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.


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 >>

Change all round! Your Scarcity Index Update…

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! As we continue to go out and spend more cash, we’ve seen some BIG movers and shakers on our Scarcity Index.

There’s been movement across all of our indexes, with one coin climbing 16 spots and another dropping by 14!

You can use the updated A-Z 10p, 50p and £2 indexes below to discover how sought-after the coins in your collection really are.

This information has been compiled using data from the Change Checker Swap Centre and presented in the easy to use indexes below, with arrows to signify how many places up or down a coin has moved since the last Scarcity Index.

A-Z 10p Scarcity Index

10p Scarcity Index

The Union Jack 10p has jumped up an incredible 16 places on our 10p index this quarter, placing it the highest we’ve ever seen it!

Some other big movers include the Villages and ‘X’ Marks the Spot 10p coins, both climbing 12 places each. The Jubilee 10p has dropped by 14 places, pushing it towards the bottom of our Index.

All of the lower mintage A-Z 10ps have remained strong at the top of the index; the Y, Z, and W 10ps all have a 2019 mintage of JUST 63,000 so it would take some doing to beat them to the top…

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 A-Z 10p coins have the lowest mintages here >>

50p Scarcity Index

50p Scarcity Index

There’s been a lot of movement at the top of our 50p Index, with each Olympic 50p have been shaken up! The Table Tennis 50p has climbed by seven spots, and Gymnastics climbing an impressive five spots too.

In the middle of our Index, we’ve seen a big move for Taekwondo, dropping eight places. Equally, the Commonwealth Games 50p has climbed by six places, pushing it further into the middle of our Index.

The 2016 Peter Rabbit 50p has climbed by an incredible 13 places, which is the biggest move we’ve seen for this coin since our Index started. The Libraries 50p has also dropped by 13 places, pushing it down to the bottom of our Index. These two coins are definitely worth watching over our coming Index updates.

£2 Scarcity Index

£2 Scarcity Index

This £2 Index is full of movers and shakers, as only 8 coins have stayed in the same spot from last quarter’s update!

Some key movers at the top of the Index, include the Commonwealth Games Wales £2, which has previously sat comfortably in the top five. It’s been bumped down three places, with the 2015 First World War (Navy) coin jumping up 4 spots to position itself just below the other Commonwealth Games and Olympic £2 coins.

Other notable moves include the Florence Nightingale and Brunel – Paddington Station coins, which have climbed seven and five spots respectfully.

Interestingly, the Britannia £2 has also climbed by five places, pushing it closer to the top of the Index. This is definitely one to watch over the coming 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 >>

‘Pioneer’ of the historical novel, Sir Walter Scott, commemorated on UK £2 coin…

Scottish novelist, poet, historian, and biographer, Sir Walter Scott, is often considered both the inventor and the greatest practitioner of the historical novel.

Sir Walter Scott’s early work consisted of poetic romances but his earlier books, set in Scotland, demonstrate his knowledge of Scottish history and society. His works were some of the most popular literary pieces of his time.

In the 250th anniversary year of his birth, The Royal Mint have issued a £2 coin, commemorating him and his remarkable career.

2021 UK Sir Walter Scott £2

2021 UK Sir Walter Scott £2. Secure yours >>

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’.

Issued initially as part of the 2021 Annual Coin Set, this is the first chance collectors have had to secure this individual coin to their collections.

Available in Brilliant Uncirculated quality for JUST £8.99 (+p&p), you can secure this coin today by clicking here >>

Sir Walter Scott joins an impressive portfolio of authors, poets, novelists to be commemorated on UK coins. Continue reading to find out more…

2020 William Wordsworth £5

William Wordsworth
2020 Sir Walter Scott £2

To mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of William Wordsworth, The Royal Mint issued this £5 coin and it was the first time that the famous poet was celebrated on a UK coin.

He is one of the most popular poets to have written in the English language, gaining popularity during the beginning of the English Romantic period in literature.

Designed by David Lawrence, designer of the 2018 and 2019 Britannia, the reverse features lines taken from one of Wordsworth’s most celebrated poems, ‘Tintern Abbey’.

To secure this coin for your collection for JUST £10.99 (+p&p), in Brilliant Uncirculated quality, click here >>

2020 Agatha Christie £2

Agatha Christie
2020 Agatha Christie £2

This £2 coin was issued in 2020 to mark the 100th anniversary of Dame Agatha Christie’s genre-defining murder mysteries.

An author of 66 detective novels and 150 short stories, Agatha Christie has justly earned the title of the ‘Queen of Crime’. Towards the end of her career, she was made a Dame of the British Empire for her contribution to literature.

The reverse design of this coin, by David Lawrence, depicts a jigsaw puzzle with a question mark, representing the mystery behind her stories.

You can secure this coin for your collection for £8.99 (+p&p) by clicking here >>

2018 Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein £2

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
2018 Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein £2

This £2 coin was issued by The Royal Mint to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s famous novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.

Whilst on holiday in Geneva Mary Shelley and her poet friends, including Lord Byron and future Husband Percy Shelley, decided to have a competition to see who could write the best horror story.

Out of this Mary Shelley created Frankenstein, a story about a scientist’s scary act at playing God and creating life. It went on to become one of the best loved gothic novels.

The reverse of this gothic coin was designed by Thomas Doherty and features the words ‘Frankenstein’ in an electric gothic font.

2017 Jane Austen £2

Jane Austen

In 2017, to celebrate the life and works of one of Britain’s best-loved authors, The Royal Mint issued this Jane Austen £2.

Jane Austen is one of the best-loved English novelists from the 19th century. Her novels were revolutionary and from her first novel, Sense and Sensibility, readers began a love affair with her fiction that has lasted two centuries.

Designed by Dominique Evans, a portrait of Jane Austen features on the reverse of this coin. It did not enter general circulation and was issued in collector quality only.

2016 Shakespeare £2 coins

2016 Shakespeare £2 coins

William Shakespeare is the most influential literary figure in British history and his works are an important part of Britain’s cultural heritage.

In 2016, a series of three £2 coins were issued to mark the 400th anniversary since his death and to celebrate his greatest works.

Each coin’s design takes inspiration from some of Shakespeare’s greatest works, including Macbeth (pictured central), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (far right) and his most-famous love tragedy, Romeo and Juliet (pictured left).

All three coins entered circulation but the Comedy £2 has the lowest circulating mintage – just 4,355,000!

2016 Beatrix Potter 50p

Beatrix Potter
2016 Beatrix Potter 50p

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter, the Royal Mint have released this 50p to celebrate Beatrix herself.

Designed by Emma Noble, the coin includes elements that celebrate Beatrix as the artist behind some of the best-loved characters in children’s literature along with the nostalgic font used for the inscription.

This coin entered general circulation and has a mintage of 6,900,000.


The Sir Walter Scott £2 was initially issued as part of the 2021 UK Annual Coin Set but this is the first time that collectors will have the chance of securing this coin individually for their collections.

Will you be adding it to your collection? Let us know in the comments below!


Secure the 2021 UK Sir Walter Scott £2 for your collection!

Secure the brand new 2021 UK Sir Walter Scott £2 for your collection for JUST £8.99 (+p&p) by clicking here >>

Your coin has been protectively encapsulated in Official Change Checker packaging with that all-important hologram to guarantee its superior quality.