So you think you’ve found a rare coin in your change, but how do you know how scarce it really is? Well, mintage figures only tell part of the story…
Our Scarcity Index uses data from the Change Checker Swap Centre to determine just how scarce and sought-after your coins are. The information is 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 update.
50p Scarcity Index
It’s all change on our latest 50p index, with all but 3 coins moving at least 1 place.
Of course, right at the top is a non mover, the Kew Gardens 50p, closely followed by the Olympic Judo 50p. A select few Olympic 50ps regularly move around at the top of the list, however after climbing to 2nd place in our last index, the Judo 50p holds its spot and surprisingly, the coveted Football 50p has been bumped down slightly.
On to the big movers…and one Olympic 50p that has dropped a massive 34 places is the Boccia 50p, putting it back to where it was about a year ago. Also moving down is the 2018 Peter Rabbit 50p which has gone down 35 places and the Paddington at St Paul’s Cathedral 50p which has dropped 16 places.
It’s not all bad news for the 50ps though, because the Roger Bannister 50p and the Ironside 50p have climbed 17 and 14 places respectively. The Roger Bannister 50p has a mintage of just over 9 million and the Ironside 50p 7 million, making them some of the more common commemorative 50ps in circulation, so this shakeup on the index is definitely interesting.
Other notable movers are the Fencing 50p which has dropped 13 places, and the Taekwondo, Boxing, Volleyball and Canoeing 50ps which have all climbed 8 places.
If you’re new to collecting and want to find out more about circulation coins, you can check out our fact files here >>
Otherwise, keep reading to find out which 10ps and £2 coins you should be looking out for.
10p Scarcity Index
Once again, the A-Z 10p Scarcity Index has had quite a shake up, with only 4 coins staying put since our last update.
Coins climbing up the ranks include the O for Oak 10p which has risen by 9 places and the K for King Arthur and I for Ice Cream 10ps which both shot up by 6 places.
Falling almost to the bottom of the index is the N for NHS 10p which went down by 12 places since our last update and the F for Fish and Chips 10p which fell by 9 places.
It’s worth remembering that this Index only ranks the 10ps against each other, when really even the ones at the bottom of the list are still incredibly sought-after. And that’s no surprise, as a maximum of JUST 304,000 of each A-Z 10p design entered circulation across 2018 and 2019.
It’s thought that a large percentage of these 10ps have been snapped up by collectors, leaving a limited amount still in circulation, so make sure you keep an eye out for them in your change!
£2 Scarcity Index
We usually see less movement on the £2 index due to the fact that less coins have entered circulation in recent years, however this time, there have been some big movers.
Climbing an impressive 13 places is the Shakespeare Tragedies £2, which was previously 1 place from the very bottom of the index. Out of the 3 Shakespeare coins, the Comedies £2 has the lowest mintage figure, however this one has fallen by just one place.
Another surprising change is the Guinea £2 which has fallen by 17 places since our last update, putting it almost at the bottom of the index. When it was issued in 2013, just 2,990,000 Guinea £2 coins entered circulation, so despite it now ranking as common on our Scarcity Index, it’s still one of the rarer £2s out there.
And of course, the Commonwealth Games N. Ireland £2 remains at the top of the list due to it’s incredibly low mintage of just 485,000.
How your Scarcity Index works
Generally collectors have relied on 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.
What’s more, some designs are more hoarded than others by people who might not normally collect coins – for example the First World War £2 Coin series.
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. This allows Change Checkers to track the relative performance of the UK’s circulation coins.
How much are my coins worth?
The Scarcity Index doesn’t necessarily equate to value, but it is certainly a good indicator. For example, the Kew Gardens 50p coin commands a premium of up to 200 times face value on eBay and is unsurprisingly top of the 50p Index.
You can use our 6 point guide to help you determine a more realistic value for your coins.
What about £1 Coins?
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The 2024 UK RNLI 50p has just dropped anchor and is ready to swim straight into your collection!
I know a lot of you will be wanting to get your hands on this one, because we asked you to vote for your favourite design from the Annual Set, and the RNLI 50p won with a huge 50% of the votes!
So if you just cant wait, click here to secure your 2024 UK RNLI 50p for just £5.99 >>
Or, keep reading to find out a bit more…
History of the RNLI
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution, better known as the RNLI, was founded by Sir William Hillary in 1824, and 2024 marks its 200th anniversary. From being the first organization to use steam-driven lifeboats in 1890, to providing crucial maritime support during the first and second world wars, to opening their training college in 2004 – the RNLI have been making history and saving lives at sea for 2 whole centuries.
Each year, coins marking key anniversaries and historical figures are chosen to feature in the Annual Set – and this year was no exception with coins celebrating the National Gallery, Sir Winston Churchill, the Paris Olympics and of course, the RNLI.
A ‘mast’erpiece designs
The reverse design incorporates key symbols of the RNLI, with the flag in the centre, surrounded by a life ring and rope. Inscribed on the life ring are the years of the charity 1824-2024 as well as ‘200 years’, marking that incredible milestone.
Did you know…
The iconic RNLI flag wasn’t introduced until 1908. The first version designed by Leonara Preston in 1884 who used the St George’s cross as the basis for the flag, adding the RNLI lettering, the Tudor Crown worn by King George VI and a foul anchor in the centre.
The design was updated in 1953 to represent the change of monarch to Queen Elizabeth II when the Tudor Crown was swapped for the St Edwards Crown. It’s this version of the flag that’s been proudly flown at all lifeboat stations since, but I wonder if they’ll change the design again for King Charles III?
