Posts Tagged ‘£1’

Discovering the UK’s Definitive Coin Designs

We’re celebrating the unsung heroes of the coin collecting world by taking a deep dive into the UK’s definitive coin designs.

From the 1p to the £2 coin, find out all you need to know about the definitive coins that have been issued over the last 51 years…

£2

1997-2015: History of Technology £2
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

In 1997 a new type of £2 coin was introduced which featured an innovative bi-metallic design and was the first in the history of British coinage.

Previously, £2 coins had been issued as commemoratives only and featured a single metal design.

The reverse of the new bi-metallic coin shows Bruce Rushin’s representation of mankind’s technological evolution from the Iron Age. The concentric circles each denote a different technological milestone, including the Industrial Revolution, the computer age and the age of the Internet.

The obverse features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley.

2015 – Present: Britannia £2
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

In 2015, the “History of Technology” design, which featured on the £2 coin since 1997, was replaced by the introduction of an iconic Britannia design by Anthony Dufort.

Britannia first appeared on British coins in 1672 and subsequently featured on a British coin in one way or another for more than 300 years. In 2008 she was surprisingly dropped from the 50 pence piece despite a Daily Mail campaign to save her, and so her appearance on the definitive £2 coins in 2015 was a triumphant return.

The obverse features Jody Clark’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, which is the 5th portrait of Her Majesty to appear on a coin.

So far there have only been issues of this coin in 2015 and again in 2016, however just 650,000 Britannia £2s were issued in 2015, making it the joint 3rd rarest £2 in circulation.


£1

2008-2016: Royal Arms
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

The first UK £1 coin was issued in 1983 to replace the £1 banknote, which was only lasting a few months in circulation.

It was struck from Nickel-brass, making it yellow in colour, and it was much thicker than the other coins in our change.

£1 coins were initially issued in recurring five year programmes including series of designs representing the UK and the home nations.

It wasn’t until 2008 that the first official definitive £1 coin was issued.

The reverse design was created by Matthew Dent, who won a public competition to redesign the UK’s definitive coinage.

His concept was based on the Royal Shield of Arms and this £1 coin features the complete shield – representing the United Kingdom as a whole.

The obverse design featured the 4th portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, by Raphael Maklouf until 2015, when this was replaced by Jody Clark’s design.

2016 – Present: Nations of the Crown
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

To combat counterfeiting, a new bi-metallic, 12-sided £1 coin was introduced in March 2017.

Billed as the most secure circulating coin in the world, the new £1 coin was designed by 15-year-old David Pearce following a public competition in 2015.

The new design is made up of the English rose, the Welsh leek, the Scottish thistle and the Northern Irish shamrock emerging from one stem within a royal coronet to represent the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom.

The obverse features the 5th portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark.


50p

1969-1981: Britannia 50 New Pence
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

October 1969 saw the entrance of the 50 New Pence coin into circulation and its revolutionary heptagonal shape was the first of its kind.

Its reverse design, by Christopher Ironside remained traditional however, featuring the familiar and iconic image of Britannia.

Arnold Machin’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II features on the obverse and this was the second portrait of Her Majesty to appear on a coin.

1982-1997: Britannia 50 Pence
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

In 1982 the UK’s definitive coin designs were updated, as they were no longer considered ‘new’.

The lettering of this 50p differs from its predecessor, changing from ’New Pence’ to ‘Fifty Pence’.

The 1982-1997 50p features Christopher Ironside’s image of Britannia, the allegorical female figure that symbolizes Britain on the reverse.

Raphael Maklouf’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse of this 50 pence is the third to appear on a coin.

1997-2008: Britannia Fifty Pence
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

In October 1994, the Government reviewed the United Kingdom coinage and a requirement for a smaller 50 pence coin was revealed.

On 1st September 1997 a 27.3mm diameter 50 pence was issued; a 2.7mm reduction from the previous 50 pence.

The traditional image of Britannia remained on the reverse, designed by Christopher Ironside, as did the obverse portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, by Raphael Maklouf.

2008 – Present: 50p Royal Arms
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

In 2008, the UK’s previous definitive coin designs were replaced by Matthew Dent’s winning competition entry which saw all the definitive coins form a complete image of the Royal Shield of Arms when pieced together.

The 50p coin design completes the lower section of the Royal Shield and features the denomination in the lower segment.

