Coin Info

Top 10 Change Collecting Tips this Easter

With the Easter holidays just around the corner, what better activity could there be to keep excited little kiddies entertained than to start collecting coins as a family?

Lee IGP - Top 10 Change Collecting Tips this Easter
@mrlmeldrum and his children using the Change Checker album

It’s not just eggs you should be hunting for this Easter…

The release of book character themed coins, such as the Beatrix Potter 50ps, Paddington, The Snowman and The Gruffalo have proved increasingly popular with children, families and collectors alike, as well as fans of the books.

book character coins 1024x689 - Top 10 Change Collecting Tips this Easter
Book character themed 50ps

Whether your family is new to the game, or if you’re a seasoned collector, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of hunting down a coin you need for your collection.

And so this Easter forget the Easter egg hunt, because we’re challenging you to see how many commemorative coins you and your family can find in your change!

So here are our TOP 10 Change Collecting tips, put together with help from your fellow Change Checkers.

Change Checker Easter Tips Blog Infographic - Top 10 Change Collecting Tips this Easter

With so many wonderful coins in circulation, it won’t take long for you to start building your collection using these Top Tips.

We’d love to hear how you get on with your coin hunting over the holidays, so make sure you leave us a comment below with the coins you’ve been lucky enough to find!

Best of luck Change Checkers!


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

Your guide to Guernsey’s rarest coins in circulation… Mintage figures revealed!

Coins from Crown dependencies and overseas British territories can sometimes make an unexpected appearance in our change.

They are identical in size, shape and weight to UK denominations (bar the new 12 sided £1) which means they often find their way into tills and vending machines undetected.

Finding one in your change can be an annoyance on one hand as technically the coins are not legal tender in the UK. On the other hand, from a collecting point of view, new and interesting designs are always a bonus!

Mintage figures for British Isles coins are very hard to track down, but we’ve managed to get hold of the definitive mintage figures for Guernsey to show you which are the rarest coins you should be looking out for.

 

Guernsey Definitive 50p Coin Mintage Figures

Change Checker Graph Guernsey Definitive Mintage 50p 1 - Your guide to Guernsey's rarest coins in circulation... Mintage figures revealed!

* These figures have been compiled from historic records in order to provide information to persons who inquire from time to time. All figures are provided as a matter of interest only and for no other purpose. It must be distinctly understood that the States of Guernsey nor its employees can accept responsibility for the accuracy of the figures or for the consequences of any errors or omissions and these figures are supplied under that understanding. [States of Guernsey]

 

Guernsey’s Definitive 50p Coins

Two different definitive 50p designs have been issued on Guernsey coinage between 1969 and 2012 – the Ducal Cap and Freesia 50p coins. 

The first 50p design released in Guernsey, the Ducal Cap, was issued six times between 1969 and 1984, with each coin having a mintage of 200,000.

The coin features an image of the Ducal Cap of the Duke of Normandy on the reverse and the Guernsey Coat of Arms on the obverse, which includes three lions instead of Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait. This makes the 50p particularly distinguishable.

Ducal Cap 50p 300x208 - Your guide to Guernsey's rarest coins in circulation... Mintage figures revealed!

Guernsey Ducal Cap 50p. Issued from 1969-1984

 

Whilst the Ducal Cap 50ps have a fairly high mintage figure considering the size of Guernsey’s population (just 62,307 as of 2018), the most common Guernsey 50p is actually the 1997 Freesia design with a mintage of 1,044,000. 

The Freesia 50p features the Guernsey Freesia Flowers on the reverse and the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. There is also a small Guernsey Coat of Arms on the obverse of the coin, which acts like a Guernsey mint mark and makes the Guernsey 50p stand out when compared to typical UK 50p coins.

Freesia Flowers 50p 300x208 - Your guide to Guernsey's rarest coins in circulation... Mintage figures revealed!

Guernsey Freesia Flowers 50p. Issued from 1985 – 2012

 

Mintage figures for the Freesia design vary considerably, with the rarest coin issued in 1987 actually only having a mintage of 5,000. Mintage figures for the UK Britannia 50p were also low in 1987, as this coin had a mintage of 88,659, whereas the definitive 50p is normally issued in the millions. However the Guernsey Freesia Flowers 50p is still over 17 times rarer than it’s UK counterpart for 1987.

The most common Guernsey 50p, the 1997 Freesia Flowers has a mintage of 1,044,000, however this is still lower than the rarest UK definitive 50p (2017 Royal Shield), which has a mintage of 1,800,000.

