Coins from Crown dependencies and overseas British territories can sometimes make an unexpected appearance in our change.
They are identical in size, shape and weight to UK denominations which means they often find their way into tills and vending machines undetected.
Finding one in your change can be an annoyance on one hand as technically the coins are not legal tender in the UK. On the other hand, from a collecting point of view, new and interesting designs are always a bonus!
Here’s a look at our top 5 favourite coin designs that have been issued by Crown dependencies and overseas British territories since decimalisation:
This beautiful 50p from Guernsey features two crossed freesia flowers with ‘FIFTY PENCE’ and the date at the top and ’50’ below the design.
The obverse features David Maklouf’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II with the lettering ‘Bailiwick of Guernsey’ above, and also a small Guernsey Coat of Arms to the left.
This addition on the obverse makes the Guernsey 50p stand out when compared to UK 50p coins.
This 50p has the pre-1997 specifications.
Guernsey Lily £1 Coin
Guernsey Lily £1 issued in 1981.
The Guernsey Lily £1 features the island’s Lily on the reverse, and the Guernsey Coat of Arms on the obverse.
This unusual obverse without the Queen’s head makes this particular coin stand out amongst other £1 coins, and makes it sought after by collectors.
Along with the UK, Guernsey withdrew their round £1 coins from circulation in October 2017.
Isle of Man Tower of Refuge £2
The Tower of Refuge is an important landmark on the Isle of Man. It was built in 1832 upon the reef on orders of Sir William Hillary, founder of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.
The impressive tower with birds flying above it features on the reverse of this Isle of Man £2 coin. The obverse carries a new effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark, this effigy being reserved for the Crown dependencies and Commonwealth countries.
Gibraltar Candytuft Flowers 50p
This 50p features the denomination surrounded by a crown of Gibraltar Candytuft flowers, known as ‘Iberis Gibraltarica’.
Iberis Gibraltarica is the national flower of Gibraltar and is the symbol of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve which covers 40% of the country’s land area. Gibraltar is the only place in Europe where it is found growing in the wild.
With a mintage of just 30,000 in 1988, this 50p is 7 times rarer than the UK’s rarest 50p so is particularly scarce and sought after amongst collectors. This 50p has the pre-1997 specifications.
Jersey Resolute £1
The Resolute vessel was built in 1877 in Jersey by Thomas Le Huguet and was owned by Captain George Noel. The ship was used for trade before it was wrecked during a hurricane on 29th August 1905 at Friars Cove off Newfoundland.
The design depicts a two-mastered topsail schooner Resolute ship and was first issued into circulation in Jersey in 1994.
To ensure their currency would not be left vulnerable to counterfeiters, Jersey withdrew their round £1 coins from circulation in October 2017.
With a much lower population than the UK, some of these coins that can be found in your change can be extremely rare, so it’s worth keeping hold of them.
On the 1st July 2017, Canada turned 150. To celebrate, The Royal Canadian Mint released a once-in-a-life-time set of coins highlighting this milestone event in Canadian history.
And one of them glows in the dark!
The two-dollar coin, (or toonie), celebrates the wonders of Canada with an evocative design featuring the Northern Lights and it even glows in the dark thanks to special ink that contains luminescent material.
The specially designed two-dollar coin, which was issued to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada, features two people paddling in a canoe as the northern lights dance high above – which the Cree peoples called “the dance of the spirits”.
When the coin is put in the dark, the aurora borealis glows softly, thanks to a new ink formulation that contains luminescent material.
Just 3 million of these coins were released into general circulation in Canada, meaning just one in ten Canadians were able to find one in their change.
There is no doubt that these coins would create a collecting frenzy if a similar event like this was to happen in the UK.
In fact, each and every one of these special Royal Canadian Mint releases have become a collector’s item and going by previous issues, 25 cents and $2 coins are extremely difficult to get hold of.
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
Four special £5 notes, engraved with a tiny portrait of author Jane Austen, are being put into circulation and could be worth more than £20,000.
Specialist micro-engraver Graham Short came up with the idea of engraving a 5mm portrait of Pride and Prejudice author Jane Austen on the transparent part of the new plastic £5 notes, to mark the 200th anniversary of one of the best-loved English novelists next year.
He has included a different quote around each one, ensuring that each note is unique. The banknotes to look out for have the following serial numbers: AM32 885551, AM32 885552, AM32 885553 and AM32 88554.
According to Gallery owner Mr Huggins-Haig, artist Graham Short’s work has an insurance valuation of £50,000 so £20,000 for a banknote with his artwork on is a reasonable estimate. Mr Short’s last work, a portrait of the Queen on a pinhead, sold for £100,000.
The first of four notes featuring art by specialist micro-engraver Graham Short was found in a cafe in South Wales on 5th December while another was found the same month inside a Christmas card in Scotland. The third £5 note was found by a mystery old lady in Eniskillen in Northern Ireland who has donated it to charity.
So that means there is just one more rare £5 note left to find with the handiwork of Birmingham micro-artist Graham Short. It was spent somewhere in England back in December so for those hunting down the last remaining fiver, the serial number to look out for is AM 32 885554.
Anyone who finds one of the notes has been advised to contact the Tony Huggins-Haig Gallery in Kelso, which launched the project as they will provide advice on how to put the artwork up for auction.