In 2015, the obverse design was changed to feature the 5th portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark, replacing Ian Rank-Broadley’s portrait.

This design was issued every year from 2008 to present, excluding 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2016.

The rarest Royal Shield 50p was issued in 2017 and has a mintage of 1,800,000 – making it the second rarest 50p in circulation. Mintage figures for 2018 and 2019 coins have not yet been revealed.


20p

1982-2008: The Royal Badge of England
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

Introduced into circulation in June 1982, the 20 pence coin was giving the same curved heptagonal shape as the 50p but is much smaller, measuring at 21.4mm in diameter.

The reverse design of the Royal Badge of England was designed by William Gardiner and it features a royally crowned double rose in between the dated year.

From 1982 the obverse features the design of Queen Elizabeth II by Arnold Machin. This changed to Raphael Maklouf’s 3rd portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1985 and Ian Rank-Broadley’s 4th portrait in 1998.

This 20p was issued annually between 1982 and 2008, excluding 1986 and 2017 in which there was low demand.

2008 – Present: 20p Royal Arms
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

A new design for the 20p was introduced in 2008 as part of the re-design of UK coinage using Matthew Dent’s shield design.

When the six individual coins are placed together the designs join to form the complete image of the Royal Shield of Arms. The design of the 20p shows the far-right segment of the shield.

The 20p had previously included the date on the reverse, but the new design required the Royal Mint to produce a new die with the date on the obverse. However when the new coins were struck for circulation, the old die was accidentally used, meaning a batch was issued with no date on either side of the coin, making a very rare undated 20p error coin.

The obverse features the 4th portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley. In 2015, a 5th portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was designed by Jody Clark and the 20p obverse was updated to feature it.


10p

1968-1981: 10 New Pence
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

In 1968 the 10 New Pence coin entered circulation to replace the florin as part of Britain’s conversion to a system of decimal currency.

The public was uncertain about using this new coin to start with, after generations of pounds, shillings and pence, meaning the Decimal Currency Board still needed to reassure suspicious Britons to go decimal.

Featured on the reverse was Christopher Ironside’s design, incorporating part of the Crest of England; a lion passant guardant royally crowned.

The 2nd portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II by Arnold Machin is on the obverse.

1992-2008: 10 Pence (3rd portrait; small type)
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

On 30th September 1992 a reduced size version of the 10 pence coin was introduced into circulation and the older and larger version of the coin was withdrawn from circulation on 30th June 1993.

This 10 pence measured at 24.5mm, 4mm less than its predecessor.

Whilst the reverse design by Christopher Ironside, a lion passant guardian royally crowned, remained the same, the lettering changed from ‘New Pence’ to ‘Ten Pence.’

Raphael Maklouf’s portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II features on the obverse of the coin.

2008 – Present: 10p Royal Arms
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

In April 2008, Mathew Dent’s competition winning design was adopted on the 10p coin.

The 10p is designed to depict the top left quarter of the Royal Shield of Arms, showing the lions passant from the Royal Banner of England.

On the obverse, HM Queen Elizabeth II’s 4th portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley is featured.

This 10p was issued consecutively from 2008 to 2017 but HM Queen Elizabeth II’s 5th portrait by Jody Clark, only features on coins issued after 2015.


5p

1968-1981: Five New Pence
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

In April 1968, 5p coins were issued as a replacement for shillings in preparation for decimalisation in 1971.

These were released into circulation at the same time as the very first 10p coins.

The reverse, by Christopher Ironside, shows The Badge of Scotland and a thistle royally crowned.

The obverse features the second crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Arnold Machin.

1990-1998: Five Pence- Reduced Size
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

In 1987 the Government announced its intention to issue a smaller 5p coin and on 27th June 1990 the new 18.00mm 5p was introduced.

The reverse design remained the same as the previous years’, with a royally crowned Scottish thistle, designed by Christopher Ironside but the words ‘Five Pence’ were written instead of ‘New Pence’.

From 1990 to 1998 the obverse design shows Raphael Maklouf’s portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and from 1998 to 2008 the obverse design shows Ian Rank-Broadley’s portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

2008 – Present: Royal Arms
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

A new design for the 5p was introduced in 2008 as part of the re-design of UK coinage using Matthew Dent’s Royal Shield design.

The 5p coin depicts the centre of the Royal shield, showing the meeting point of the four quarters.

The obverse from 2008 to 2015 features the 4th portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley and from 2015 to present features the 5th portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark.


