£2 coins

The hunt is on for the Isle of Man Wren £2 and other Manx Christmas coins!

Every Boxing Day on the Isle of Man, communities come together across the island to dance and sing in the streets around “the king of all birds“, the wren, who is paraded around on a decorative pole.

Hunt the Wren, as it is known on the island, has become one of the most popular yet more unusual Manx traditions in practice today.

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Credit – wikipedia.com

The practice dates back to Pagan times and is thought to have descended from Celtic mythology and may have been influenced by Scandinavian Viking settlers during the 8th and 10th centuries.

Historically groups of boys dressed up in straw outfits, known as ‘wren boys’ would gather on St Stephen’s Day (Boxing Day) to hunt a sacred wren bird. They would then tie the bird to the top of a decorative pole and visit different houses, singing to receive money or presents for their display. Those who were generous and gave money to the boys would receive a feather from the bird as a thank you, and the collected money was used to host a village dance later in January.

straw 279x300 - The hunt is on for the Isle of Man Wren £2 and other Manx Christmas coins!

Credit – oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.com

Today the Hunt the Wren tradition is still a popular part of the islands seasonal festivities, and many communities come together to dance and raise money for charity. A replica of a wren is used nowadays instead of harming any real birds, and ribbons which are used to decorate the pole are handed out as good luck instead of the bird feathers.

This unusual community tradition is so special on the Isle of Man that it has been celebrated on a brand new £2 coin and only a limited number of these coins will enter circulation on the island.

IOM 2019 Hunt the Wren BU 2 Pound Coin social media 1080px 1024x711 - The hunt is on for the Isle of Man Wren £2 and other Manx Christmas coins!

This brand new £2 coin has been issued by The Isle of Man this festive season to celebrate the Manx tradition ‘Hunt the Wren’.

But it’s not the first time that the Hunt the Wren tradition has been celebrated on a coin, it was also featured on a 50p coin 24 years ago in 1994.

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Credit – numista.com The Hunt the Wren 50p was issued in 1994 and features two young boys with a pole.

So to celebrate this new festive coin release from the Isle of Man, what better reason is there to take a look back at some of the festive designs issued on Isle of Man coinage over the years.

Here are a few of our favourites which show off how exciting Isle of Man coinage can be…

Just yesterday, the UK Royal Mint issued the first ever Christmas themed 50p coin to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publication of Raymond Briggs’ much-loved festive tale The Snowman™. And it’s safe to say the demand for the much anticipated coin has been overwhelming. It has been so popular in fact that the Silver Proof and Gold versions of the coin have already completely SOLD OUT.

But the Isle of Man have been way ahead of the UK and have already issued a few 50p coins over the years featuring the much-loved children’s character the Snowman.  Issued in 2003, the first coin to feature the Snowman and James, the hero of the story, holding hands and dancing had a tiny mintage of just 10,000. Although not many of these coins are available on the secondary market, if you did want to add one to your collection, you’d be looking at parting with a minimum of £200!

2003 Snowman 50p - The hunt is on for the Isle of Man Wren £2 and other Manx Christmas coins!

The 2003 Snowman 50p from the Isle of Man is in high demand on the secondary market. Credit: eBay

The same design was issued in 2008 although these coins were not struck for general circulation.  Fast forward to 2014 and the coin features the Snowman and James hugging with a Christmas tree in the background. As we already know, this coin regularly sells for 80 times its face value on secondary market selling sites such as eBay.

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The 2014 Isle of Man 50p regularly sells for 80 times its face value. Credit: eBay

The Isle of Man have issued a wide range of Christmas themed 50ps over the last 40 years and it’s safe to say that any of these festive 50p coins would definitely be an envious addition to anyone’s collection.  The mintages for Isle of Man festive 50ps have never exceeded 30,000 most likely due to the island having a population of less than 85,000 so it’s no wonder the coins are so sought-after.

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The Isle of Man have issued a wide range of Christmas themed 50ps over the years. Credit: Numista and Coin Update

Let us know your favourite design ever issued on a festive coin and whether you’ve been able to add it to your collection.


Own the first Festive £2 coin from the Isle of Man

IOM 2019 Hunt the Wren BU 2 Pound Coin social media 1080px 1024x711 - The hunt is on for the Isle of Man Wren £2 and other Manx Christmas coins!

You can add the 2018 Isle of Man Hunt the Wren £2 coin to your collection here >>

 


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

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

The FIRST EVER A-Z 10p Scarcity Index!

The latest Change Checker Scarcity Index update of 2018 is here and excitingly, we have now been able to put together our first ever A-Z 10p Scarcity Index!

This information has been compiled using data from the third quarter of the year and presented in the easy to use indexes below to help you track the performance of your coins.

 

FIRST EVER A to Z 10p Scarcity Index

As more coins are starting to appear in circulation and Change Checkers are adding them to their collection, we are now able to use this data to put together the very first A-Z 10p Scarcity Index.

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Initially, 2.6 million A-Z 10p coins were released, however recent news has revealed that another 2.6 million coins have now entered circulation! Therefore, we have estimated a mintage figure of 200,000 for each design in order to put together this index, combining mintage figures with the number of each coin listed in Change Checker’s collections and the number of each coin requested to swap by Change Checkers.

The clear front runner is Z -Zebra Crossing, sitting 24 points ahead of the second place coin, M – Mackintosh. Whilst everyone seems to be struggling to find the A-Z 10ps, these top few coins appear to be the hardest to come across so far, whereas S – Stonehenge, K – King Arthur and A – Angel of the North seem to be the most common. A – Angel of the North was actually the top design for the A-Z 10p Swap Index, suggesting it is most popular and therefore being swapped more often if people are finding multiples of this design.

