I still can’t quite believe 2020 is here and we’re into a new decade! But what better excuse could there be to take a look back at some of our favourite coin releases from the past 10 years?
Along with new coins, the numismatic world as a whole seems to have expanded as a new generation of collectors have discovered the joy of this fantastic hobby.
There’s no denying we’ve seen some incredible coins released since 2010, but the Change Checker team have picked out our personal favourite TOP FIVE.
So without any further ado, here are the coins we believe to be the greatest of the past 10 years. Drum roll please...
1. The London Olympic and Paralympic 50ps
Issued to mark the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games hosted by London, this coin series played a huge part in transforming the 50p into the UK’s most collectable coin.
29 different 50p coin designs were released to commemorate the different sports and across the nation millions rose to the challenge of collecting them all.
The Royal Mint now estimates that as many as 75% of the Olympic 50p coins have been removed from circulation by collectors, which is a testament to their popularity.
It was certainly the Olympic 50p series that reawakened the nation’s love of coin collecting in the last decade, so we just had to include them at the top of our list!
2. The Beatrix Potter 50ps
Next up is a series which inspired a whole new generation of collectors, and for that reason it would be a crime not to include the Beatrix Potter 50p series on our list.
Just like me, I’m sure you’ll have fond childhood memories of reading the enchanting tales of Peter Rabbit and his friends as a child and this beautiful 50p series really does do justice to those memorable tales.
4 years, and 14 coins later, the Beatrix Potter 50p coins remain one of the public’s favourite ever collection of coins.
Since The Royal Mint released the first Beatrix Potter 50ps in 2016, these charming coins have created a collecting frenzy, becoming increasingly sought-after to this day.
I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that this is one of the stand-out coin series of all time, let alone the decade!
3. Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th Birthday £5
As a nation, we’ve celebrated Her Majesty the Queen’s landmark birthdays, jubilees and wedding anniversaries during her long and eventful reign.
Traditionally, the Queen’s birthday milestones are celebrated with £5 coins, as seen issued in both 1996 and 2006 to mark her 70th and 80th birthdays.
And so, this decade, when Queen Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to celebrate their 90th Birthday, the release of this £5 coin in 2016 was particularly special and hugely significant for collectors around the world.
This was the only official UK £5 coin to mark this special occasion, designed by acclaimed artist Christopher Hobbs, who captured the Queen’s love of flowers, showing nine roses – one for each decade of the Queen’s life.
4. 2015 Britannia £2
Britannia has a long standing history with British coinage, having featured on a British coin in one way or another for more than 300 years.
In 2008 she was surprisingly dropped from the 50p, despite a Daily Mail campaign to save her. However in February 2015 it was announced that Antony Dufort’s modern interpretation of Britannia would be making a triumphant return to British circulating coins, replacing the definitive £2 “Technology” design which had featured on the coin since 1997.
This was a very popular move from The Royal Mint, but it wasn’t until the mintage figures were announced that the real surprise was unveiled…
Only 650,000 of the 2015 dated Britannia £2 coins had been stuck for circulation, making it one of the rarest UK £2 coins ever!
The rarity and numismatic significance of this coin as the UK’s new definitive £2 means it had to earn a spot on our Top Five list.
5. The A-Z of Great Britain 10ps
In 2018, The Royal Mint sparked huge excitement across the nation with the surprise release of 26 brand new 10p coin designs.
Each coin design was created to represent an image of what makes Britain British from A – Angel of the North, all the way to Z – Zebra Crossing, and collectors quickly fell in love with these unique coins.
Figures for 2018 confirm that 220,000 of each design entered circulation, meaning each design is almost as rare as the Kew Gardens 50p – the UK’s rarest coin in circulation!
A further 2.1 million A-Z 10ps were released in 2019 overall, meaning there really aren’t many to go around and many collectors are struggling to come across them in their change as they are being snapped up so quickly.
The A-Z 10ps really have been one of the biggest numismatic talking points of the decade and so they just had to be included on our list. Have you been lucky enough to find any?
Of course there have been so many other incredible releases in the past 10 years and narrowing it down to just five was a tough job, but we certainly feel that these coins have got to be highlights of the last decade.
Let us know which coins would make it into your Top Five in the comments below!
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Happy New Year and Happy New Coins Change Checkers!
We can’t wait to reveal to you the new 2020 coin designs and I’m sure you’ll agree that there are some really fantastic coins to look forward to.
So let’s kick off the year with the coins we’ve all been waiting for, the 2020 Annual Set…
We all love a 50p, and in this year’s Annual Coin Set The Royal Mint have issued a brand new 50p coin to support Great Britain in the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Designed by David Knapton, the 2020 Team GB 50p features symbols depicting individual Olympic sports accompanied by the Olympic Rings, the Team GB logo, the inscription ‘TEAM GB’ and the date ‘2020’.
