It’s (Greenwich Mean)time for your latest Scarcity Index Update!

It’s time for the latest Scarcity Index update, your chance to discover the UK’s most sought after circulation 10p, 50p and £2 coins.

This information has been compiled using data from the Change Checker Swap Centre and presented in the easy-to-use indexes below, with arrows to signify how many places up or down a coin has moved since the last Scarcity Index update.

Where will the first King Charles III 50p rank?

Excitingly, the first circulating coin to feature King Charles III on the obverse – the Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Memoriam 50p – entered the Scarcity Index for the first time in our previous update.

2022 UK Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Memoriam 50p
2022 UK Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Memoriam 50p

As this is only the second time a King Charles III 50p has featured in our Scarcity Index, it currently ranks as common. Despite entering circulation almost a year ago, the Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Memoriam 50p will still be making its way into collections, and those who do find one in their change will no doubt be holding onto it.

Keep your eyes peeled for future Scarcity Index updates to see where the first King Charles III 50p will rank!

Haven’t found this coin in your change yet? Find out where in the UK you’re most likely to find one here >>

50p Scarcity Index

Whilst the latter half of the 50p index has remained fairly stable, there have been some huge movers in this latest update.

Climbing an impressive 14 places is the second coin in the Paddington 50p series – the 2019 Paddington at St Paul’s Cathedral 50p. The Paddington 50p series was incredibly popular with collectors, and inspired many younger people to start collecting. The Paddington at St Paul’s Cathedral 50p was even voted the second favourite coin in the series in a 2019 poll.

2019 Paddington at St Paul's Cathedral 50p
2019 Paddington at St Paul’s Cathedral 50p

Another 50p that shot up the ranks is the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 50p, which moved up a massive 15 places. This 50p has previously been sitting near the bottom of the Scarcity Index, making it one of the most common 50ps in circulation, however it looks like it could now be becoming more sought after among collectors.

There has also been movement amongst some of the Olympic 50ps, with the Fencing and Gymnastics 50ps both moving up 10 places. This puts them near the top of the index, which is usually reserved for some of the rarest 50ps in circulation.

Some less fortunate coins are the Mrs Tiggy-Winkle 50p which has dropped by 15 places, and the Roger Bannister 50p which fell 14 places.

If you’re new to collecting and want to find out more about circulation coins, you can check out our fact files here >>

Otherwise, keep reading to find out which 10ps and £2 coins you should be looking out for.

10p Scarcity Index

There has been quite a shuffle up on the A-Z 10p Scarcity Index, with all but 3 coins moving.

The biggest change since the last update is the previously ‘less common’ C for Cricket 10p, which has dropped 12 places. Also moving down the ranks are the E for English Breakfast 10p and the O for Oak 10p, which fell by 9 and 10 places respectively.

It’s not all bad news though, as the G for Greenwich Meantime 10p climbed 10 places and the K for King Arthur 10p rose by 8 places.

2018 G for Greenwich Meantime 10p
2018 G for Greenwich Meantime 10p

It’s worth remembering that this Index is only ranking the 10ps against each other, when really even the ones at the bottom of the list are still incredibly sought-after and even now (4 years on since they were last released) they are still the coins every collector seems to talk about!

And that’s no surprise, as a maximum of JUST 304,000 of each A-Z 10p design entered circulation across 2018 and 2019 – making them some of the rarest coins out there. So make sure you keep your eyes peeled for them in your change!

£2 Scarcity Index

We tend to see less movement on the £2 index due to the fact less coins have entered circulation in recent years – as you can see from the bottom of the latest £2 Index. However, it’s worth remembering just how rare and collectable some of these coins are, even after being in circulation for so many years.

As always, the Commonwealth Games N. Ireland £2 remains at the top of the list due to it’s incredibly low mintage of just 485,000.

The 2014 Trinity House £2 has recovered the 7 places it fell by in the last update, putting it back into the ‘less common’ category. However, the Darwin £2 and the Gunpowder Plot £2 have both gone down by 6 places. This could be due to people holding onto their Gunpowder Plot £2 during Firework Night, meaning less swaps were raised for it.

2005 Gunpowder Plot £2
2005 Gunpowder Plot £2

Despite less £2s entering circulation, it’s certainly still worth holding onto any coins you can find, before they’re snapped up!

How your Scarcity Index works

Generally collectors have relied on 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.

What’s more, some designs are more hoarded than others by people who might not normally collect coins – for example the First World War £2 Coin series.

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. This allows Change Checkers to track the relative performance of the UK’s circulation coins.

How much are my coins worth?

The Scarcity Index doesn’t necessarily equate to value, but it is certainly a good indicator. For example, the Kew Gardens 50p coin commands a premium of up to 200 times face value on eBay and is unsurprisingly top of the 50p Index.

You can use our 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. Because they are no longer being issued, this is now set in stone.

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  1. John Brady on November 23, 2023 at 10:36 pm

    Hi,I have an undated 20p do I have to get it verified?

    • Kate on November 24, 2023 at 12:01 pm

      Hi John, lucky you!
      The Royal Mint can verify genuine error coins, so it might be worth getting in touch with them.
      I hope that helps, Kate

  2. Alan Coverdale on November 22, 2023 at 10:26 am

    There’s not enough in cuculation. And all the new 1s are uncurculated. Except the odd 1 which vanish over night

    • Ray clarke on November 22, 2023 at 6:04 pm

      Totally agree
      Why don’t they release all new 50 and two pound coins.
      It makes a mockery of collecting