2p

1971-1981: Badge of the Prince of Wales – New Pence
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

On 15 February 1971, the United Kingdom adopted a new decimal currency system and the 2p was introduced into general circulation.

The reverse incorporates the wording ‘NEW’ so to avoid confusion between the old and new coinage and features the badge of the Prince of Wales, designed by Christopher Ironside.

The obverse features Arnold Machin’s portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II; her second crowned portrait to appear on a coin.

1985-1992: Badge of the Prince of Wales – Two Pence
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

In 1982, the reverse inscription on the 2p coin was changed from ‘NEW PENCE’ to ‘TWO PENCE’.

The reverse of the coin features the badge of the Prince of Wales with his motto ‘Ich Dien’ (I serve), designed by Christopher Ironside.

From 1982 the obverse shows the third portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II, by Raphael Maklouf. This changed in 1998 when it was replaced by Ian Rank-Broadley’s 4th portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Due to the increase in metal prices on world markets, in 1992 the composition of 2p coins was changed from bronze to copper-plated steel and as a result, they are magnetic.

2008 – Present: 2p Royal Arms
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

In 2008, the UK’s previous definitive coin designs were replaced by Matthew Dent’s winning competition entry which saw all the definitive coins form a complete image of the Royal Shield of Arms when pieced together.

The 2p coin design completes the upper-right section of the Royal Shield and features the denomination in the top segment.

From 2008 the obverse design featured the 4th portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley. In 2015, the obverse design was changed to feature the 5th portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark.


1p

1971-1981 Portcullis and Chains: New Penny
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

On 15 February 1971, the United Kingdom adopted a new decimal currency system and the 1p was introduced into general circulation.

The reverse of the coin, designed by Christopher Ironside, features an adaptation of the Badge of King Henry VII and his successors; a portcullis with chains royally crowned.

To separate this coin from the previous coinage, the wording ‘NEW’ was incorporated.

The obverse shows the 2nd portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II, by Arnold Machin.

1982- 2008: Portcullis and Chains: One Penny
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

The reverse inscription on the 1p coin was changed from ‘NEW PENNY’ to ‘ONE PENNY’ in 1982.

The reverse of the coin continued to feature Christopher Ironside’s portcullis with chains design.

From 1982 the obverse shows the third portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II, by Raphael Maklouf. This changed in 1998 when it was replaced by Ian Rank-Broadley’s 4th portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Due to the increase in metal prices on world markets, in 1992 the composition of 1p coins was changed from bronze to copper-plated steel and as a result, they are magnetic.

2008 – Present: 1p Royal Arms
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

Matthew Dent’s new design for the 1p was introduced in 2008 to create the Royal Shield of Arms using the UK’s definitive coins.

The 1p coin depicts the left segment of the Royal shield with the denomination in the far-left.

From 2008 the obverse features the 4th portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley. From 2015 the obverse features the 5th portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark.


½ Penny

1971-1981: St Edward’s Crown: New Penny
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

This Half Penny coin was introduced in February 1971, to coincide with decimalisation, and was worth 0.5 of a penny.

Continued production of the coin was necessary due to the fact that the old sixpence (with a decimal face value of 2.5p) remained in circulation until 1980.

The reverse of the coin was designed by Christopher Ironside, featuring St Edward’s Crown.

The obverse of the Half Penny remained the same throughout its short time in circulation. This featured the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Arnold Machin.

1982-1984: St Edward’s Crown: Half Penny
Discovering the UK's Definitive Coin Designs

In 1982 Christopher Ironside’s reverse design of the Half Penny was updated, as the coin was no longer considered ‘New’.

The inscription at the top of the reverse design now read ‘Half Penny’.

The obverse design by Arnold Machin remained unchanged.

As Britain’s smallest decimal coin, both in size and in value, the Half Penny unfortunately found itself becoming Britain’s least favourite coin and was demonetised and withdrawn from circulation in 1984 after just 13 years in circulation.


Now that we’re more than 10 years on since the last update of the reverse of the UK’s definitive coins, perhaps we could be due for a re-design…

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!

And next time you check your change, make sure you spare a thought for the definitive coins in your pocket and the vital role they play in Britain’s numismatic history.


Have you joined the Definitive 50p Collecting Challenge?

17 Tips to Complete your Definitive 50p Collecting Challenge

The race is on to find and collect the definitive 50ps in your change in time for the 50th anniversary of the 50p!