It is only early days in terms of creating a fully accurate Scarcity Index for these coins, as we still await confirmed mintage figures for each design, and of course it is possible that this may change as more coins are found in circulation.

 

50p Scarcity Index

 

50p index - The FIRST EVER A-Z 10p Scarcity Index!

We’ve seen a lot of movement on the 50p index this quarter, possibly due to the high numbers of 2017 Beatrix Potter 50ps which have now entered circulation.

The Battle of Britain and 2016 Beatrix Potter 50p have both jumped up the index, but the most significant increase goes to the 2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p, which actually has the second lowest mintage figure for any commemorative 50p in circulation. This coin has moved up 12 places this quarter, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it continue to improve.

Of course, Kew Gardens still remains the most scarce UK 50p coin with a mintage figure of just 210,000 and in fact, our top 6 coins have remained consistent since last quarter.

 

£2 Scarcity Index

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We’re still waiting on the 2017 WW1 Aviation and Jane Austen £2 coins to enter circulation, and so there hasn’t been much movement for the £2 index this quarter.

The ever popular Commonwealth Games £2 coins remain at the top, although Wales has now moved down to become the least popular of the four. Our final 8 remain consistent and the only major movement goes to the Wireless Transmission £2 coin, which has fallen 7 places down the index.

We’re eagerly awaiting the newer coins to enter circulation, which I’m sure will then cause a significant re-shuffle of the leaderboard!

 

How the 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 160 times face value on eBay.

 

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.

 


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 - The FIRST EVER A-Z 10p Scarcity Index!

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

The Allied Nations join forces once again …

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month this year, we will mark exactly 100 years since the guns fell silent – the war in Europe was over.

To mark this historic centenary year, many of the allied nations have joined forces again to issue special commemorative coins in a poignant move to mark the anniversary, and so we’ve taken a look at some of the coins released from around the world, including Canada, New Zealand, Australia, France and of course the UK.

2018 UK Armistice £2

AT Change Checker Armistice Pack Mock Up UK 1 - The Allied Nations join forces once again …

2018 UK Armistice £2

This £2 is the final coin issued as part of the First World War £2 series first issued by The Royal Mint in 2014.  Issued earlier in 2018, the design by Stephen Raw features the words ‘The truth untold, the pity of war’, from the Wilfred Owen poem Strange Meeting. The words stand out of a mud-like background in the centre of this striking £2 coin, which was actually modelled in the clay taken by the artist from the Sambre-Oise Canal where Wilfred Owen died in 1918.

 

2018 Canada Armistice $2

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2018 Canadian Armistice $2 coins – uncoloured and coloured

In October this year, The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled these finely crafted $2 coins issued to remember the sacrifices of Canadians who fought for freedom during WWI.

Just 3 million coins have been minted – two million of a stunning coloured version and one million of the non-coloured coin, both of which have been released into circulation in Canada. The reverse image by artist Laurie McGaw features a soldier’s helmet in the centre to represent the many lives lost during WWI and the large poppy beneath it is inspired by the Canadian poem In Flanders Fields by John McCrae, who died in combat in January, 1918.

 

2018 New Zealand Armistice 50-cent

AT Change Checker Armistice Pack Mock Up New Zealand - The Allied Nations join forces once again …

2018 New Zealand Armistice 50-cent

The 2018 Armistice 50 cent coin follows the Anzac coin which was minted in 2015 to mark the centenary of New Zealand’s efforts in WW1. Designed by Dave Burke, the reverse of this 50 Cent features a coloured red poppy flower surrounded by a wreath and the three silver ferns on the wreath represent the three services of the New Zealand Defence Force: Army, Navy and Air Force. The 50-cent coins were released into circulation in New Zealand last month but were actually struck by The Royal Canadian Mint, where all 10, 20 and 50 cent coins are currently minted for New Zealand.

 

2018 Australia Armistice $2

AT Change Checker Armistice Pack Mock Up Australia 2 Dollar - The Allied Nations join forces once again …

2018 Australia Armistice $2

Just released by The Royal Australian Mint today, the new $2 Armistice coin serves as a tangible and visible reminder to all Australians of the fight for freedom 100 years ago. Designed by T Dean and developed with the assistance of the Australian War Memorial, the coin features the number 100 to signify the important Armistice Centenary Anniversary, and the centre zero features a red coloured poppy. The coin features a ‘C’ mintmark, meaning the coin has been struck at the Canberra Mint and is a stunning keepsake in this centenary year.

2018 France Armistice €2

AT Change Checker Armistice Pack Mock Up France - The Allied Nations join forces once again …

2018 France 2 Euro

Issued by La Monnaie de Paris (The Paris Mint), this €2 coin features a cornflower, a symbol of remembrance in France.  This dates back to WWI as soldier’s uniforms were blue and these flowers, as well as poppies, continued to grow in land devastated by war. The flower also symbolizes delicacy and innocence.

Each coin pays its own historic tributes to this significant anniversary marked by millions of people around the world. And as a Change Checker, you’ll appreciate how hard it has been to track down each of these coins. Indeed it’s taken us the best part of a year to secure each of the coins mentioned above to create the Allied Nations Armistice Centenary Coin Pack – drawn together from five of the world’s most renowned Mints.

 


Secure the 2018 Armistice Centenary Coin Pack to mark this important historical anniversary

armistice pack - The Allied Nations join forces once again …

Without a doubt, these coins would make a great addition to your collection. And in this centenary year, it’s a particularly meaningful purchase which I hope will find a cherished place in your collection.

Because of the difficulty in sourcing these coins, we only have a limited number of collections available, so please click below now to be one of the first to own them all.

Click here to secure the 2018 Allied Nations Armistice Coin Pack >>