It’s time for your latest Scarcity Index update, where we’ll reveal the UK’s most sought-after circulation coins of the last three months! And it’s all change again for the 50ps this quarter, as one coin drops a huge 15 places!
With less cash being used because of the current climate, it’s likely this is affecting collecting and it seems this has exposed some new trends on the indexes!
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
Well we’ve seen another big mix up for the latest A-Z 10p Scarcity Index update, with our biggest climber, M for Mackintosh, jumping up a huge 12 places!
In our last Scarcity Index, we saw the Tea 10p take the top spot for the first time and it’s retained its title this quarter, closely followed by Y for Yeoman Warder.
Other big movers include the H for Houses of Parliament and F for Fish and Chips, both moving down 16 places towards the bottom of the index.
Regardless of where they feature on the above index, if you have any of the A-Z 10ps in your collection you should consider yourself lucky, as they are particularly hard to come by in circulation and each design has a relatively low mintage (just 220,000 of each design released in 2018 and 2.1 million overall in 2019).
50p Scarcity Index
Previously the Football 50p had held second spot behind the most sought-after 50p in circulation, the Kew Gardens, but we saw it drop last quarter, and this Index, it’s similar story! The Judo, Triathlon and Wrestling 50ps have now all bumped the Football 50p to fifth spot.
This update sees a huge jump for Taekwondo, jumping up 11 places and landing it in our top 10. There are big changes for the Wheelchair Rugby and Athletics 50ps too, dropping 15 and 11 respectively.
Since our last Scarcity Index update, we’ve seen the 2018 Peter Rabbit drop 3 places but the 2018 Flopsy Bunny 50p has jumped up 2 spots. As the two rarest Beatrix Potter 50ps in circulation, it’s interesting to see them shuffle once more. These coins are definitely the ones to watch…
£2 Scarcity Index
For the first time in recent updates, the Commonwealth Games coins have been disrupted at the top of the index. The Olympic Handover has bumped the Commonwealth Games Wales £2 out of the top 4, moving up a place.
As for the rest of the index, there’s been a substantial amount of reshuffling. The Shakespeare Tragedies has dropped 11 places, whilst the First World War (Navy) is up 3!
After the announcement that there are no plans to issue any £2 coins into circulation for the next 10 years, it’s likely we’ll see a further shuffle to the £2 Index over the next few quarters.
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?
Secure the Ultimate A-Z 10p Collector’s Kit to your collection!
The 2018 UK A-Z 10p Collector’s Kit gives you everything you need to collect, display, and protect your collection of A-Z 10p coins as you find them in your change.
In March 2015, the UK treasury confirmed that 1p and 2p coins will continue to be used “for years to come”. However, it has recently been suggested that due to a cash usage slump, The Royal Mint is set to go ten years without producing anymore 2p coins!
But it’s not just our coppers at stake.. The same applies for £2 coins, as it has been revealed that in March 2020, The Royal Mint was sitting on 26 times as many £2 coins as it needed to.
According to the National Audit Office’s report into Britain’s cash usage, the number of coins produced each year by The Royal Mint fell by nearly two-thirds between 2011 and this year.
Less than a quarter of all payments were made by cash last year, according to figures released in June by the banking trade body UK Finance.
It’s fair to assume that even less cash has been used since the start of 2020 due to the coronavirus leading to fears of cash usage and a move to more contactless payments.
However, The Mint told Britain’s spending watchdog that there had been ‘sharp increases in demand’ for change ‘as many businesses and consumers hoarded coins in the early months of the pandemic’.
As a result, the Treasury ordered The Royal Mint to strike 60 million additional 1p coins over the summer to meet this new demand. So make sure you keep your eyes peeled for these new 1p coins, especially if you’re collecting dateruns!
The Royal Mint are required to forecast the demand for small change to ensure it keeps enough coins in stock without striking too few or too many, but with significant fluctuations in consumer behaviour in recent years, this has no doubt been a challenge.
In 2017, after the introduction of the new 12-sided £1, The Royal Mint saw a swell in its coin stocks as people rushed to return their round pounds, ending up returning loose change of other denominations at the same time.
