It’s time for your latest Scarcity Index update, where we reveal the UK’s most sought-after circulation coins of the last three months! And it’s all change once more, as we see some new entrants to our 50p and 10p Indexes…

Following the confirmation of the 2019 mintages at the beginning of the month, we’ve updated our 50p and 10p index to include the Sherlock Holmes 50p, Paddington at the Tower of London 50p, Paddington at St. Paul’s Cathedral 50p, and we’ve updated the total mintages for the A-Z 10p coins.

Whilst these figures have only just been released and we’ll most likely see the effect this has on the Index in the next quarter, there’s been a lot movement across the board in this update…

A-Z 10p Scarcity Index

There’s been another big mix up in our latest A-Z 10p Scarcity Index, with our biggest climber, Q for Queue, jumping up a huge 13 places!

The Yeoman Warder 10p has also knocked the Tea 10p off the top spot where it was sitting comfortably for the previous two quarters!

We’ve seen the Robin 10p climb four spaces – no doubt due to that incredibly low 2019 mintage of just 64,000. This takes the combined 2018 and 2019 mintages for this coin to 284,000.

In fact, all of the lower mintage A-Z 10ps have shot to the top of the index. The Y, Z, and W 10ps all have a 2019 mintage of JUST 63,000 and now all sit in the top 4!

Regardless of where they feature in the above index, if you have any of the A-Z 10ps in your collection you should consider yourself very lucky. A maximum of only 304,000 of each design entered circulation!

Find out which coins in the series have the lowest mintages here >>

50p Scarcity Index

The top of our Scarcity Index remains consistent with our last update with the Judo 50p sitting just below the Kew Gardens 50p.

However, there’s been a lot of shuffling in the middle and lower third of the index, with the Pentathlon 50p climbing 10 spots and the Taekwondo 50p dropping 10! Last index the Taekwondo 50p climbed 11 so it’s interesting to see it fall back down this quarter.

Now that we have the mintages for the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock) 50p and the 2019 Paddington coins, we’ve seen these enter the index relatively low.

Whilst both coins are relatively common (8,602,000 Sherlock Holmes 50ps entered circulation and 9,001,000 of each 2019 Paddington coins entered circulation) we’re excited to see how the confirmation of their mintages effects their place on our next Scarcity Index update…

£2 Scarcity Index

Once again we’ve seen a reshuffling of the Commonwealth Games coins at the top of the Index, with the Commonwealth Games Wales £2 climbing back into the top 4.

There’s been a fair bit of shuffling around in the rest of the index, with the Florence Nightingale £2 climbing 8 places this quarter! The Act of Union £2 has also dropped 6 places in this update. These are definitely the coins to watch over the next few quarters…

There’s no doubt that the Treasury’s announcement of having no plans to issue any £2 coins into circulation for the next 10 years has caused a bit of shuffling in this index and we’ll no doubt see this effect trickle into the next few updates.

How your Scarcity Index works

Generally collectors have had to rely upon mintage figures to identify the scarcest coins.  But they only tell part of the story.  Trying to find a good quality coin from 15 – 20 years ago, even for a higher mintage issue, is much more challenging than a more recent issue, as coins become damaged over time and are ultimately removed from circulation.

Additionally, some designs are more hoarded than others by people who might not normally collect coins – the poignant First World War £2 Coin series being an example. Finally, it can be up to a couple of years before the Royal Mint eventually confirms the actual mintage for an issue.

That’s why we have combined the mintage information with two other key pieces of information.

  • How many of each design are listed as “collected” by Change Checkers, indicating the relative ease of finding a particular coin.
  • The number of times a design has been requested as a swap over the previous 3 months, showing the current level of collector demand.

Importantly, as new coins are released and popularity rises and falls across different designs the Scarcity Index will be updated quarterly allowing Change Checkers to track the relative performance of the UK’s circulation coins.

How much are my coins worth?

The Scarcity Index does not necessarily equate to value but it is certainly an effective indicator.  For example, the Kew Gardens 50p coin commands a premium of up to 200 times face value on eBay.

You can use the 6 point guide to help you determine a more realistic value for your coins.

What about £1 Coins?

The £1 Scarcity Index has already been published for the Round £1 coins and, because they are no longer being issued, this is now set in stone.

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17 Comments

  1. Neil Whalley on February 20, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    I agree with Paul Carew. There a too many coins now being struck by various mints that are limited editions or sets and being offered at ridiculous prices. It is hard to know which are genuine currency. I only collect coins in circulation. I live in Lancashire and have yet to find one of the alphabet 10p coins.

