Are you a collector of UK Royal coins?

From celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th Birthday, to marking Queen Victoria’s accession to the throne in 1837, Royal anniversaries, birthdays and achievements have been commemorated on UK coinage for centuries.

In this blog, we’re going to take a look at what we believe to be the Top 10 UK Royal Coins of all time.


1. 2015 Longest Reigning Monarch £5

The Westminster Collection

As of 2020, HM Queen Elizabeth II became the world’s 5th longest reigning monarch! But in 2015, she became Britain’s, after 63 incredible years on the throne.

To celebrate this momentous occasion The Royal Mint issued a series of commemorative coins, including this 2015 Longest Reigning Monarch £5.

When news of the coin broke, it proved to be popular amongst coin collectors and fans of the Royal Family alike, with The Royal Mint’s website experiencing “overwhelming levels of traffic”. (The Royal Mint Blog)

Unusual in modern times, James Butler has designed both the reverse and the obverse of the coin. His new commemorative portrait of HM The Queen features on the obverse.

2. 2020 UK King George III £5

The Westminster Collection

Next up is the King George III £5 which was initially issued as part of the 2020 Annual Coin Set in January to celebrate the life and reign of Britain’s longest reigning King.

In commemoration of the 200th anniversary since his death, this is the first time that King George III has been celebrated on modern UK coinage – the last time he featured on a coin was 1820!

Included in the reverse design is the royal residence and his place of death, Windsor Palace as well as the King’s Observatory, which was founded by the King himself in 1769!

3. 2016 Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th Birthday £5

The Westminster Collection

As a nation, we’ve celebrated Her Majesty the Queen’s landmark birthdays, jubilees and wedding anniversaries during her long and eventful reign.

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 is the only official UK £5 coin to mark this special occasion and it features a design that was approved by The Queen herself! The 9 roses on the reverse, designed by Christopher Hobbs, each represent a decade of Her Majesty’s life.

4. 1838 The Young Head Sovereign

At just 18 years old, Alexandra Victoria acceded to the throne and ruled Britain for an incredible 63 years, making her Britain’s longest reigning monarch at the time of her death in 1901!

This was the very first Sovereign to be issued under Queen Victoria’s rule, issued in 1832, featuring the popular ‘Young Head’ portrait by William Wyon. This portrait was favoured by Victoria and contributed to the coin’s popularity through her reign.

To this day, it is the longest a portrait has featured on Britain’s circulating coinage having been issued on bronze coins up until 1895!

5. 1902 Edward VII Silver Crown

The Westminster Collection

The Edward VII 1902 Silver Crown was issued for one-year-only to celebrate Edward’s coronation – only 256,020 were ever struck. It was the last British crown struck for circulation!

This coin reflects a crucial period in British History, and celebrates the might and confidence of one of the most powerful leaders on earth.

6. 2008 Queen Elizabeth I £5

Numista

Elizabeth I succeeded to the throne on 17th November 1558 – a moment of triumph for the underestimated daughter of Henry VIII…

Under her rule, England went from an impoverished country torn apart by religious and political turbulence to the world’s dominant power with victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588.

The Elizabethan era is often considered the golden age of English history with music, art and literature flourishing.

To commemorate 450 years since Elizabeth II’s accession, The Royal Mint issued this £5 in 2008 featuring a portrait of Elizabeth I within a mandorla created by four decorative arches and Tudor roses.

7. 2018 Four Generations of Royalty

The Westminster Collection

This Four Generations of Royalty £5 coin was highly anticipated since the moment HRH Prince George of Cambridge was born on 22nd July 2013.

This was the first time in modern years that The Royal Mint issued a coin that celebrated all four generations of royalty in line to the throne on a single coin. The last time that four generations of royalty were celebrated together was in 1894 under Queen Victoria’s reign!

The reverse design, by Timothy Noad, ornately shows the initials of the current four generations, E, C, W & G and represents the heritage of the House of Windsor.

8. 2000 Queen Mother Centenary £5

Change Checker

Anticipation of the imminent 100th birthday of HM the Queen Mother meant several countries released centenary coins as soon as she entered her 100th year rather than wait for her actual birthday on 4th August 2000.

The Royal Mint struck a £5 coin wholly designed by Ian Rank-Broadley, which included a reverse design of a left-facing profile of the Queen Mother wearing a diamond tiara with her signature underneath; this was the first time this had happened on a British coin!

9. 2017 Platinum Wedding Anniversary £5

The Westminster Collection

On 20th November 2017 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip celebrated their Platinum wedding anniversary, celebrating an unprecedented 70 years together!

To mark the longest marriage in Royal history, The Royal Mint issued a celebratory £5 coin in 2017. It features specially commissioned double portrait of the couple on the obverse, and an engraving of the two riding their much loved horses together on the reverse.

It is estimated just 60 people in the UK celebrated their Platinum Wedding Anniversary in the same year – meaning Her Majesty and HRH Prince Philip are literally one in a million!

10. 2018 Prince Charles 70th Birthday £5

The Westminster Collection

On the 14th November 2018 Prince Charles celebrated his 70th birthday.

To mark this special occasion and to celebrate the longest serving heir apparent, who has shown unwavering dedication to the British people, The Royal Mint issued this £5 coin.