 

Guernsey Definitive £2 Coin Mintage Figures

 

AT Change Checker Graph Guernsey Definitive Mintage ST Amended - Your guide to Guernsey's rarest coins in circulation... Mintage figures revealed!

Guernsey’s Definitive £2 Coin

The first definitive Guernsey £2 coin design was actually dated 1997, but was only included in brilliant uncirculated and proof coin sets.

It was in 1998 that the first of the Guernsey £2 coins were issued in to general circulation, featuring the definitive Flag design.

Guernsey 1998 Definitive Shield Two Pound Coin Obverse Reverse 300x208 - Your guide to Guernsey's rarest coins in circulation... Mintage figures revealed!

Guernsey Flag £2 Issued from 1998 – 2012

 

As the first year of issue for the first bi-metallic coin, you’d expect the mintage for this to be high, however only 150,000 of these coins were struck in 1998. This makes the 1998 £2 Guernsey’s most common definitive £2 in circulation, but when compared to the UK’s most common £2 (1998 Technology design) which had a mintage of 91,110,375, you realise just how rare these Guernsey coins really are!

This design has remained the same since its introduction, however the mintages figures for subsequent years were drastically lower, with the rarest coin being released in 2012 with a mintage of just 5,250. Comparatively, the UK’s definitive £2 coin (Technology design) issued in 2012 had a mintage of 3,900,000 – that’s over 700 times more than the definitive coins issued in Guernsey that year!

Although £2 coins were issued in Guernsey in 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1995, these were actually commemorative crown size coins, not issued for circulation and so we do not have these figures. At that time The Royal Mint manufactured Guernsey’s commemorative coins, creating a crown size denomination from the £2 coin.

Guernsey Definitive £1 Coin Mintage Figures

 

Change Checker Graph Guernsey Definitive Mintage 1 pound - Your guide to Guernsey's rarest coins in circulation... Mintage figures revealed!

* These figures have been compiled from historic records in order to provide information to persons who inquire from time to time. All figures are provided as a matter of interest only and for no other purpose. It must be distinctly understood that the States of Guernsey nor its employees can accept responsibility for the accuracy of the figures or for the consequences of any errors or omissions and these figures are supplied under that understanding. [States of Guernsey]

 

Guernsey’s Definitive £1 Coins

Three different definitive £1 designs have been issued in Guernsey since 1981 – the Lily, HMS Crescent and Finance Motif.

As you can see from the chart above, the Finance Motif design issued from 1985 – 2012 has dramatically lower mintage figures and has been issued more frequently.

The coin features the finance motif on the reverse, but as with most Guernsey coins, it is the unusual obverse that makes it stand out. The obverse features the portrait of Her Majesty the Queen facing right, with a small Guernsey Coat of Arms on the left.

finance motif 300x208 - Your guide to Guernsey's rarest coins in circulation... Mintage figures revealed!

Guernsey Finance Motif £1. Issued from 1985-2012

 

In 1981, Guernsey issued the Lily £1. Similar to the Ducal Cap 50p, the Lily £1 features the Guernsey Coat of Arms on the obverse, which includes three lions instead of Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait. The reverse of the design features a lily flower, the national flower of Guernsey.

200,000 Guernsey Lily £1 coins were issued in 1981, making it the second most common £1 on Guernsey. 

Guernsey Lily 1 448P 1 300x208 - Your guide to Guernsey's rarest coins in circulation... Mintage figures revealed!

Guernsey Lily £1. Issued in 1981

 

In 1983, Guernsey issued the HMS Crescent £1.This coin also features the Guernsey Coat of Arms on the obverse, but the reverse features an engraving of the HMS Crescent by Robert Elderton.

This is the most common Guernsey £1, with a mintage of 267,000. But, compared to the most common UK £1 (2015 Royal Arms) which has a mintage of 129,616,985, mintage figures for the HMS Crescent £1 are incredibly low. Almost 500 times lower than the most common UK £1!

Guernsey HMS Crescent 360M 1 300x208 - Your guide to Guernsey's rarest coins in circulation... Mintage figures revealed!

Guernsey HMS Crescent. Issued in 1983

 

Although the 1981 Lily and 1983 HMS Crescent designs were only issued for one year each, they both have much higher mintage figures than the Finance Motif issued prior to these designs.

