We’re on the hunt for the best Coin Design of 2018 as part of the 2018 Change Checker Awards and we need your help! With over 50 new coins released this year, we’ve decided to shortlist the coins by denomination and then determine one overall winner from the top 10p, 50p, £2 and £5 coins as voted by Change Checkers!
Eight brand new £2 coins have been released this year, including a stunning 5 coin RAF series and the first coin in a 3 coin series of £2s commemorating intrepid explorer, Captain Cook.
But which 2018 £2 coin is your favourite?
Cast your vote now using the poll at the bottom of the page and find out more about the different £2 coins from 2018 below!
RAF Badge £2
To mark the centenary of The RAF, The Royal Mint issued a commemorative £2 coin which is the first in the 2018 RAF series of five coins. The reverse features a design by Rhys Morgan of the Badge of the RAF – an eagle in front of a circle inscribed with the official motto ‘ Per Ardua Ad Astra’, which is Latin for ‘Through adversity to the stars’, with the Imperial Crown at the top.
RAF Spitfire £2
Designed by Richard and Neil Talbot, the second coin in the commemorative 2018 £2 coin series marking the centenary of the RAF features one of the most famous aircraft ever built, the Supermarine Spitfire, which first flew in 1936 and went on to contribute heavily to the ultimate victory of WWII.
RAF Vulcan £2
The third coin in the commemorative 2018 £2 coin series marking the centenary of the RAF features a favourite across the Nation’s Air Festivals, the jet powered Vulcan. This impressive aircraft is instantly recognised for its sleek delta wing, as captured in Richard and Neil Talbot’s £2 coin design.
RAF Sea King £2
The fourth £2 coin in the series marking the centenary of the RAF was also designed by Richard and Neil Talbot and features the Sea King helicopter which entered service with the Royal Air Force in 1978, exclusively in a search and rescue role across six UK locations.
RAF Lightning II £2
The final coin in the 2018 RAF series features the newest aircraft to the air force, the F-35 Lightning II. As a fifth-generation aircraft, the superior air capabilities of the Lightning II will make a potent mix with the Typhoon when it enters service in 2018 and has been beautifully captured by Richard and Neil Talbot on this £2 coin.
Captain Cook £2
To mark the 250th anniversary of British explorer Captain James Cook’s Voyage of Discovery, The Royal Mint issued this historic £2 coin. The distinctive reverse was designed by Gary Breeze featuring the Stern of HM Bark Endeavour, Captain Cook’s famous ship, leaving Plymouth as the first in a three coin series that will be arranged together to reveal the full design.
This £2 coin was issued by The Royal Mint to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s famous novel ‘Frankenstein’. The reverse of this gothic coin was designed by Thomas Doherty and features the words ‘Frankenstein’ in an electric gothic font and the edge inscription says ‘A SPARK OF BEING’.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, The Royal mint have issued this 2018 coin which completes the set of commemorative £2 coins released from 2014-2018 to mark the centenary of the First World War. The reverse was designed by Stephen Raw and features the words ‘The truth untold, the pity of war’, from the Wilfred Owen poem Strange Meeting.
With such poignant and stunning designs to choose from, it’s certainly going to be hard work to pick a favourite, but we can’t wait to see which £2 coin will come out on top!
The winning £2 will then be entered into our Coin Design of the Year vote as part of the 2018 Change Checker Awards, alongside the top 10p, 50p and £5 coins from 2018 to determine which coin should be crowned the overall winner!
The voting has now closed and the results can be seen below:
It’s now time for you to vote for your overall winner, shortlisted from Change Checker’s favourite A-Z 10p, 50p, £2 and £5 coin of the year.
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.
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
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
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?
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
Have you ever noticed how the coins in your pocket display some of the most important moments in Britain’s history? From The Battle of Hastings, The World Wars, Votes for Women and more…
In fact, the coins we find in our change almost act as a guide to map out our nation’s heritage, which in my opinion means these coins play an incredibly important role in preserving these key moments for generations to come.
But with so many historically significant coins out there, which is your favourite? We’ve put together a list of our top ten historical coins – including information about their design and the events they represent and asked Change Checkers to vote for their all time favourite.
Take a look through to familiarise yourself with the coins below and then find out the results of our poll at the bottom of this page.
