The 8th of May 2020 marks the 75th Anniversary of VE Day – the day which signified the end of World War II and brought long awaited peace to our nation, as Victory in Europe was declared.
The many years of destruction and lives lost finally came to an end on that momentous day, and millions from around the world took to the streets to celebrate.
This year, celebrations will reignite for the peace so bravely won, as events planned up and down the UK will commemorate 75 years since the guns fell silent.
And to mark such an historic anniversary, a brand new set of seven 50p coins has been authorised for release on the Isle of Man by Her Majesty the Queen.
This remarkable new Victory 50p Set pays tribute to our nation’s soldiers, sailors and airmen as they began their journey home 75 years ago following the Allied victory which swept across Europe.
Issued by the Isle of Man, each coin depicts a design and letter reflecting victory during this time, including:
The first coin features the letter V and depicts Churchill with his famous V for Victory stance. Excitingly, this is the first time Churchill has appeared on a 50p coin, although he has been honoured on no less then three UK crown coins.
The next coin features the letter I and shows citizens of the Isle of Man celebrating the end of WWII.
The letter C features on the third coin, which shows soldiers shaking hands in front of Trafalgar Square.
The next coin features the letter T and shows the HMS Dido Battleship returning home after the war.
This coin features the letter C and depicts Spitfires flying over St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
The next coin features the letter R and represents the street party celebrations that took place when it was announced the war was over.
The final coin features the letter Y and depicts a moving scene showing a soldier returning home to his family.
Can I find these coins in my change?
Isle of Man 50ps are famously popular with collectors, especially as their mintage figures are so low, and these coins are no exception.
Initially 25,000 of each 50p will be entering circulation on the Isle of Man, so any British Isles collectors out there should keep their eyes out for these wonderful new coins.
Of course, British Isles coins do turn up in our UK change from time to time, despite the fact they are not legal tender in the UK, however I’m sure these coins will be quickly snapped up by Isle of Man collectors and so you’d have to be very lucky to come across one.
The best ways to own the Victory 50p Set
There are a number of ways to own the Victory 50p Set, which has been issued in Brilliant Uncirculated and Silver Proof quality.
The Brilliant Uncirculated coins are presented in a VE Day 75th Anniversary presentation pack – a must have for collectors of military commemoratives.
Just 2,020 Silver Proof Victory 50p Sets have been struck worldwide. The coins are struck to a Proof finish from .925 Silver with selective Gold Plating on each of the letters and come displayed in a luxury wooden case.
What’s more, this is the only way you can own all seven of these poignant 50p coins in collector quality. Only the Churchill ‘V’ for Victory coin will be released individually.
Churchill V for Victory 50p coin
With just 5,000 Churchill V for Victory Silver Proof 50p coins and only 250 of the Gold Proof coins, the strict edition limits really add to the collectability of these coins.
These 50ps really are a timeless tribute to the thousands of allied troops who fought tirelessly and sacrificed their lives to bring long awaited peace to our nation, and in this important anniversary year, they make for an incredibly poignant issue to commemorate 75 years since VE Day.
Secure your Victory 50p coins
In just a few days time, the brand new polymer £20 will be officially released and we certainly can’t wait to start seeing the notes featuring artist JMW Turner in our change!
This will be third polymer banknote to be released in the UK, following the release of the polymer Churchill £5 in 2016 and the polymer Jane Austen £10 note in 2017.
And, as ever, keen collectors will be eagerly awaiting the chance to hunt down the most sought-after serial numbers for the new note.
When the UK’s first polymer £5 note was released in September 2016, serial numbers became the talk of a nation and stories of early serial numbers selling for thousands of pounds were commonplace.
In fact, an “AK37 007 James Bond Bank of England Polymer £5 note” even sold for £5,000 on eBay – 1,000 times its face value!
But as we await the release of the new note on the 20th of February, which serial numbers should you be looking to get your hands on?
AA01 – the first notes to be printed
AA01 are the first serial numbers to be printed and always prove popular with collectors.