Let us know what you think in the comments!
Supporting a great cause
As well as a design paying tribute to 200 years of the institution that has saved over 144,000 lives, The Royal Mint are donating 5% of every RNLI 50p sold to the charity*, allowing them to continue their great work.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen proceeds from a UK coin go to a worthy cause. Just last year, The Royal Mint donated 100% of the profits from the 2023 NHS 50p to NHS Charities Together, an organization that provides incredible support to NHS staff, patients and communities.
The 2023 UK NHS 50p commemorated 75 years of the National Health Service, and it’s estimated that the total donation figure reached £225,000 – an incredible way to celebrate three-quarters of a century of the great British organization.
So do you agree with 50% of collectors – is the RNLI 50p your favourite coin from the 2024 Annual Set? Perhaps you have a personal story involving the RNLI that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!
Secure your 2024 UK RNLI 50p
*The Royal Mint Limited will contribute 5% of the price excluding VAT in support of the RNLI. Payments are made to RNLI (Sales) Ltd (which pays all its taxable profits to the RNLI, a charity registered in England and Wales (209603),Scotland (SC037736), the Republic of Ireland (20003326), the Bailiwick of Jersey (14), the Isle of Man (1308 and 006329F) and the Bailiwick of Guernsey and Alderney.
Do you have any of the below coins or banknotes in your collection? If so, read on to find out how much they could be worth in our latest eBay Tracker and Valuation Index!
The secondary market can be a bit of a minefield, so we’ve put together an easy way for you to see how much the top 11 UK coins and banknotes are selling for right now.
Overall, things have been fairly consistent since our last update in June 2023, however individually, there have been some sizeable increases in prices and some surprising decreases.
Excitingly, this is the first eBay Tracker to feature the King Charles III Coronation 50p! When we last updated our index, this coin had only been available for a short while as it didn’t enter circulation until August 2023. However 6 months on, collectors have had the chance to find the Coronation 50p there have been a fair few listings on the secondary market.
The Coronation 50p enters the tracker with a median value of £2.69. Although that may not seem very much, it’s still over 5 times the coin’s face value, and considering it’s only been in circulation for 5 months, that’s quite the increase!
2015 Britannia £2
Moving onto the coin that’s seen the biggest increase in selling value – the 2015 Britannia £2. With a huge 39% increase since our last update, the Britannia £2 is currently selling for around £6.24 on the secondary market.
Britannia first appeared on the Farthing in 1672 and subsequently featured on various UK coins for more than 300 years. After being dropped from the 50p in 2008, Britannia had its resurgence in 2015 when it replaced the technology design on our definitive £2 coins.
Olympic Football 50p
The Olympic Football 50p is also worth keeping an eye on, as we’ve seen a 24% increase in its secondary market value! The 2011 Olympic 50p have long been favourites amongst collectors, but did you know that only 1,125,500 Football 50ps entered circulation, making it the rarest Olympic 50p out there.
Considering Its low mintage figure and popular design explaining the hotly debated offside rule, it’s no wonder people are still willing to pay nearly 36 times its face value for one!
The undated 20p remains one of the most sought-after coins, with some being sold on the secondary market for £64, a 23% increase since our last eBay tracker update! Although it’s not known exactly how many undated 20ps are in circulation, it’s often considered as the holy grail of change collecting.
Are you lucky enough to have an undated 20p in your collection?
Kew Gardens 50p
Released by The Royal Mint in 2009 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, the striking design of this 50p, by Christopher Le Brun RA, features the famous Chinese Pagoda at Kew, entwined by a decorative leafy climber.
In 2014, The Royal Mint revealed that only 210,000 Kew Gardens 50p coins had been struck, making it the scarcest UK coin in circulation. And nearly 10 years later, people are still willing to pay hefty sums to get their hands on one. The average secondary market value for a Kew Gardens 50p is currently around £148, just £10 less than our last update.
AA01 £5 and £10 Polymer Banknotes
Despite not increasing in value since our last update, the first batch of Polymer £5 and £10 banknotes are definitely worth looking out for.
Did you know, the very first note of each denomination printed was given to the Queen, and the second to Prince Phillip? So, you definitely won’t find those ones in circulation! But if you do spot a £5 or £10 note with a serial number starting with AA01, you could make a pretty penny on the secondary market.
One seller reported selling an AA01 £5 note on eBay for over £60,000 in 2017, however our eBay tracker reveals that you can currently get your hands on one for around £15 – which is still 3 times its face value!
With the new Atlantic Salmon 50p having entered circulation in December, there are now 3 coin designs featuring King Charles III to look out for in your change – so make sure you keep your eyes peeled!
Have you found any of the King Charles III 50ps ‘in the wild’ yet? Let us know in the comments!
eBay Tracker FAQs
My coin isn’t on the eBay Tracker
The eBay Tracker follows the movements of the top 11 UK coins and banknotes, however if your coin doesn’t appear on the tracker you can use our 6 point guide to help determine the realistic value for your coin.
How does the eBay Tracker work?
The Change Checker eBay Tracker takes the last 9 sold prices on eBay and gives the median price achieved. By taking the median, rather than an average, we avoid skewing figures with excessively high or low prices.
Please note that the Change Checker eBay Tracker is only ever designed to be a guide as to prices achieved on eBay. Prices may vary depending on collector demand and the quality of the coin being sold. It does not provide any guarantee as to future values of coins.
Find out more about your coins
If you’re interested in coin collecting, our Change Checker web app is completely free to use!