Next year Birmingham is set to host the international multi-sport event, the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The first-ever edition of the Commonwealth Games took place in Canada in 1930. The games consists of 400 athletes from 11 countries who take part in six sports and 59 events.
Since then, the Games have been conducted every four years (except for 1942 and 1946 due to World War II). Team England has competed at every Games – one of only six nations to do so and Team Scotland has hosted the games THREE times!
The Commonwealth Games have been incredibly influential in the sporting world but they’ve also provided the UK with some incredible coin issues!
In our blog, we take a look back at some of the UK coins celebrating the Commonwealth Games…
1986 UK Commonwealth Games £2
The 1986 Commonwealth Games £2 coin changed the face of UK commemorative coins, being the first of its denomination to be struck and the first British coin being issued to commemorate a sporting event.
The thirteenth Commonwealth Games were held in Edinburgh in 1986, and are well remembered for being boycotted by 32 of the 59 eligible countries who did not agree with Britain’s sporting connections to South Africa during the Apartheid era.
These original £2 coins were never commonly found in circulation, as they were mainly struck for collectors. This made them much rarer than their successor, the bi-metallic £2 coin, as their mintage figures were much lower.
The pre-1997 £2 coins are still legal tender but they’re not used in circulation and banks/shops can refuse to accept them. Despite this, they still remain incredibly popular amongst collectors!
The reverse design of this coin features a thistle encircled by a laurel wreath over the cross of St Andrew and it has a mintage of 8,212,184.
This coin is no longer in circulation but Change Checker has strictly limited stock remaining for collectors. To secure yours with FREE p&p today, simply click here >>
2002 Commonwealth Games £2 Series
These four coins were issued in 2002 – again issued to celebrate the Commonwealth Games – this time held in Manchester.
At first glance, you might struggle to spot the difference between them as they all feature the same running athlete trailing a banner behind.
However, each has a different cameo, representing each of the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom.
They are some of the scarcest £2 coins now in circulation, with the Northern Ireland design having a mintage of JUST 485,500!
The other coin designs have the following mintage figures:
- 2002 Commonwealth Games Wales £2: 588,500
- 2002 Commonwealth Games England £2: 650,500
- 2002 Commonwealth Games Scotland £2: 771,750
2014 Commonwealth Games 50p
To celebrate Glasgow holding the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the Royal Mint issued an official XX Commonwealth Games 50p coin the very same year
Designed by Alex Loudon, the reverse features a cyclist and athlete depicting the power of sport.
The home of the Games are reflected in the choice of Scottish Saltire and lettering inspired by Glasgow-born architect, artist and designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
This coin is the least rare of the Commonwealth Games coins, with a total of 6,500,000 entering circulation.
Vote for your favourite Commonwealth Games coin!
With a total of 6 coins commemorating the Commonwealth Games, we want you to have your say and vote for your favourite!
Secure the 1986 UK Commonwealth Games £2 for your collection!
This coin can no longer be found in circulation, so this could be one of your last chances of securing this coin for your collection!
Are you ready to discover the mighty beasts of the sea and sky?
The Royal Mint have revealed a brand new 50p series celebrating Mary Anning and her fossil discoveries on the Jurassic coast.
The Plesiosaurus was about 4.5 metres in length and is estimated to have weighed about 45 tonnes (that’s about 7 elephants!)
But what makes this Jurassic Giant so unique, is the power of its bite! It’s estimated that the Plesiosaurus had the largest bite force of any known animal and with teeth as sharp as needles, there’s no doubt this reptile dominated the oceans!
If you look closely, you can even see this Jurassic Giant’s teeth in the design of this BRAND NEW coin!
This series is already proving incredibly popular with collectors but today you can secure the brand new 2021 UK Plesiosaurus 50p for your collection in Brilliant Uncirculated quality for JUST £4.50 (+p&p). To secure yours in official Change Checker packaging, simply click here >>
The first coin in the series celebrates Mary Anning’s very first ichthyosaur, the Temnodontosaurus.
The ‘cutting tooth lizard’ (as it’s otherwise known) is one of the largest ichthyosaurs to have been discovered by Mary Anning in Lyme Regis, Dorset.
This apex marine predator hunted in the deep ocean millions of years ago, but now this prehistoric beast has been brought to life once more – its likeness captured in exquisite detail on this brand new 50p.
This was first coin in the series to have been issued and you can secure one for your collection in Brilliant Uncirculated quality for JUST £4.50 (+p&p). To secure yours in official Change Checker packaging, simply click here >>
The Unsung Hero of Fossil Discovery
Mary Anning is remembered as being one of the greatest fossil hunters and paleontologists to have ever lived.
At the start of her career, she claimed her excavations were merely to explore her ‘curiosities’. Later, she was to discover remains of some of the greatest creatures to have ever swam in our shores and soared in our skies.
Famous in her home town of Lyme Regis, Dorset, Anning’s work left a legacy of fossil hunting, paleontology and science.
Dinosaur fans and historians alike, still flock to the seaside town in their thousands every year to learn more about her discoveries and to try and unearth their very own creatures in the sand and rocks!
This collection follows in the gigantic footsteps of the 2020 Dinosauria 50p series, which brought us the Megalosaurus, Iguanodon, and Hylaeosaurus 50p coins.
These coins were a definite numismatic highlight of 2020, with collectors quickly snapping up these dino-mite coins for their own collections. This was the FIRST-TIME ever that Dinosaurs featured on a UK coin and this year the theme continues with three prehistoric creatures being celebrated on coins.
In 2021, we get up close and personal with the Jurassic giants of the sea and air, with the Mary Anning 50p Collection.
Each coin in the collection has been designed by renowned British palaeo-artist Robert Nicholls with the expert guidance of Sandra Chapman of the Earth Sciences Department of the Natural History Museum.
It’s fair to say that the influence of the designs from the Natural History Museum will certainly make these coins popular with dinosaur fans and collectors alike!
Will you be securing these coins for your collection?
Let us know in the comments which Mary Anning 50p is your favourite from the collection!
Secure the 2021 Plesiosaurus 50p in Brilliant Uncirculated quality!
You can also get ahead of the crowd and pre-order the 2021 UK Dimorphodon 50p ahead of its individual release!
Click here to secure yours >>
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?
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