According to the NAO, at the end of March, The Royal Mint aimed to hold 700,000 £2 coins, but actually held 18.7million. And rather than holding its target of 15.9million 2p coins, it held 127.1million.
As a result, in March of this year, The NAO said The Royal Mint had estimated ‘it did not envisage producing any new 2p or £2 coins for at least 10 years’.
We haven’t seen a £2 enter circulation since 2016, so, could this mean that those 2016 dated £2s and 2017 dated 2p coins are the last of their kind? We certainly hope not.
But what about our coppers? Do you think we still need 1p and 2p coins in circulation? Have your say by voting in our poll on Facebook.
And what could the future for Britain’s definitive coinage be if the 1p and 2p coins were removed? Currently the definitive coins from 1p to 50p come together to create The Royal Shield, but with two key pieces missing, could this lead to a complete re-design?
We’d love to hear what you think about the use of cash vs card and the demand for our smaller denominations, so leave us a comment below to share your thoughts.
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
Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app
Agatha Christie’s first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles was published in 1920 and it kick-started the nation’s love of her detective novels and murder mysteries.
In 2020, to mark 100 years since her first publication, The Royal Mint celebrates the world’s best-selling novelist with this brand new 2020 UK Agatha Christie £2.
2020 UK Agatha Christie £2
David Lawrence’s design of this coin pays homage to Christie’s crime novels, with a piece of a jigsaw slotting into place and her signature at the bottom.
The coin also features the edge inscription ‘100 years of mystery 1920’-2020’ to mark this very special anniversary.
Issued initially as part of the 2020 Commemorative Coin Set, this brand new £2 coin has just been individually released and is available in Brilliant Uncirculated quality for JUST £8.99 (+p&p)
Murder, Mystery, and Masterpieces
After the end of the First World War, Christie published her first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles. This incredibly popular story introduced readers to one of Christie’s most famous characters – Belgian detective Hercule Poirot*.
Writing well into her later years, Christie wrote more than 70 detective novels as well as short fiction. Her books have been made into films, television, and radio programmes. In 1971, she was made a Dame of the British Empire for her outstanding contribution to Literature.
In 2020, she is celebrated once more with this brand new £2 coin and she becomes another UK author to be commemorated on UK coinage…
2016 Shakespeare £2 Series
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 right), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (central) and his most-famous love tragedy (pictured left).
All three coins entered circulation but the Comedy £2 has the lowest circulating mintage – just 4,355,000!
2017 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.
2019 Sherlock Holmes 50p
In 2019, to mark 160 years since the birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Royal Mint issued this 50p coin.
The prolific writer is best known for his incredibly popular detective stories featuring the fictional Sherlock Holmes™. It is said his works revolutionised the crime genre, and despite Doyle sharing an ambivalent relationship with his famous character, Holmes’ popularity resulted in Doyle becoming one of the best-paid authors of the time.
The reverse has been designed by Stephen Raw and features a silhouette of Sherlock smoking a pipe, surrounded by a few of his most-famous story titles.
It entered general circulation but the exact mintage figures have not been confirmed yet!
2012 Charles Dickens £2
The Charles Dickens £2 coin was issued by The Royal Mint in 2012 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of one of Britain’s most famous and beloved writers.
His enchanting stories, vivid characters and depiction of Victorian life are widely acknowledged across the world by critics and scholars alike and his novels and short stories continue to be widely popular.
The design features Dickens’ recognisable profile crafted from the titles of his most famous works and is a favourite amongst collectors.
This coin was released into general circulation and has a mintage of 8,190,000.
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. It features the edge inscription, Bicentenary of Mary Shelley’s The Modern Prometheus.
It did not enter general circulation.
2016 Beatrix Potter Anniversary 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.
We love seeing Britain’s best-loved authors come to life on our UK coins, but which author coin is your favourite? Comment below!
Secure the 2020 UK Agatha Christie £2 to your collection today!
* AGATHA CHRISTIE, POIROT and the Agatha Christie Signature are registered trademarks of Agatha Christie Limited in the UK and elsewhere. All rights reserved.