Click here to find out how you can join the challenge >>

Why you won’t find any 2017 20p coins in your change…

For those of you collecting date runs, you might have noticed that in 2017 The Royal Mint didn’t strike a single £2 or 20p coin for general circulation.

In 2016, nearly 29 million £2 coins and almost 213 million 20p coins were struck for circulation, however the next year that number dropped to 0.

Why you won’t find any 2017 20p coins in your change...

From the graph above, you’ll notice that whilst most denominations had relatively few coins struck in 2017 compared to 2016, the mintage figure for £1 coins for both years is comparatively very high.

Introduction of the new £1

It’s thought that the introduction of the new 12 sided £1 coin to replace the old round pound in 2017 affected the demand for the other coins in circulation.

Why you won’t find any 2017 20p coins in your change...

This could be down to the fact that the public were emptying their piggy banks and checking their loose change to make sure their old pound coins were used up before shops stopped accepting them. In doing so, they also ended up spending other coins in their change, meaning there was plenty of cash to re-circulate, and not as much demand for new coins to be struck for circulation.

This coupled with the growth of card payments and the decline of cash transactions, as well as the impressive 25-30 year lifespan of UK coins meant that enough £2 and 20p coins could be re-circulated in 2017 and new coins weren’t needed.

The Royal Mint had been expecting this drop in demand, as had been seen in similar cases overseas when coins were withdrawn.

Where does demand for cash come from?

The Royal Mint does not actually have any real control over how and when coins go into circulation, as this is based on demand.

HM Treasury and the large cash distribution services run by the Post Office and some banks, as well as private operators handle, sort and distribute the billions of coins in circulation, even swapping stocks between themselves.

The Royal Mint and cash distribution services regularly review the amount of coins in circulation and it’s only when they are short of a particular denomination that stocks will be called from The Royal Mint, who act as the manufacturer of the coin on behalf of the Treasury.

Surplus coins will be re-circulated before new coins are released.

Rare 50p coins from 2017

Whilst more 50p coins were struck in 2017 than 2016, two 2017 designs in particular actually have some of the lowest mintage figures of any 50p coins in circulation, excluding the Olympic 50p series.

The 2017 Royal Shield actually comes in as the second rarest 50p in circulation, closely followed by the 2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p.

Take a look at our 50p and £2 mintage charts here.

Why you won’t find any 2017 20p coins in your change...

Where can I find the 2017 £2 and 20p coins?

Whilst no £2 or 20p coins were issued for circulation in 2017, brilliant uncirculated commemorative coins were still issued, including the Jane Austen and First World War Aviation £2 coins.

These coins, along with the 2017 Britannia £2 and the 2017 20p which weren’t issued for circulation were also featured in brilliant uncirculated quality within the 2017 Annual Coin Set, which has now sold out at The Royal Mint.

This means that the only way to get hold of these coins is to purchase the set on the secondary market, with prices typically around £65, although some sets have sold for over £100.

Why you won’t find any 2017 20p coins in your change...

So far the 2018 £2 coins haven’t been released into circulation and whilst the 2019 Royal Shield 50p has been seen in circulation, we’re yet to hear if any of the other 2019 coins will turn up in our change.

Do you think the move towards a cashless society could be on the horizon, or are we still recovering from the surplus cash flow in 2017? Let us know in the comments below!


Secure the commemorative coins from 2017 for your collection!

Why you won’t find any 2017 20p coins in your change...

Today you can own all 4 of the United Kingdom’s commemorative coins from 2017 with the Change Checker Commemorative Coin Pack, including the rare Sir Isaac Newton 50p and the Jane Austen and First World War Aviation £2 coins that can’t be found in circulation.

Click here to secure your coin pack for just £25 >>

The rarest 50p and £2 coins revealed! UPDATED UK mintage figures.

As collectors, we often find ourselves focusing on the commemorative coins that turn up in our change, but how often do we pay attention to the definitive designs?

We wouldn’t normally combine definitive and commemorative mintage figures into one chart, however the comparative figures give us an interesting insight into the change in our pockets and actually go to show why the definitive coin designs deserve your attention…

50p Mintage Figures

Our latest charts featuring the updated commemorative coin mintage figures for circulation coins revealed the 2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p as the second rarest UK 50p in circulation after the Kew Gardens, with a mintage of just 1,801,500. This knocked Jemima Puddle Duck off the second spot with a whopping 298,500 less coins being struck.

