On February 15th 1971, the UK’s currency went decimal and this enormous change to UK coinage called for one of the biggest publicity campaigns our nation had ever seen!
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of ‘Decimal Day’, as it was known, The Royal Mint has JUST released a brand new 50p.
This brand new 50p, designed by Dominique Evans, features overlapping pre-decimal coins in an ode to Decimal Day, with the date ‘1971’ at the centre of the design.
Over the years, the 50p has become the most-collected and best-loved decimal coin in the UK and given the significance of this anniversary, demand for this new coin is expected to be high.
You can secure your 2021 Decimal Day 50p for your collection for JUST £4.50 (+p&p) by clicking here >>
We’ve seen some amazing coins issued since Decimalisation. In this blog, we take a closer look at some of Change Checker’s favourites.
2019 50th Anniversary of the 50p Coin
2019 marked a milestone moment for coin collectors as the world’s first seven-sided coin celebrated its 50th anniversary. To celebrate the anniversary, The Royal Mint issued this 50p.
This coin was designed by The Royal Mint design team and is said to ‘pay tribute to the science that gave us the world’s first seven-sided coin’.
Featuring Christopher Ironside’s iconic Britannia on the reverse, inscribed with ‘NEW PENCE’ just as the original 1969 coin was, this unique 50p has not one, but two special features:
- An exclusive never-before-seen mint mark; the Spirograph type design has been drawn from an extension of lines forming the 50p shape
- A minting first; on the outer rim of the reverse design, the letters A-G appear on each point and are joined by crossing lines.
You can secure this 50p for your collection, whilst stocks last, for JUST £4.50 (+p&p) here >>
The first-ever £2 coin!
In 1986, a brand new UK denomination was introduced in the form of a £2 coin.
Prior to the introduction of the bi-metallic £2 coins in 1998, single-coloured, nickel-brass £2 coins were issued, purely to mark special occasions. Between 1986 and 1996, there were seven different designs of the single-coloured £2 coins.
The 1986 Commonwealth Games £2 coin changed the face of UK commemorative coins, being the first of its denomination to be struck and the first British coin being issued to commemorate a sporting event.
Do you remember the old specification £2 coins? Let us know in the comments below!
The bi-metallic £2 coin!
The new type of £2 coin was introduced in 1997 and featured an innovative bi-metallic design – the first in the history of British coinage.
The concentric circles on this design by Bruce Rushin represent mankind’s technological evolution from the Iron Age at the centre, to the cogs and wheels in the first ring representing the Industrial Revolution.
The next ring symbolises the computer age with a pattern derived from a silicon chip and the final outer ring represents the age of the Internet with a connecting web of lines.
This design has been used on definitive £2 coins from 1997 to 2015!
Britain’s Round Pounds
The first UK £1 coin was issued in 1983 to replace the £1 banknote, which only lasted a few months in circulation! The £1 coin quickly became a hit with collectors, with everyone trying to hunt down the different designs.
The first £1 coin design features the Royal Coat of Arms designed by Eric Sewell, a chief engraver at the Royal Mint. It also features the edge Inscription: DECUS ET TUTAMEN.
This coin was issued in 1983, 1993, 2003, 2008 and has a circulating mintage of 623,304,510.
After more than 30 years in the nation’s pockets, the familiar round £1 coin was replaced with an all new, 12-sided £1 coin in 2017 and it lost its legal tender status at midnight on 15 October 2017.
Despite this, some round pounds remain incredibly popular with collectors, due to their designs and their low mintages.
Nations of the Crown £1
The new £1 coin first entered circulation in March 2017 and it features 12 sides.
Billed as the most secure circulating coin in the world, the new £1 has been formally named ‘The Nations of the Crown 2017 UK £1′.
The coin, designed by 15-year-old David Pearce following a public competition in 2015, 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.
5p and 10p Coins
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.
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.
In 1990 and 1992, the specifications of the 5p and 10p were reduced, respectively. On 27th June 1990 the new 18.00mm 5p was introduced and 30th September 1992, a reduced size version of the 10 pence coin was introduced
Since decimalisation, we’ve seen some incredible definitive and commemorative designs to our UK coins.
Let us know in the comment which definitive design is your favourite!
Secure the brand new 2021 Decimal Day 50p for your collection!
You can own yours in CERFITIED Brilliant Uncirculated quality for just £4.50 (+p&p) today.
It’s a magical day indeed as this morning, The Snowman™ has made a return to the UK’s favourite coin, the 50p!
