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

Find out more about these coins here >>

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!

To secure yours for JUST £13.00 (+ FREE p&p!) click here >>

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?

The £1 Scarcity Index has already been published for the Round £1 coins and, because they are no longer being issued, this is now set in stone.

Receive new UK coins without the hassle of placing orders on the day of release!

Join the Change Checker UK CERTIFIED BU Subscription Service and receive new UK coins sent to your door without the hassle of placing orders on the day of release!

Don’t miss your chance to get ahead of the crowd and be one of the very first collectors to receive the latest UK new issue coins as soon as possible after their release.

Sign-up today >>

As we celebrate the arrival of the New Year, at Change Checker HQ we’re also celebrating the arrival of new coins – The 2021 Annual Coins!

We can’t wait to reveal to you the new 2021 coin designs and I’m sure you’ll agree that there are some really fantastic coins to look forward to.

So let’s kick off the year with the coins we’ve all been waiting for, the 2021 Annual Set…

Decimal Day 50p

2021 Decimal Day 50p available within the 2021 Annual Coin Set

This year marks the 50th anniversary since Decimal Day on the 15th February 1971 and to celebrate the biggest change our UK coinage has ever seen, a brand new 50p has been issued.

In commemoration of the anniversary, this brand new 50p, designed by Dominique Evans, features the original Machin portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse, which featured on the very first 50p back in 1969.

The 50p has become the most-collected and best-loved decimal coin since its introduction and given the significance of this anniversary, I’m sure this 50p will prove very popular with collectors.

John Logie Baird 50p

2021 John Logie Baird 50p available within the 2021 Annual Coin Set

It’s hard to imagine life without television but back in the 1920s, it was a complete unknown.

That was until John Logie Baird successfully produced televised objects in outline in 1924, transmitted recognizable human faces in 1925, and demonstrated the televising of moving objects in 1926. This was the very first-time that television had become a reality and it shaped the world that we live in today.

This brand new 50p, designed by Osborne Ross, celebrates the life and works of this remarkable British inventor, electrical engineer, and innovator.

H. G. Wells £2

2021 H. G. Wells £2 available within the 2021 Annual Coin Set

Herbert George Wells was an English novelist, journalist, sociologist, and historian best known for his science fiction novels The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds.

In the year marking the 75th anniversary of his death, this brand new £2 coin has been issued, feature a design which pays a fitting tribute to his famous novels, with a depiction of the Invisible Man and a Martian encircled by clock numerals.

The inscription also reads one of his famous quotes, “GOOD BOOKS ARE THE WAREHOUSES OF IDEAS”. We love Chris Costello’s design and we hope you do too!

Sir Walter Scott £2

2021 Sir Walter Scott £2 available within the 2021 Annual Coin Set

2021 commemorates the 250th anniversary of the birth of novelist, historian, and poet, Sir Walter Scott.

He is considered both the inventor and the greatest practitioner of the historical novel.

The coin, designed by Stephen Raw, features the text: “SIR WALTER SCOTT NOVELIST HISTORIAN POET” encircled by the inscription “250TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS BIRTH” and the year date.

Excitingly, this coin also features the edge inscription, “THE WILL TO DO, THE SOUL TO DARE”, a quote from his epic poem, ‘Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field’.

Queens Elizabeth II 95th Birthday £5

2021 Queen Elizabeth II 95th Birthday £5 available within the 2021 Annual Coin Set.

This year, our Queen will celebrate her 95th birthday and to celebrate, The Royal Mint has issued this £5 coin.

The coin features a design by Timothy Noad, of the Royal Cypher and the inscription “MY HEART AND MY DEVOTION” alongside the date of the Queen’s birth and the year 2021.

In 2016, a £5 coin was issued to celebrate Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday and it proved incredibly popular with collectors, as she became the first British monarch to reach their 90th birthday. As she reaches another significant milestone, I’m sure this celebratory coin will prove just as, if not more popular!


The announcement of the new annual coins is always an exciting moment for Change Checkers, particularly when the anniversaries are as significant as these.

Do you have a favourite coin from the set? Let us know in the comments below!


Secure the 2021 Annual Coin Set to your collection today!

Secure the 2021 Annual Coin Set for your collection for JUST £40.00 (+p&p) by clicking here >>

If you love these coins as much as we do, you can secure them as a set today for JUST £40.00 (+p&p)

Secure yours by clicking here >>