Change Checkers had already shown a great response to the Sir Isaac Newton coin, voting it their favourite coin design of the year in 2017. But now, as we delve deeper into the mintage figures for not only commemorative 50p coins but also the definitive designs, an unlikely rival has pipped the 2017 Isaac Newton to the post to claim the title of the second rarest UK 50p coin in circulation…

The rarest 50p and £2 coins revealed! UPDATED UK mintage figures.

You might be surprised by the second rarest 50p in circulation…

The chart above features the mintage figures for every commemorative and definitive UK 50p coin in circulation and whilst the Kew Gardens still remains king, it came as a surprise that the second rarest 50p was actually a definitive rather than a commemorative design.

The 2017 Royal Shield 50p has a mintage of just 1,800,000 which means there are 1,500 less coins than the 2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p. This is by far the lowest mintage figure for any definitive 50p coin, with the next rarest definitive coin having almost double the amount of coins struck – the 2008 Britannia with a mintage of 3,500,000.

Definitive 50p coin designs

Christopher Ironside’s Britannia design featured on all UK definitive coins from their first appearance in 1969 with the words ‘NEW PENCE’ inscribed above. The inscription was revised in 1982 to say ‘FIFTY PENCE’ and this design remained unchanged until 2008, when Matthew Dent’s Royal Shield design was introduced, featuring the third and fourth quarters of the Royal Arms.

The rarest 50p and £2 coins revealed! UPDATED UK mintage figures.

It comes as no surprise that the majority of the definitive designs can be found towards the bottom of the chart, with the most common UK 50p in circulation being the 1997 Britannia. The old larger 50p and this smaller one were both dated 1997, however the larger coin was only struck as year sets, whereas the smaller circulated in very large numbers, with a mintage of 456,364,100.

The fact that the 2017 Benjamin Bunny commemorative 50p features in amongst the definitive designs goes to show just how many of this design were struck and how likely you’ll be to find one in your change.

We haven’t included the Olympic 50p coins in the mintage chart as this was a specially struck series, with low mintages figures for each coin. You can see the Olympic 50p mintage figures here >>

£2 Mintage Figures

When it comes to the £2 coins, the Commonwealth Games are some of the rarest in circulation. In fact, all four coins would be sat at the top of the mintage charts if it wasn’t for two 2015 coins…

The rarest 50p and £2 coins revealed! UPDATED UK mintage figures.

The rarest definitive £2 coin revealed…

Many collectors will be aware of the 2015 Navy £2‘s low mintage figure of 650,000, making it the third rarest UK £2 coin in circulation, however many of us may not know that this coin is in fact joint third, as a definitive design from the same year also holds the same low mintage figure.

In 2015, the new definitive £2 coin was introduced, with a design featuring the Britannia, replacing the Technology design which had featured on the coin since 1997. Britannia has featured on a British coin in one way or another for more than 300 years, apart from after 2008 when she was dropped from the 50p coin. She received a welcome return to British coinage for the 2015 definitive £2, but with so few coins being struck, this coin has become the third rarest UK £2 coin in circulation.

The 2016 version of the coin had a higher mintage of 2,925,000, but this is still incredibly low when compared to the 1998 Technology £2, which has a mintage of 91,110,375.

The rarest 50p and £2 coins revealed! UPDATED UK mintage figures.

Of course the most common £2 coin you’re likely to come across in your change is the Technology £2, which dominates the bottom of the chart. The rarest of the Technology £2 coins is actually the 2005 issue, with a mintage of 3,837,250, making it the eighteenth rarest UK £2 in circulation.

You may have noticed a lack of 2017 coins on the £2 chart as to date The Royal Mint haven’t confirmed if they will enter circulation. Based on The Royal Mint’s figures, we know that no 2017 Britannia coins were struck for circulation.

I was certainly surprised by the rarity of some of the definitive designs shown on the charts above and will be checking the dates of the coins in my change very carefully to see if I can find any rarer ones for myself, but will you be doing the same?


Your chance to own the 2017 Britannia £2

The rarest 50p and £2 coins revealed! UPDATED UK mintage figures.

This coin wasn’t struck for circulation, however you can own this coin as part of the 2017 Royal Mint Annual set.

But you’ll have to be quick, as this set is no longer on sale at The Royal Mint.

Click here to secure yours today >>