In fact, if you were to add up the mintages for every year the Finance Motif was issued (bar an unusually high year in 2001) the figure would still be lower than the 1981 Lily and 1983 HMS Crescent coins.

The rarest Guernsey £1 is the 1990 Finance Motif, with a mintage of just 3,500. We know that British Isles mintage figures are much lower than the UK due to the smaller population, however when you compare this to the rarest UK £1 which is the 2011 Edinburgh £1 with a mintage of 935,000, the difference is staggering! In fact, Guernsey’s rarest £1 is actually more than 250 times rarer than the Edinburgh £1!

 

Lack of Demand for New Definitive Coins

From 2012 to present there have been no definitive coins released on Guernsey, and we must assume that this is due to the fact that there just isn’t the demand for them. As previously mentioned, the small population of just 62,307 means that there are less coins issued on the British Isles.

Has any Guernsey coinage found its way into your pocket and have you been lucky enough to find any of the rarer coins? Let us know in the comments below.

 


 

Start your Guernsey coin collection!

 

Guernsey Coins - Your guide to Guernsey's rarest coins in circulation... Mintage figures revealed!

You can now order your very own coins from Guernsey to kick start your collection!

Secure the Ducal Cap 50p, Freesia Flowers 50p or Finance Motif £1 here >>

The 50p that’s even rarer than the 2017 Isaac Newton coin…

In 2008, Matthew Dent redesigned the UK’s definitive coins following a public competition which saw over 4,000 designs submitted.

His Royal Shield of Arms design was chosen by The Royal Mint Advisory Committee to feature on the reverse of all UK coins, and when each coin from the penny to the 50p is placed together, the completed design reveals the full shield. The lower section of the shield can be seen on the reverse design of the UK 50p.

20190213 093422 1024x1024 - The 50p that's even rarer than the 2017 Isaac Newton coin...

Definitive 50ps are usually issued into circulation every year and generally go unnoticed as they are so readily available and mintage figures are often in the high millions.

Since 2008 this coin has been issued into circulation six times, but which Royal Shield 50p is the rarest?

Change Checker Graph Definitive Royal Shield 50p Mintage - The 50p that's even rarer than the 2017 Isaac Newton coin...

The Royal Mint only issues coins based on demand, and therefore the coin wasn’t issued in 2009, 2010, 2011 or 2016. In the years that the coin was issued, the mintage figures vary from just 1,800,000 all the way up to 49,001,000.

By far the rarest 50p shield is the 2017 coin, which is actually the second rarest 50p coin in circulation!

The Kew Gardens is known as the UK’s rarest circulation 50p, with a mintage of just 210,000 and the next rarest commemorative 50p is the 2017 Sir Isaac Newton, with a mintage of 1,801,500. However, when you include definitive coins into the mix, the 2017 Royal Shield actually knocks the Sir Isaac Newton off second spot, with 1,500 less coins issued.

50p mintage chart - The 50p that's even rarer than the 2017 Isaac Newton coin...

The most common Royal Shield 50p is the 2014 coin, with a mintage of 49,001,000, although this is not the most common 50p in circulation…

That title goes to the old definitive, featuring Christopher Ironside’s Britannia design. This design was first issued in 1969 as the first seven sided coin, issued to replace the 10 shilling note.

1989 Old Britannia 50p - The 50p that's even rarer than the 2017 Isaac Newton coin...

New Pence Britannia 50p. Issued from 1969 to 1981

In 1997 the coin was made smaller and lighter and the old coins ceased to be legal tender in the UK. Therefore, a whopping 456,364,100 Britannia 50p coins were issued that year to replace the old design, making the 1997 Britannia 50p Britain’s most common 50p.

Are the definitive 50p coins worth collecting?

As collectors, we often focus on the rarer commemorative designs when it comes to building our collections, but I think the chart above just goes to show why we shouldn’t overlook the rarity of the definitive coins.

You’re very likely to come across the Royal Shield 50p in your change (in fact, there might be one in your pocket right now!) so make sure you keep your eyes peeled to see if you can find the rare 2017 coin for your collection!


Own the UK’s rarest Royal Shield 50p within the 2017 Royal Mint Pack!

2017 royal mint pack - The 50p that's even rarer than the 2017 Isaac Newton coin...

This set is no longer available from The Royal Mint, but today you can own all 13 of the United Kingdom’s 2017 annual coins in the Royal Mint Brilliant Uncirculated pack, including the UK’s rarest Royal Shield 50p.

Click here to secure the set >>