Coins from Crown dependencies and overseas British territories can sometimes make an unexpected appearance in our change.
They are identical in size, shape and weight to UK denominations which means they often find their way into tills and vending machines undetected.
Finding one in your change can be an annoyance on one hand as technically the coins are not legal tender in the UK. On the other hand, from a collecting point of view, new and interesting designs are always a bonus!
Here’s a look at our top 5 favourite coin designs that have been issued by Crown dependencies and overseas British territories since decimalisation:
This beautiful 50p from Guernsey features two crossed freesia flowers with ‘FIFTY PENCE’ and the date at the top and ’50’ below the design.
The obverse features David Maklouf’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II with the lettering ‘Bailiwick of Guernsey’ above, and also a small Guernsey Coat of Arms to the left.
This addition on the obverse makes the Guernsey 50p stand out when compared to UK 50p coins.
This 50p has the pre-1997 specifications.
Guernsey Lily £1 Coin
The Guernsey Lily £1 features the island’s Lily on the reverse, and the Guernsey Coat of Arms on the obverse.
This unusual obverse without the Queen’s head makes this particular coin stand out amongst other £1 coins, and makes it sought after by collectors.
Along with the UK, Guernsey withdrew their round £1 coins from circulation in October 2017.
Isle of Man Tower of Refuge £2
The Tower of Refuge is an important landmark on the Isle of Man. It was built in 1832 upon the reef on orders of Sir William Hillary, founder of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
The impressive tower with birds flying above it features on the reverse of this Isle of Man £2 coin. The obverse carries a new effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark, this effigy being reserved for the Crown dependencies and Commonwealth countries.
Gibraltar Candytuft Flowers 50p
This 50p features the denomination surrounded by a crown of Gibraltar Candytuft flowers, known as ‘Iberis Gibraltarica’.
Iberis Gibraltarica is the national flower of Gibraltar and is the symbol of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve which covers 40% of the country’s land area. Gibraltar is the only place in Europe where it is found growing in the wild.
With a mintage of just 30,000 in 1988, this 50p is 7 times rarer than the UK’s rarest 50p so is particularly scarce and sought after amongst collectors. This 50p has the pre-1997 specifications.
Jersey Resolute £1
The Resolute vessel was built in 1877 in Jersey by Thomas Le Huguet and was owned by Captain George Noel. The ship was used for trade before it was wrecked during a hurricane on 29th August 1905 at Friars Cove off Newfoundland.
The design depicts a two-mastered topsail schooner Resolute ship and was first issued into circulation in Jersey in 1994.
To ensure their currency would not be left vulnerable to counterfeiters, Jersey withdrew their round £1 coins from circulation in October 2017.
With a much lower population than the UK, some of these coins that can be found in your change can be extremely rare, so it’s worth keeping hold of them.
After 185 years of production, The Royal Mint of Belgium is set to close forever.
The Royal Mint of Belgium struck its first coins in 1832, just two years after the institution was founded, but the long standing mint will cease operations forever on January 1st 2018.
From the end of the 1990’s the Belgian Mint started producing euro coins ready for the switch from the Belgian Franc to the euro at the start of 2002. And the nation considers itself one of the pioneers with regards to the introduction of the euro as it was Belgian chief engraver Luc Luycks who designed the obverse side of all euro coins.
Unfortunately the Federal Government feels it has become too expensive for the Royal Mint to carry on producing coins itself and has decided that a private company should produce Belgian euro coins. And with more and more people paying electronically there is less and less need for coins.
Instead, the task of striking coins is being outsourced to a private company in an effort to save money.
The Royal Belgium Mint caused a stir back in 2015 when they issued a €2.50 coin to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo after France forced it to scrap a €2 coin with the same purpose.
Paris objected to the Belgian coin, commemorating the French emperor’s defeat by British and Prussian forces, branding the commemoration of Waterloo as a “symbol that is negative” which would “undermine the unity of the Eurozone.”
Belgium was forced to get rid of about 180,000 €2 coins that had already been minted after Paris sent a letter saying they could cause an “unfavourable reaction in France”.
But Belgium managed to skirt the French protests by taking advantage of a European rule stating that Eurozone countries are permitted to approve their own coins without approval of other member states, providing the new denomination as an irregular one. In this case the irregular denomination was €2.50.
The Royal Belgium Mint strikes more than 40 million coins a year but the final batch of commemorative coins have now been minted, ready to close its doors in just over a month.
The last coins ever struck at The Royal Belgian Mint were the special €2 coins issued to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Ghent University.
The special coin features an engraved logo of the University of Ghent with the dates 1817-2017. The Belgian mintmark, a helmeted head of the archangel Michel, as well as the mintmaster mark, the armorial bearings of Herzele city, are located respectively on the right and on the left of issuing country indication ‘BE’ (meaning Belgium). The12 stars of the European flag are represented on the external ring of the coin.
Own the last coin struck at the Royal Mint of Belgium – limited availability
We have been able to secure a very limited number of the last ever coins struck at the Royal Mint of Belgium Mint
They are available now for just £15.95. Click here to reserve yours >>
It has now been revealed that the UK has a new ‘rarest’ £5 coin!
The £5 coin that commemorates the last Stuart Queen, has just become the rarest UK £5 coin – knocking the 2011 Prince Philip £5 off the top spot.
The £5 coin commemorates the 300th Anniversary of the death of Queen Anne – the first queen of Great Britain who left behind political stability and prosperity. The design bears an elegant portrait of Queen Anne, styled by Mark Richards FRBS as an eighteenth-century miniature.
It was likely to have been popular with historians when it was released in 2014 but just 12,181 of these coins were struck in Brilliant Uncirculated presentation packs making it the rarest UK £5 coin ever.
And the announcement of this coin as the UK’s new rarest £5 coin reiterates the point that a less interesting theme or design on a coin, can be a real hidden gem for coin collections.
Let me explain…
It’s obvious that popular coin issues create instant and on-going demand for a coin, but the same can be said for ‘less interesting’ coin designs. This is because the less coins that are sold, the lower the final number of units that are available to future collectors.
But whilst most collectors would shy away from unpopular themes, it is these very coins that are likely to become the most sought after in years to come. And this 2014 Queen Anne £5 is a prime example along with the 2011 Prince Philip £5 coin.
The Prince Philip £5 coin is extremely sought after by collectors and is virtually impossible to get hold of on the secondary market, so it is very likely that the same will happen with the 2014 Queen Anne £5. In fact, sold listings on eBay show that the Prince Philip £5 coin regularly fetches in excess of £50.
So if you’re lucky enough to have the 2014 Queen Anne £5 coin in your collection, make sure you keep hold of it. Demand for this coin is likely to increase dramatically.
And remember, when it comes to collecting, there is one fact which is always inevitable –the rarest coins are always in highest demand.
Unfortunately we do not have any 2014 Queen Anne £5 coins to offer you today but if you’re interested, the 2017 UK Prince Philip CERTIFIED BU £5 Coin is available to order.
Could this new 2017 UK Prince Phillip coin have an even lower mintage?