This brand new 50p has been issued to continue the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the much-loved festive tale, The Snowman™!
In this latest release we see James and the Snowman embracing in a scene that is sure to warm your hearts this festive season!
Designed by Robin Shaw, this brand new 50p brings our favourite Christmas character to life exactly how we remember him from the famous tale.
But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen The Snowman™ feature on a 50p! Previous Snowman 50p coins from The Royal Mint have proved incredibly popular with collectors and have even seen sell outs within just hours of release!
So, grab yourself a blanket and a mug of hot chocolate and cosy up, as we take a look at the history of The Snowman™ on coins…
2019 UK Snowman 50p
In 2019, The Snowman™ made his second UK 50p appearance, featuring alongside his friend James, set against the snowy mountains they famously fly over in the tale.
At the time of its release, it was the second Christmas 50p to be ever be released in the UK, with previous festive releases being dedicated to the £5 coin.
This coin is still available to order in Brilliant Uncirculated quality for JUST £4.50 but we have STRICTLY LIMITED STOCK remaining, so act fast.
2018 UK Snowman 50p
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Christmas classic, Natasha Ratcliffe’s design features The Snowman and James ‘walking in the air’…
Issued as the very first UK Christmas 50p and very first UK Snowman issue, this coin was destined to be popular amongst collectors!
In fact, it was so popular that the Silver Proof version completely SOLD OUT on the first day of issue!
Whilst the 2018 release marked the first time that The Snowman™ has appeared on a UK coin, it’s actually not the first time that this frosty friend has appeared on a 50p…
Isle of Man Snowman 50ps
Over the years, The Snowman has featured on a number of different 50ps from The Isle of Man, some of which are incredibly sought after.
One such coin from 2003 featuring James and The Snowman™ recently sold for over £250 on the secondary market – not a bad return on a 50p coin!
Isle of Man coinage is particularly sought-after by collectors as mintages are significantly lower than in the UK, due to a population of around 85,000.
As these coins are very similar in appearance and specification to UK coins, they can sometimes find their way over here when people return from holidaying on the island.
Have you found an Isle of Man Snowman 50p on your travels or perhaps one has mistakenly made its way into your change! Let us know in the comments below!
It seems as though this frosty friend is a festive favourite amongst collectors but we want to know which Snowman 50p is your favourite!
Let us know in the comments below!
Gift The Snowman™ 50p this Christmas for JUST £4.50 (+p&p)
This coin really is the perfect festive treat for a loved one or even as a gift to yourself.
To secure the 2020 UK The Snowman™ 50p for just £4.50 (+p&p), click here >>
Following the launch of the Change Checker “Scarcity Index” early last year, the final 2017 Quarter 4 Index has now been published.
50p Scarcity Index
It’s of little surprise that Kew Gardens maintains its top spot as the UK’s most sought after circulation coin with a perfect score of 100.
The mintage figures for the 2017 50p coins were released just before Christmas and have had an effect on the Scarcity Index scores. Interestingly, the Sir Isaac Newton 50p only scores a 3/100 which is lower than we anticipated. This is mainly due to the large number of Change Checkers who list having the coin in their collection. However, we are expecting this score to increase during the next quarter due to the low mintage figure, of just 1.8 million, driving demand.
Jemima Puddle-Duck remains the most scarce Beatrix Potter 50p, with Tom Kitten and Benjamin also scoring quite highly with a score of 13 and 7 respectively. Tom Kitten and Benjamin Bunny were only released into circulation in December so requests for swaps are high. Mintage figures for these coins are also relatively high so as more people find these coins in their change it is possible these scores will decrease slightly.
Interestingly, the mintage figure for the Jeremy Fisher 50p coin has been released, however the coin is not yet in circulation.
£2 Scarcity Index
There’s not a lot of movement in our Quarter 4 £2 “Scarcity Index” update.
The Commonwealth Games Wales £2 coin takes top spot from the Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland. This is down to the very large number of swap requests for this coin in the last quarter. At 99/100 the Northern Ireland coin is still very scarce (as are the other two coins in the Commonwealth Games series) and it’s very possible it will retake the number 1 spot next quarter.
We are still waiting for the Jane Austen and WWI Aviation £2 coins to be released into circulation, hence why they do not feature on our Index. We await the release of these and their mintage figures with great interest, could they be low like the Sir Isaac Newton 50p? It is possible.
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 recent 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.