Our eBay Tracker follows the prices of the UK’s Top Coins and Banknotes, including the AA01 polymer £5 and £10 notes, which are currently selling for £10 and £15 respectively. However when the notes were first released we saw a collecting frenzy, with people paying (and demanding) vastly inflated prices for low serial number notes.
Prefixes on the £5 notes started at AA and there are 60 notes on a sheet, AA01- AA60. For each of these cyphers there are 999,000 serial numbers printed: 000001 to 999000. Therefore for the first AA cypher there’s an incredible 59,940,000 notes!
Whilst the £20 note is larger than the £5, meaning less notes will be printed per sheet, there are still A LOT of combinations for AA cyphers on the new £20 – so make sure you keep your eyes out for them!
However, The Bank of England will always hold back some of the notes with the earliest serial numbers, donating them to people or institutions that were involved in the development of the note or who traditionally receive a note when a new series is issued.
For example, the Queen receives AA01 000001 and for the release of the £5 note the Churchill War Rooms received one with serial number AA01 001945, the date that WWII ended.
Key dates to look out for
It’s always worth looking out for certain serial numbers matching key dates relating JMW Turner that could become collectable.
For example, 23 041775 represents Turner’s date of birth, whilst 19 121851 relates to his death and 17 751851 would be his birth and death combined.
True Turner fans might also look for 18 381839 representing the date he painted ‘The Fighting Temeraire’ (featured on the new £20 note) and the date the painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy respectively.
Novelty numbers and Consecutive notes
There may well also be a rush to find the AK47 serial numbers again and James Bond 007 will likely be popular once more.
Consecutively numbered notes are always interesting to collectors too – one man sold three consecutive AA01 notes for £456!
Can you request specific serial numbered notes from the bank?
Sadly not. For the launch of the new £5 note 440 million banknotes were printed and these were printed in very large batches.
There will be even more new £20 notes printed than the £5, to service the country’s 48,000 ATMs for example, so it’s just not possible for the bank to separate certain serial numbers.
How much should I pay for a new £20 note?
The simple answer is, it’s completely up to you. An early serial numbered £20 note will be a genuine piece of the country’s history. It’s likely The Bank of England will hold an auction of early editions, so if you have the disposable income, why not?!
Will the old paper £20 note still be legal tender?
You will still be able to use the paper £20 note until The Bank of England withdraw it from circulation. This will be announced after the new note has been issued and they will give six months’ notice of the withdrawal date.
Many banks will accept withdrawn notes as deposits from customers. The Post Office may also accept withdrawn notes as a deposit into any bank account you can access at the Post Office. And, you can always exchange withdrawn notes with The Bank of England directly.
Where will I be able to find the new polymer £20 note?
We will be publishing a list of locations where the polymer £20 note will be available on the 20th, when the new note is released.
Own the exclusive 2017 Jane Austen £2 Coin and £10 Banknote Pack
You can own one of the very first Polymer £10 notes issued in perfect mint condition alongside the 2017 Jane Austen £2 Coin issued by The Royal Mint.
The Royal Proclamation issued on the 14th of February 2020 confirms that an Elton John £5 coin will be released this year.
The news comes following the exciting release of the first coin in The Royal Mint’s Music Legends coin series – the Queen £5 – earlier this year.
It’s safe to assume the Elton John £5 will be part of this series and we’re sure that collectors and Elton fans alike will be feeling the love for this new coin.
At the moment, the designs are still top secret but the reverse is said to feature Elton John’s boater hat, glasses and bow tie set against a union flag and the inscription “ELTON JOHN”.
If you’d like to find out more, you can fill in our sign-up form below to stay up-to-date with all the latest news about this release.
Who else would you like to see on a Music Legends coin? Let us know in the comments below.
If you’re interested in coin collecting, our Change Checker web app is completely free to use and allows users to:
– Find and identify the coins in their pocket
– Collect and track the coins they have
– Swap their spare coins with other Change Checkers
Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app