The Olympics are an undeniably popular subject and for many the 2012 Olympic 50p series marked the start of their passion for change collecting.
In 2016 a Team GB 50p was issued to support Great Britain’s efforts in Rio and this was thought of by many as the 30th Olympic 50p, but with a new 2020 Team GB coin now being issued, could this be the 31st Olympic 50p?
We certainly love the design and I’m sure Change Checkers will think it’s a real winner too!
2020 Agatha Christie £2
English detective novelist Agatha Christie published her first novel, ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’ in 1920 and now, 100 years later, a £2 coin has been issued to commemorate her work.
Her 1920 novel introduced one of Britain’s best-loved detectives Hercule Poirot, who became a long-running character in Christie’s work, featuring in 33 novels and 54 short stories!
This coin has been designed by David Lawrence and features a nearly completed jigsaw puzzle with the final piece ready to be inserted, and the inscription ‘1920 100 YEARS OF MYSTERY 2020′.
Following the popularity of UK coins celebrating great British writers, such as the Jane Austen £2, Sherlock Holmes 50p, Charles Dickens £2, the Beatrix Potter 50ps and more, we’re sure that this new coin is bound to prove a real hit with collectors.
2020 75th Anniversary of VE Day £2
The next coin in the 2020 Annual Set marks an incredibly poignant anniversary, commemorating 75 years since VE Day and the end of the Second World War.
Victory Day in Europe celebrates the Allies of World War II formally accepting Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces on the 8th May 1945, marking the end of the war.
Dominique Evans‘ design features a woman holding a newspaper aloft in crowd of celebrating people, set against a backdrop of the word VICTORY.
The edge inscription reads ‘JUST TRIUMPH AND PROUD SORROW’ which is incredibly fitting for a coin which marks such a pivotal moment in British history.
2020 Mayflower £2
2020 marks the 400th anniversary of The Mayflower’s voyage from Plymouth, England to the ‘New World’ in 1620.
This voyage saw over 100 Pilgrims and around 30 crew spend two treacherous months at sea, battling against the North Atlantic wind as they journeyed to America to establish the first permanent New England colony by signing the Mayflower Compact.
Designed by Chris Costello, the Mayflower £2 shows the ship upon a rough sea, with a guiding star in the night sky and the edge inscription ‘Undertaken for the glory of God’.
Excitingly for collectors, this is not the first time that The Mayflower has appeared on a £2 coin, as a similar design actually featured on the 1994 trial piece, which often sells for well into three figures on the secondary market!
2020 George III £5
This year marks the 200th anniversary since the death of George III, King of Great Britain and Ireland.
George’s life and reign were longer than any British monarch before him, although due to his deteriorating health during the last 10 years of his life, his eldest son George IV ruled as Prince Regent.
To celebrate the life of George III, The Royal Mint have issued a new £5 coin designed by Dominique Evans.
The coin features the portrait of King George III in a crowned cartouche at the centre of the coin, with his Royal Cypher below, floral emblems of the United Kingdom and scenes associated with his life from Windsor Castle and the Kew Observatory.
The announcement of the new annual coins is always an exciting moment for Change Checkers, particularly when the anniversaries are as significant as these.
Do you have a favourite coin from the set? Let us know in the comments below!
Own the 2020 Commemorative Coin Set
If you can’t wait to find these coins in your change, be one of the first to own the complete set!
Are you a collector of Isle of Man coinage?
The island has released some truly beautiful coins in recent years, and as their mintage figures are typically much lower than UK coins, they are often highly sought-after by collectors…
The recent release of a second Christmas themed £2 coin has got everyone at Change Checker HQ talking, and so in this blog I’ve decided to take a look at some of our favourite Isle of Man coins!
1) 2019 Santa £2
The Isle of Man is renowned for their Christmas themed coins.
Traditionally the island release Christmas themed 50ps most years, however last year an incredibly popular Christmas £2 coin was released for the very first time, and this has now been followed by a second £2 this Christmas.
This year’s magical design features an enchanting portrait of Old St. Nick and bears the inscription ‘Nollick Ghennal’ which is Manx for ‘Merry Christmas’.
At the top of the coin, the distinctive Isle of Man Triskelion (three armoured legs) can be seen.
2) 2019 Peter Pan Set
This year, collectors were swept off their feet by this set of 6 commemorative Peter Pan 50p coins.
These are the very first coins to feature ‘the boy who never grew up’ and the set has been issued to commemorative the 90th anniversary of Peter Pan author, JM Barrie, gifting the rights to the story to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The first coin in the series features an engraving of Peter Pan from David Wyatt’s illustration from the Oxford University Press edition and includes the iconic quote from the book, ‘Second to the right and straight on till morning’.
25,000 of each design entered circulation, but only on the Isle of Man so you’d be incredibly lucky if you managed to come across one in your UK change!
