Which Beatrix Potter 50p Coins are the scarcest?

With Monday’s announcement of four new Beatrix Potter 50p coins leading to as many as 50,000 collectors queuing at The Royal Mint’s website to reserve the coins online, Change Checker can reveal which of last year’s 5 Beatrix Potter circulation 50p coins are currently the most sought after by collectors.

Using data unique collecting and swap data, Change Checker will be publishing its first-ever 50p “Scarcity Index” later this month but ahead of the full publication, we can give you a sneak preview as to which of last year’s Beatrix Potter 50p coins are currently most sought after by collectors.

How rare are the Beatrix Potter 50p coins?

Final mintages are yet to be published but the Change Checker “Scarcity Index” scores each of the UK’s 54 circulation 50p coin designs out of 100 to determine their relative scarcity.

Results suggest that Jemima Puddle-Duck is currently the 6th most difficult coin to find in your change, with Squirrel Nutkin coming in close behind.  Peter Rabbit has certainly become easier over the last few months but still sits 20th out 54 issues.

How valuable are my Beatrix Potter 50p coins?

Currently you can still buy base metal collector versions of the Beatrix Potter 50p coins direct from the Royal Mint for £10 and Change Checker Certified Brilliant Uncirculated versions for £3.99, rather than wait to find them in your change.  That has meant that their values have been pretty much capped.

But The Royal Mint has confirmed that they are not striking any more 2016 collector editions, which means that when current stocks of the Brilliant Uncirculated version are exhausted, collectors’ only choice will be to search for circulation versions. 

So whilst the 2016 Beatrix Potter 50p coins are not likely to follow the example of the ultra-rare Kew Gardens 50p, which achieves prices of between £70 and £100, collectors may see prices rise from around 6 times face value to somewhere between 10 and 12 times face value over the coming months.

But don’t forget, the joy of Change Checking is that you may receive a Beatrix Potter 50p coin in your change at any time for just its face value – 50p. 

Why the 2016 £1 coin is about to become the latest coin collecting myth

The Royal Mint have confirmed that more than half a billion of the new £1 coins that have been released into circulation will be dated 2016.

But you may have also seen in the news that if you find one with a 2016 date, it could be one of the handful of ‘uniquely flawed coins’ and may be worth £250.

Unfortunately that isn’t the case.

Coins are typically struck with dies with that year’s date on, and as 1.5 billion new coins were required for the launch of the new 12-sided £1 coin, The Royal Mint started striking them in March 2016. That means that all of the new 12-sided £1 coins that were produced last year will have the 2016 date on them.

Will the 2016 12-sided £1 coins be rare?

In short, no. With half a billion 2016 dated £1 coins in circulation, they should be relatively easy to get hold of. In fact, we are yet to see someone who has found a 2017 dated £1 in their change.

Over half a billion 2016 dated £1 coins have been released into circulation. So far the only 2017 dated £1 coins we have seen are the Brilliant Uncirculated collector versions.

If we take a look back to the mintage figures in 1983 when the £1 coin was first introduced, in total 443,053,510 of the Royal Arms £1 coin were struck for circulation that year. That’s a little less than the amount of 2016 dated £1 coins and nearly 3 times less than the total amount of of the new coins struck for launch.

Considering 1983 was a time without contactless payments and when cash was the most used method of payment, 443,053,510 seems a relatively small amount in comparison to the 1.5 billion required for the new 12-sided £1 coin launch.

1997 Maklouf ‘Queen with a Necklace’ £2

The Maklouf 'Necklace' £2

The Maklouf ‘Necklace’ £2 was only issued in 1997

You may remember the collecting frenzy that the ‘Queen with a Necklace’ £2 coin caused in 1998 when the brand new bi-metallic coin was introduced into circulation.

The ‘Queen with a Necklace’ £2 has an enduring legacy in the collecting world as the very first bi-metallic £2 coins issued just prior to the Queen’s portrait change in 1998. This meant that the older portrait by Raphael Maklouf was only used for one year: 1997. His version featured Queen Elizabeth II wearing a necklace, which is how the nickname was derived.

When the portrait change was announced, the new £2 coins were snapped up by collectors believing them to be a future rarity. As it turned out, a mintage of nearly 14 million means the ‘Queen with a Necklace’ £2 is not one of the rarest coins in circulation. Nevertheless, with only one year of issue, it still holds an undeniable interest for collectors.