The Battle of Hastings 50p
For many of us, 1066 represents the start of ‘real’ British history – the year of The Battle of Hastings.
On this day, King Harold II’s English army was defeated by the Norman-French army of William the Conqueror. This led to the Norman conquest of England, with William the Conqueror becoming our first Norman King – a crucial moment in medieval history.
In 2016, The Royal Mint issued a 50p coin to mark the 950th anniversary of this hugely significant event which changed the course of history.
The reverse of this coin was designed by John Bergdahl and is inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry. It depicts the fate of King Harold at the hands of William The Conqueror, along with the famous date 1066 – when the battle took place. The obverse features the fifth portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark.
6,100,000 Battle of Hastings 50p coins were struck, but have you found one in your change?
Magna Carta £2
The Magna Carta or ‘Great Charter’ is known as one of the most famous documents ever written and forms the foundations for modern democracy and the rights of all English citizens today.
Issued in 1215 by King John of England (otherwise known as ‘Bad King John’ due to his autocratic rule), the charter made peace with the rebel barons who had been causing a political crisis and stated that everyone (including the king) was subject to the law.
It is still cited in many legal cases to this day and some of the core values can also be seen in the United States Bill of Rights (1791), despite the document being substantially altered within just 10 years of it being issued.
In 2015, The Royal Mint issued this £2 coin to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. The reverse design of this medieval-style coin features King John holding a quill and flanked by two noblemen.
Only 1,495,000 of this coin were struck, meaning it is slightly harder to find in your change, but have you got one in your collection?
Charles Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history and was known as the ‘father or evolution’.
Born in 1809, Darwin was a British scientist whose work laid the foundations of the theory of evolution and natural selection, forever transforming the way we think about the natural world.
At the time of publication in 1859, his book ‘On the Origin of the Species’ was extremely controversial as it made it seem possible that humans evolved from apes, contradicting the widely held Orthodox Church theory of creation.
His death on the 19th April 1882 was honoured with a burial at Westminster Abbey and in 2009 The Royal Mint celebrated 200 years since his birth and 150 years since the publication of ‘On the Origin of Species’ with this £2 coin. The reverse design by Suzie Zamit features a profile portrait of Darwin facing a chimpanzee.
3,903,000 Darwin £2 coins were struck, so you might have come across one in your change?
On the 5th of July 1948, the National Health Service was born – providing a health service available to all and financed entirely from taxation.
After a Labour victory in the 1945 general election, Aneurin Bevan became minister of health, responsible for establishing the NHS.
This was the first time that anywhere in the world had completely free healthcare for citizens and brought together hospitals, doctors and nurses as one service, becoming the third largest employer in England.
In 1998, The Royal Mint issued this 50p coin to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the NHS. The coin’s obverse design features a pair of hands radiating lines to symbolise hope, created by David Cornell who is most famous for his Diana Princess of Wales Memorial £5 coin design.
5,001,000 NHS 50p coins were struck, but do you have one in your collection?
Gunpowder Plot £2
In 1605, a failed assassination attempt of King James I by a group of English Catholics went down in history as The Gunpowder Plot.
Whilst the 5th of November is now an an exciting celebration with fireworks and bonfires, the plan made by these rebels back in 1605 was far less lighthearted…
They plotted to blow up the House of Lords during the opening of Parliament on 5th November 1605, but Guy Fawkes was discovered the night before guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder and was subsequently executed along with seven other plotters.
In 2005, The Royal Mint issued this £2 coin to mark the 400th anniversary. The reverse design of this coin features a montage of bishop’s crosiers, swords, and the Parliamentary mace – symbolising the survival of the British establishment.
5,140,500 of this coin were struck and many have found their way into the hands of collectors.
With Emmeline and Christabelle Pankhurst at its forefront, the Suffragette movement finally saw the partial votes for women in 1918, with the franchise being extended to all women over 21 in 1928.
The passionate campaigning for equal voting rights by this pioneering group of women meant that they risked ridicule and even imprisonment in defense of their cause.
However, the foundations they laid shaped society’s idea of women and sparked a new era of feminist history.