3) 2017 Triskelion £5 Coin
This £5 coin from 2017 features the Triskelion (three armoured legs) which is arguably the most recognised symbol of the island (featured on both the coat of arms and the flag).
The Isle of Man is the only country that circulates £5 coins, which means you could actually spend this coin in shops on the island!
But if you were lucky enough to have one I doubt you’d want to spend it, as it’s so unusual to have a circulation £5 coin in your change!
The coin is reasonably light when compared to our UK £5 coins. In fact, its size is 6mm smaller than the traditional UK commemorative £5 coins – so light enough to carry in your pocket!
4) 2003 Christmas 50p: The Snowman
2003 marked the very first time The Snowman featured on circulating coinage.
The Isle of Man released a limited-edition coin to mark the 25th anniversary of the release of the ‘The Snowman’ by Raymond Briggs.
Only 10,000 of these coins were ever minted, which makes it incredibly sought-after. In fact, this coin sells for well over face value on the secondary market, often fetching more than £200!
Since 2003, the Snowman has featured on a number of Isle of Man Christmas coins, and has even made two appearances on UK coins, which have been incredibly popular with collectors.
5) 1997 TT Races 50p
This highly sought-after 50p commemorates the 1997 TT races on the island – 90 years since the very first race in 1907.
The Isle of Man has become synonymous with the legendary TT races and each year since 1981 coins have been issued on the island to celebrate the occasion.
The 1997 coin celebrates eleven-time TT race winner Philip McCallen and is one of the most popular TT 50ps released by the Isle of Man.
Whilst there are many Isle of Man TT 50p coins in circulation, this isn’t the only denomination issued for the event…
6) 2018 TT £2 pair
£2 coins such as these have also been issued to celebrate the Isle of Man TT races.
These particular coins from 2018 mark 60 years since fan favourite ‘Mike the Bike’ first raced the International Isle of Man TT and 40 years since he returned to the event. They were officially licensed by the Isle of Man TT & Mike Haliwood foundation.
Mike Haliwood secured 14 Isle of Man victories during his racing career and his triumphant return to the TT has been described as ‘one of the most emotional moments of 20th century sport’.
Only 3,000 of each coin entered circulation on the Isle of Man, making them very hard to come by and practically impossible to find in your UK change.
7) 2011 Tosha Cat £2
In 2018, this coin caused a stir on Facebook coin groups and was even voted ‘Coin of the Year’ by the coin collecting community.
The £2 was actually issued in 2011 to commemorate the fourth Commonwealth Youth Games, held on the Isle of Man for the very first time.
However the coin seemed to be overlooked for the next 7 years until it piqued the interest of collectors on Facebook and prices on the secondary market started to skyrocket!
Sold prices for the coin vary and buyers must beware of fakes, however in some cases you’d be looking at parting with over £100 to get hold of one.
8) 2017 Round £1
In 2017, when the UK welcomed the brand new 12-sided £1 coin, the Isle of Man confirmed they would be keeping the familiar round pound coin – making them the only British Isles country to do so.
However, their round pound was to feature a complete redesign. It now featured a Falcon and a Raven which are symbolically associated with the Island and feature on the Coat of Arms.
The new round pound features Jody Clark’s sixth effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II, which also features on coins from Crown dependencies and Commonwealth countries.
You might recognise the portrait from the £5 coin mentioned earlier as both look fairly unusual due to the inclusion of the Queen’s shoulders on the design.
9) 1978 Definitive £1
When it comes to pound coins, the Isle of Man were ahead of the game…
In fact, the world’s first base-metal circulating £1 was actually issued on the Isle of Man – five years ahead of the first £1 coin issued in mainland Britain.
It features the Three Legs of Man against a map of the island on the reverse and was issued as part of the Isle of Man £1 coin series.
These old style £1 coins were withdrawn from circulation in 1983, but would certainly make for an interesting addition to any collection.
10) 1990 ‘Penny Black’ Crown
In 1990, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first postage stamp – the ‘Penny Black Stamp’ – the Isle of Man released this striking Crown coin.
The coin features an image of the stamp which was designed by Henry Corbould in 1840, showing the profile of the young Queen Victoria.
Struck in ‘pearl black’ Copper-Nickel, this highly innovative coin was awarded with three Coin of the Year Awards – Best Crown, Most Innovative Coinage and overall Coin of the Year.
A reissued version of this coin was struck in 2015 to celebrate the 175th anniversary.
Do you collect British Isles coinage and are you luck enough to have any of these beautiful Isle of Man coins in your change? Let us know in the comments below!
Celebrate the festive season with the BRAND NEW 2019 Isle of Man Christmas Santa £2 coin
The 2019 Isle of Man Christmas Santa £2 coin is a truly unique festive addition to any collection this Christmas season, or could even make the perfect Christmas gift or stocking filler for a friend or relative!