still to make banks and post offices, nearly all are available to collect in your change.
But with so little knowledge about our own coinage, it’s little wonder that some many collectors have turned to www.changechecker.org to track their collection and swap coins with other collectors. With over 75 swap requests being posted each day, we can be hopeful that Britons are rapidly re-educating themselves about their coinage.