The Royal Mint issued the Suffragettes 50p in 2003 to commemorate the centenary of the establishment of the Women’s Social and Political Union. The design by Mary Milner Dickens features the figure of a suffragette chained to railings holding a banner on which appear the letters WSPU and to the right a ballot paper marked with a cross can be seen.
3,124,030 Suffragettes 50ps were struck, meaning it might be harder to come across in your change.
First World War Kitchener £2
Horatio Herbert Kitchener, the British Secretary of War became synonymous with the enlistment campaign when war was declared on 4th August 1914.
Intuition told him that the war would last for several years and so he masterminded a recruitment campaign to build the largest volunteer army that Britain had ever seen and oversersaw a significant expansion of materials production to fight on the Western Front.
On 5 June 1916, Kitchener died aboard HMS Hampshire, when it struck a German mine near Scotland and sank.
To mark the centenary of the First World War, the Royal Mint revealed a five-year commemoration of the wartime journey from outbreak to armistice. and this first coin in the series is the £2 coin bearing sculptor John Bergdahl’s depiction of Lord Kitchener’s famous call to arms alongside the words YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU.
5,720,000 coins were struck, meaning you are likely to come across this coin in your change.
Sir Isaac Newton 50p
Sir Isaac Newton is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution.
According to the Julian calendar in use in England at the time, Newton was born on Christmas Day, 25 December 1642 in the county of Lincolnshire. He became a fellow of Trinity College and the second Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.
His works changed our understanding of mathematics and physics and redefined the way we see the world.
In 1696 on the recommendation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Isaac Newton became master of The Royal Mint, where he shaped the security of our currency, ensuring coins were made of the correct weight and fineness, varying as little as possible one from another.
Designed by Aaron West, this 50p coin was issued by The Royal Mint in 2017 to commemorate the achievements of Sir Isaac Newton and remember the legacy he left.
With a mintage of just 1,801,500 this 50p is the second rarest commemorative 50p in circulation.
Great Fire of London £2
The Great Fire is one of the most well-known disasters to hit London, when an accidental spark from a baker’s oven on Pudding Lane led to the destruction of a third of the city.
At the time, London had an estimated half a million inhabitants, many of which lived in wooden houses and makeshift structures which had become bone dry during an exceptional drought.
Over the course of 4 days, flames reaching temperatures of 1,250 °C consumed 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St Paul’s Cathedral, and most of the buildings of the City authorities.
This 2016 £2 coin was issued by The Royal Mint to mark the 350th Anniversary of the iconic moment in the city’s history from which modern London emerged. The reverse depicts the city of London burning in flames from a distance and was designed by Aaron West.
The coin has a mintage of 5,135,000.
60th Anniversary of the end of World War Two £2
The 8th May 1945 is known as VE Day – Victory in Europe, which marked the end of World War Two.
This followed Germany’s surrender, about a week after Adolf Hitler had committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin.
Upon Germany’s defeat, an eruption of celebrations swept across the western world and in the UK more than a million people took to the streets to mark the end of war. In London, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth appeared on the balcony of the palace alongside Prime Minister Winston Churchill, to stand before the cheering crowds.
The reverse design of this £2 features a depiction of St Paul’s Cathedral which survived the Blitz to become a great symbol of hope to a war-torn nation. The edge inscription reads – IN VICTORY: MAGNANIMITY, IN PEACE: GOODWILL – part of the famous maxim that prefaces Churchill’s history of the Second World War.
With a mintage of 10,191,000 this coin is the most common £2 coin (excluding the Technology £2). Do you have one in your collection and do you think it should be named the favourite historical coin?
I’m sure you’ll agree that each of these remarkable coins beautifully represents a very special part of British heritage and acts as a window into our past history. Now it’s time to reveal which coin has been named the favourite amongst Change Checkers, based on their historical significance and quality of design.
Secure your History of Britain in Coins Collector Pack
Collect and preserve these fantastic coins for yourself with the History of Britain in Coins Collector Pack, including 10 expertly illustrated fact cards and introductory cover page, housed within protective pages in a Change Checker album.
What’s more, when you order today, you’ll receive the Great Fire of London £2 for FREE to get your collection started!
This pack makes for the ideal gift and is a great way to encourage junior Change Checkers to build their collections, whilst also helping them to learn about British history at the same time.