An undeniable interest for collectors.

And the same can be said for the 2016 dated £1 coin. Although the £1 is in no way a rarity, first year of issue coins are always more sought after in years to come. As the new coin is Britain’s first 12-sided £1 and it is the first specification change to our £1 coin in more than 3 decades, the new 2016 dated £1 should hold a significant place  in any coin collection. 


To celebrate the release of the new 12-sided £1 coin, we’re giving away FIVE ‘Nations of the Crown’ Silver Proof 12-Sided £1 Coins!

For your chance to WIN a Silver Proof £1, all you need to do is find one of the new 12-sided £1 coins in your change…

Post a photo via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #foundapound and the location you found your first £1 coin.

We’ll then choose 5 winners at random on the 10th April.

It’s really that easy – so good luck and get posting! #foundapound

Click here for more details.

Why your AK47 £5 note isn’t worth £80,000 and other myths about the polymer banknote

Time and again we hear from people with various serial numbers asking how much their £5 notes are worth, so we thought we would address some of the myths about the £5 polymer banknote.

The rare £5 note with serial number AK47 that ‘sold’ for over £80,000 on eBay!

Notes with the serial number AK47 have been particularly popular thanks to the machine gun connotations.  Back in 2016, news emerged that a £5 banknote with the prefix Ak47 had fetched a winning bid of £80,100 on the online market place eBay. The seller must have been overjoyed with the jackpot amount but it turned out the buyer had no intention of paying up.


The bidding on this Ak47 banknote fetched a winning bid of £80,100


As much as we love the design of the new fiver, there is no way we would pay anywhere near £80,000 for it, no matter what serial number it had.

Or the fivers with a James Bond theme?

Described as an “AK37 007 James Bond Bank of England Polymer £5 note” in a lovely condition, this banknote sold for £5,000.


A James Bond themed £5 listing on eBay.


Although there must be plenty of James Bond fanatics out there, we can think of so many other items of James Bond memorabilia that fans could spend £5,000 on! And realistically, if you had the choice, which would you prefer to spend £5K on?

What about the AA01 banknotes?

When they were first released, the new polymer banknotes created a collecting storm. In fact I’m almost certain that every single person in the country checked their new note at some point to see if they were lucky enough to find one with the prefix AA01.

Although a banknote with the prefix AA01 might be worth slightly over face value to someone who is genuinely interested, we must remember that 1 million AA01 banknotes were printed. So as much as I wish it could be true, reality check – don’t expect a big payout if you do find one.

And the upside down fiver?

There were countless stories and accounts of plastic banknotes fetching eye-watering sums of money after the launch, but one eBay seller took things a step further when he listed his ‘upside down’ banknote.


The ‘upside down’ fiver


Although the seller stated in the description that the listing was a joke, he still received lots of serious questions about the note.


Do look out for these £5 notes worth more than £20,000 in circulation! If you come across a fiver with a micro-engraved portrait of either Jane Austen or Harry Kane, whatever you do, do NOT spend it.


Micro-engraver Graham Short has created special £5 notes, engraved with tiny portraits. The first set features author Jane Austen and more recently notes featuring Harry Kane have been  put into circulation and could be worth more than £20,000. In fact, Graham Short’s work has an insurance valuation of £50,000 so these £5 notes will give you an extra £49,995 of value if you find one…

Serious Collectors: What to look for…

Collecting banknotes is a serious hobby that many thousands of people all over the world enjoy.

There are many ways of assembling collections of banknotes,  for example banknotes that feature famous people (scientists, writers or politicians) or banknotes with historical context such as those from a certain era.

Generally collecting banknotes is not about the serial number it possesses, instead the chief cashier is of most interest, particularly on UK banknotes.  This is where real rarities can be found –  in the form of Chief Cashier signatures.

Banknote designs rarely change but on average cashiers change every 5 or 6 years with some in the position for as little as 3 years.

These £5 polymer banknotes will always be considered the ‘first’ polymer banknotes regardless of what serial number they hold and importantly uncirculated notes or those in good condition will also always be more sought after.

So if you are genuinely interested in collecting banknotes, the chief cashier is what you should really be looking for.

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