Rarest UK Coins Revealed! 2020 Mintage Figure Update

One of the biggest numismatic updates of the year comes when the latest mintage figures are announced and today we are very excited to share the updated figures for 2020 circulation coins, which have just been revealed by The Royal Mint!

As the UK’s most collected coin, it’s great to hear that three 50p designs were released into circulation last year. These include the Withdrawal from the European Union 50p, the Diversity Built Britain 50p and this year’s Royal Shield 50p.

We’ve updated the Change Checker 50p Mintage Chart with these new additions to show you which 50ps you should be looking out for:

The rarest of the trio to be released is the Withdrawal from the EU 50p, commonly known as the Brexit 50p, with a circulating mintage of 10,001,000. This is closely followed by the Diversity Built Britain 50p with a mintage of 10,300,000.

These numbers are fairly high for commemorative coins, meaning collectors stand a good chance of finding these ones in their change. What’s more, at 46,540,375 coins in circulation, we expect many collectors to be able to find the 2020 definitive Royal Shield design – just make sure you keep checking the dates on the reverse of your 50ps!

Are you lucky enough to have these in your collection? Let us know in the comments below!

2020 Withdrawal from the EU and 2020 Diversity Built Britain 50p coins

The Royal Mint’s Director of UK Currency, Mark Loveridge, said: “As the original maker of UK coins, we are delighted to play our part in celebrating the story of the nation. In 2020 two important new designs were issued on fifty pences, commemorating British diversity and the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. Coin collecting remains a popular hobby in the UK, and finding a special design in your change adds to the excitement.”

What about the Olympic 50ps?

In 2012, the release of the Olympic 50p series kick started a collecting frenzy across the nation.

It’s estimated that around 75% of these coins have been removed from circulation by collectors which means they are incredibly sought-after, especially considering these 50ps have some of the lowest mintage figures in circulation…

Many of the Olympic 50ps have a mintage less than 2,000,000 with the rarest (the Olympic Football 50p) having a mintage of just 1,125,500. See the full mintage figures for these coins here.

2011 Olympic Football 50p. Mintage: 1,125,500

Taking these rare 50ps into consideration, the 2018 Peter Rabbit and Flopsy Bunny coins would sit in joint sixth position, below the Kew Gardens, Football, Wrestling, Judo and Triathlon 50ps.

£2 Coin Update

As well as updating the 50p mintage figures, The Royal Mint also revealed that no £2 coins were issued into circulation in 2020.

There have been no new £2 coins issued into circulation since 2016, which may in part be due to the introduction of the new 12-sided £1 coin in 2017.

2016 Britannia £2

It was recently confirmed that The Royal Mint has no plans to strike any £2 coins for circulation for the next 10 years, so unfortunately, there may not be any mintage updates for this denomination for a while.

Whilst 88,071,910 1p coins were released in 2020, no 2p coins have entered circulation since 2018, perhaps suggesting it’s time we question what the future has in store for our beloved coppers.


Have you been lucky enough to find any of these coins in your change? It’s always exciting when new mintage figures are revealed and your realise just how rare the change in your pocket really is!

We’ll be updating the Change Checker Scarcity Index this month and it will be exciting to see how these new figures impact the index.


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

Change Checker Web App Banner 2 Amends 1024x233 1 1024x233 - Your January 2019 Scarcity Index update!

Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app

Rare Trial Pieces including Kew Gardens 50p to be Auctioned for the First Time Ever!

Have you heard the news that for the first time in its history, The Royal Mint plan to auction rare sample coins for collectors?

Trial pieces are some of the very first samples of a new coin to be struck. They are used to set the standard for each coin issued and are carefully inspected by coin makers to ensure they meet the correct standards before striking of the new design begins.

Trial Coins Put Up For Auction

Rebecca Morgan, director of collector services at the Royal Mint, said: “This month we are delighted to offer a sample of our trial pieces at auction for the first time. Each of the trial pieces has played an integral role in creating the final coin, and offer collectors the chance to own a part of numismatic history.”

The Royal Mint have announced that collectors will have the chance to get their hands on a number of trail pieces at auction on Sunday 26th September.

Included in the auction are the coveted Kew Gardens 50p (the UK’s rarest circulation coin) and the Three Graces (a collection that sold out in 25 minutes last December).

Rare Kew Gardens 50p

2009 Kew Gardens 50p

Considered the ‘holy grail’ of change collecting, the Kew Gardens 50p tops the Change Checker Scarcity Index time and again. In fact, this coin is so sought-after that collectors are willing to pay well over face value to get their hands on one, with our latest eBay Tracker revealing the coin currently selling for £157 on the secondary market!

However, we always urge buyer caution when purchasing a Kew Gardens 50p, as there are a number of fakes out there to be aware of. Find out how you can spot the fake Kew Gardens 50ps here.

1994 Mayflower £2 Trail Piece

1994 Mayflower Trial £2

Rare trial pieces have been seen before, often becoming very sought-after amongst collectors…

In 1994, ahead of the introduction of the UK’s first bi-metallic coin – the £2 – The Royal Mint created a trial piece. This was used by The Royal Mint to test the minting process of the new coin and to help the automatic vending industry re-calibrate their machines in preparation.

The trialled reverse design features a three-masted sailing ship. Although the ship is not named, it is likely to be the Mayflower, which set sail from Plymouth to America to establish the first permanent New-England colony. The outer ring bears the inscription Royal Mint Trial with the date, 1994.