The reverse features a new portrait of the prince, specially designed by Robert Elderton. It is the only official UK coin to have marked The Prince of Wales’ birthday!


Of course there have been so many other incredible UK Royal coins and narrowing it down to just 10 was a tough job, but we certainly feel these coins have got to be highlights!

Let us know which coins UK Royal coins would make it into your Top 10 in the comments below!


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

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 yearsDrum roll please...


1. The London Olympic and Paralympic 50ps

Change Checker Olympic 50p Coin Pack Collection Coins - My TOP FIVE coins of the decade

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

AT Beatrix Potter 50p Coins 650x450 1 - My TOP FIVE coins of the decade

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!


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

Change Checker Web App Banner 2 Amends 1024x233 1 1024x233 - Your January 2019 Scarcity Index update!

Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app

The 2020 George III £5 was issued as part of the Annual Coin Set on the 1st January and today the coin has been individually released.

King George III was the first king of the United Kingdom (which was officially formed in 1800) and to this day remains the longest reigning king in British History, reigning for an astonishing 59 years.

Throughout his reign, Britain fought in wars against France and America and from these wars the country emerged as a world power.

And so, in this anniversary year marking 200 years since his death, it seems only fitting that a brand new United Kingdom George III £5 coin should be issued.

2020 King George III £5 Coin

This is the first time George III has been celebrated on modern UK coinage and the stunning design explores the multifaceted nature of Britain’s longest reigning king.

Designed by renowned Royal Mint designer, Dominique Evans, the famous Bull’s Head portrait of George III is shown in a crowned cartouche, with the royal residence and his place of death, Windsor Palace, to the left and the King’s Observatory, which was founded by King George, to the right.

Click here to secure this coin for your collection!

Our Top Three George III Coins

But of course this is not the first time that King George has featured on UK coinage…

Throughout his reign from 1760 – 1820, the portrait of the king featured on the obverse design of Britain’s circulating coins.

We’ve taken a look at what we feel are three of the most interesting coins issued during his reign and the stories behind them.

1819 Sovereign

The very first gold Sovereign was struck during Henry VII’s reign in 1489, when the king ordered The Royal Mint to produce “A new money of gold.”

Originally Sovereigns were circulating coins accepted in Britain and elsewhere in the world, however it is now a bullion coin and is sometimes mounted in jewellery.

Many recent Sovereigns feature the well-known design of Saint George and the Dragon on the reverse, along with the initials (BP) of the designer, Benedetto Pistrucci.

1819 George III Sovereign. Credit: The Royal Mint

Now you might have heard of the 1819 Sovereigns already, and that’s because these coins are renowned for being exceptionally rare.

Remarkably, only 3,574 Sovereigns were minted during 1819 – struck on five separate occasions, between August and November 1819.

These coins were minted using gold provided by private merchants.

200 years after they were struck, it’s thought that potentially only ten of these Sovereigns are known to still exist.

Unsurprisingly, these coins sell for astonishing prices at auction, with the highest quality 1819 Sovereign known to exist achieving a price of £186,000 in 2013.

Cartwheel Penny

During the 18th century, the practice of melting down official copper coins and making lightweight forgeries had become so widespread that it prompted industrialist Matthew Boulton to offer a solution.

George III Cartwheel Penny

He proposed that each coin should actually be made to contain its value in copper, the quality should be improved by using a retaining collar during striking (to give a perfectly round coin) and thick raised borders would prevent them wearing so easily.

In 1797 Boulton was awarded a contract to supply 480 tonnes of pennies, each weighing one ounce and these were the very first British coins to be minted by steam power.

The George III Cartwheel Penny was also Britannia’s debut appearance on the penny – a position she held until decimalisation in 1971.

The remarkable story of when a British 2 pence weighed the same as a Mars Bar…
The modern 1p coin compared to the 2oz 2d coin

Because of their large size, Boulton’s coins soon earned the nickname ‘cartwheels’.

It is highly unusual for a low denomination to have such a substantial size and weight, and unsurprisingly they are in high demand from collectors for their status as Britain’s heaviest ever penny.

Eighteen Pence

In 1797, after a failed French invasion caused financial panic, British gold and silver coins disappeared from circulation, hoarded out of fear.

With so much coinage withdrawn from circulation, The Royal Mint found itself in a vulnerable position with a limited ability to issue coins.  

Incredibly, this lead to the extremely unusual situation where the Bank of England acted as a substitute for The Royal Mint by issuing an emergency currency. 

George III Eighteen Pence. Credit: Numisbids

Technically speaking, these emergency issues were not coins but tokens.

This is also the reason why they issued very unusual denominations, including the eighteen pence piece.

These tokens were issued for just 7 years until they were eventually withdrawn from circulation in 1817, by which time a massive silver recoinage had been undertaken.

So now you know the stories behind some of the most acclaimed coins issued during the reign of George III, how does the brand new 2020 £5 coin compare? And will you be adding it to your George III collection?


Secure your 2020 George III £5 Coin

The 2020 George III £5 Coin is now available to purchase individually in superior Brilliant Uncirculated quality.

Click here to add this coin to your collection.