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.
What about £1 Coins?
Every year The Royal Mint mark the year’s memorable events and anniversaries that capture the nation’s striking stories on circulating coins, and 2017 is no different.
Today The Royal Mint have unveiled the new themes and designs for all the 2017 commemorative coins, and Change Checkers can look forward to some very significant British anniversaries being commemorated.
£5 – King Canute
This brand new £5 coin depicts King Canute, the Viking conqueror hailed the first ‘king of all England’.
£5 – House of Windsor Centenary
A centenary of royal service is commemorated on this £5 coin marking the 100th anniversary of the creation of the House of Windsor – when King George V changed the name of the British Royal Family from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the English Windsor.
£2 – Jane Austen
To mark the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, one of the best-loved English novelists, this £2 coin featuring her portrait has been issued.
£2 – WW1 Aviation
In commemoration of the Centenary of the First World War, The Royal Mint has issued a series of specially commissioned £2 coins. This coin pays tribute to the aviators of the First World War and their sacrifices in the race for supremacy of the skies.
50p – Sir Isaac Newton
This 50p coin remembers the legacy of Sir Isaac Newton, genius of the Scientific Revolution and one of the most famous men in history.
The announcement of next year’s coins is always an exciting moment for Change Checkers, particularly when the anniversaries are as significant as these.
And now we can now start looking forward to finding these new designs in our change throughout the year!
If you can’t wait to find these coins in your change you can add the 2017 Change Checker Commemorative Coin Set to your collection today>>