There were just over 4,500 packs of this trial £2 issued and as the coin design was never released into circulation, it has become an incredibly rare example of a bi-metallic £2 coin.

If you own one of these £2 trial pieces you can consider yourself very lucky!

But with the upcoming auction set for the 26th September, we’re sure collectors will be excited at the chance of getting their hands on the trial piece coins offered by The Royal Mint, including that sought-after Kew Gardens 50p which we’re sure will be incredibly popular.


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New UK £5 pays tribute to HRH Prince Philip

In commemoration of the life and achievements of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a UK £5 coin has just been issued.

Issued shortly after what would have been his 100th birthday and within just three months of his passing, this special tribute to Prince Philip features a portrait created by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS that was personally approved by The Duke of Edinburgh himself.

As Britain’s longest serving Consort – the Queen’s “strength and stay” – and as former President of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee, it is only fitting that a new UK coin should be issued in his honour.

You can secure yours now in Brilliant Uncirculated quality for just £10.99 here >>

This new release become the sixth UK coin to feature HRH Prince Philip and in this blog we’ll take a look back at his life as celebrated on £5 coins, as well as the role the Duke played in shaping UK currency.

Prince Philip in Coins

The 1972 Crown issued to mark his Silver Wedding Anniversary was an understated affair. However, in 1997, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary, and Prince Philip featured on a UK coin for the very first time as part of a conjoined effigy on the obverse of the commemorative £5 coin. 2007 saw a similar conjoined portrait before the recent 2017 Platinum Wedding Anniversary design, which featured the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on horseback in what can only been seen as a nod to the original 1953 Coronation Crown as well as a third conjoined portrait.

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Prince Philip appeared on Golden, Diamond & Platinum Wedding Anniversary £5 Coins

Yet it was in 2011 that Prince Philip was finally granted the greatest privilege – his own £5 Coin to celebrate his 90th Birthday – a splendid close up portrait of the Duke by Mark Richards FRBS. This was followed in 2017, with a design of the young Prince Philip by Humphrey Paget to mark Prince Philip stepping down from public duties after 70 years of service. 

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Prince Philip on 2017 and 2011 £5 Coins

First Job – new coin designs

Not only does the Duke feature on a number of UK coins, he also had a hand in the creation of new coins too!

On 21 March 1952, just weeks after the Queen’s accession to the throne, Prince Philip attended his first meeting as President of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee on the design of coins, medals, seals and decorations (RMAC); a role that he would hold for the next 47 years, until his retirement in 1999.

DN Prince Philip – a Life in Coins coin obituary blog images 3 - Prince Philip (1921 - 2021) - a Life in Coins
Prince Philip was involved in selecting the very first coin design of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign

A keen artist himself, the Prince’s first job was to oversee the selection of the Queen’s portrait to ordain her new coins. An uncrowned Queen was chosen from a field of seventeen designs, giving Nottingham born sculptor, Mary Gillick, the honour of creating the most seen portrait of the new Queen

Equally importantly, the young Prince oversaw the design of the most important coin of the moment – the Coronation Crown, featuring Gilbert Ledward’s Queen on horseback on the obverse and Edgar Fuller’s reverse design containing the Coats of Arms of the constituent nations of the United Kingdom.

The UK’s biggest ever currency change

Gillick’s design remained on pre-decimal coinage until 1970, when Prince Philip was involved in another huge coinage milestone – the introduction of decimalisation

The process required a complete redesign of Britain’s coinage as well as an updated effigy of Her Majesty, designed to help the new denominations stand out. 

The RMAC selected Royal Academician Arnold Machin to sculpt the Queen, this time wearing a tiara.  However, it was the reverse coin designs that were perhaps more significant.

A “monstrous piece of metal”

Under Prince Philip’s presidency, the RMAC started to work in top secret on designs as early as 1962, before there was any official government announcement confirming decimalisation. 

The final designs were created by Christopher Ironside and featured heraldic elements of the United Kingdom. But it was the new 50p coin – introduced to replace the 10/- note – that caused the greatest stir, with its unique heptagonal (7-sided) shape. 

Now Britain’s most popular coin with collectors, that was certainly not the case on its launch with one newspaper calling it a “monstrous piece of metal” and a retired colonel even starting Anti-Heptagonist movement.

In the 28 years that followed Decimalisation, Prince Philip guided the RMAC through two more effigies, Raphael Maklouf (1985 – 1997) and Ian Rank-Broadly (1998 – 2015), as well as the launch of 20p, £1 and £2 coins into circulation and numerous commemorative issues.


Prince Philip will be remembered for many things – and among them we will remember him as the man who has had more influence over the nation’s coins than any other. 

With the release of the new Prince Philip £5, his legacy continues to live on as we celebrate his incredible life and achievements.


Secure your Prince Philip £5 Set today!

Today, you have the opportunity to secure the brand new 2021 UK Prince Philip £5 in Brilliant Uncirculated quality, alongside the 2017 Prince Philip £5 and the 2017 Platinum Wedding £5 coins to make the perfect Prince Philip £5 Set.

Your coins have been struck to a Brilliant Uncirculated finish and protectively encapsulated in official Change Checker packaging to preserve for generations to come.

A real collector’s set, these coins pay a special tribute to the Prince who will forever be remembered as a treasured member of British royal history.

Own yours today for just £50.00 (+p&p) >>