    • Les Kent on February 22, 2021 at 1:17 pm

      Hi Neil
      you say you only collect the circulated coins, well as far as I am CONSERNED that is brilliant and true collecting otherwise you will be buying the coins and that takes all the fun out of collecting, I have every decimal coin there is in proof BU and so on but the best enjoyment and fun i got is out of the circulated coins they only cost me face value and quite a few are worth a lot more than that now, I got lucky with the rare Aquatics twice and found a unique proof £2 in one of my sets but apart from that they all cost me a lot of money, the good thing is I won’t give my coins away and i collected for the hobby and not the profits.
      good luck with it
      Les
      kent@lesandbarbara.plus.com

  2. paul o'neill on February 20, 2021 at 11:33 am

    Will the arnold Machin 50p eventually make it on to the 50p list? and do you think it will be very rare?
    thanks

    • Alexandra Siddons on February 22, 2021 at 8:38 am

      Hi Paul,

      As the Arnold Machin obverse only features on the Decimal Day 50p available in the Annual Coin Set, it won’t feature in this 50p Scarcity Index as it isn’t a circulating coin.

      However, when the mintage figures are issued for the commemorative-only issues of recent years, it’ll certainly be interesting to see how many of these coins there are!

      Thanks,
      Alex

  3. James Moffat on February 20, 2021 at 9:27 am

    Your 10p alphabet coin index is irrelevant makes no differential between the 2018 and 2019 different years and different mintage to a collector the mintage is important think I would rather have a 2019 than a 2018

    • Alexandra Siddons on February 22, 2021 at 8:37 am

      Hi James,

      The mintages play a big part in the Scarcity of a coin. The lower the mintage, the higher collector demand for it is, therefore the more scarce it is. The 2019 coins that have the lowest mintages have already crept up to the top of the index.

      Thanks,
      Alex

  4. Mags Spiers on February 19, 2021 at 8:54 pm

    Heard recently that the brexit 50p coin was selling at high values why is it not on the list yet

    • Alexandra Siddons on February 22, 2021 at 8:35 am

      Hi Mags,

      We can’t add the Brexit 50p to the index until we know the confirmed mintages from The Royal Mint. As soon as these are available we’ll get it added to the Index – we can’t wait to see where it features!

      Thanks,
      Alex

  5. Steve Wayne on February 19, 2021 at 5:52 pm

    What about the £5 list

    • Alexandra Siddons on February 22, 2021 at 8:34 am

      Hi Steve,

      The Scarcity Index only reports on coins that are currently in circulation. As the £5 is purely a commemorative coin now, it doesn’t feature on the list.

      Thanks,
      Alex

  6. Stephanie Smith on February 19, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    BET THE 2020 TEAM GB OLYMPICS IS GONNA BE TOP TO RAREST AND 2021 IF THEY MINT ONE

    • Alexandra Siddons on February 22, 2021 at 8:33 am

      Hi Stephanie,

      It would be great to see the 2020 Team GB enter the Scarcity Index but as it never entered circulation, and the index only reports on coins you can find in your change, it won’t appear.

      However, it very well could be the lowest uncirculated coin that we’ve seen in years! Only time will tell but we’ll let Change Checkers know as soon as any information becomes available.

      Thanks,
      Alex

  7. David Spiller on February 19, 2021 at 11:48 am

    Yes I too would agree with Paul Carew, that too many coins are only issued by the the mint, too be bought and not issued for general circulation, so not only making more expensive to collect, but also taking the fun out finding a coin in your change as i’m Sure most people first started out doing .
    My question is when are more of the new coins going to issued into general circulation as not everyone wants to only be able buy the coin at an inflated price .

    • Alexandra Siddons on February 22, 2021 at 8:31 am

      Hi David,

      We share your frustrations with this as Change Checker is all about finding those elusive coins in your change. However, the Treasury make a decision on whether there is demand for new coins (definitive and commemorative) to enter circulation and if there is, The Royal Mint is tasks with striking them.

      We’re hopeful that as we start moving back towards normal life, and more gets used, that we’ll see a spike in demand and therefore more circulating coins! Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

      Thanks,
      Alex

  8. J HARDING on February 19, 2021 at 10:11 am

    HI

    NO MENTION OF VOTES FOR WOMEN 2003 50p COIN

    • Alexandra Siddons on February 19, 2021 at 11:09 am

      Hi there,

      You can find it in the 50p Index: the ‘Suffragettes’ 50p is in between Fencing and Canoeing 🙂

      Thanks,
      Alex

  9. Paul Carew on February 19, 2021 at 10:04 am

    It seems to me that with lots of 50p’s and £2 coins being issued but not going into circulation, that these lists will change immeasurably over the next few years. For instance, the 2020 Team GB 50p will become rare as will the dinosaur coins. Since 2017 we have had 19 £2 coins (Jane Austen to H.G Wells) that have not been issued into circulation. I think that The Royal Mint are just issuing too many coins now and with an estimated one million people now collecting coins, they are making a lot of money out of us all.

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