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

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

Since the 2019 Change Checker Awards were opened to celebrate the very best people in the world of change collecting, nominations have been flooding in, and it really has been incredible to hear all of your stories from the last year.

It’s certainly meant we’ve had a really tough job deciding on the winners, but with thanks to our panel of judges from the Change Checker team and AllAboutCoins, our well deserved winners have now been selected…

Change Checker of the Year

Winner:

Lisa Strange

Lisa has been chosen as the 2019 Change Checker of the Year by AllAboutCoins for always going above and beyond in the Change Checker community. She’s helped many people complete their collections whilst also giving helpful advice and tips on coin collecting!

Well done Lisa!

Runner-up:

Tracey Hunter

Tracey has been chosen as the 2019 Change Checker of the Year Runner-Up by AllAboutCoins for her commitment and involvement to the Change Checker community.

Congratulations Tracey!

Junior Change Checker of the Year

Winner:

Oliver Cross

Oliver has been awarded 2019 Junior Change Checker of the Year by AllAboutCoins for his dedication and passion in finding commemorative coins in his change and inspiring others to start coin collecting.

Congratulations Oliver!

Runner-up:

Lethikka (Narwhal Narwhal)

Lethikka has been chosen as the 2019 Junior Change Checker Runner-Up of the Year by AllAboutCoins for her continued effort in inspiring others to start coin collecting. She has started a coin club at her school where she hopes to share the useful tips she’s learned from the Change Checker Community.

Congratulations Lethikka!


Matt, a panel member at AllAboutCoins, said:

“Once again there were many brilliant entries to the Change Checker Awards and picking the winner was really tough. It was lovely to see nominations for those collectors who had really gone the extra mile to help others and spread the word about collecting coins… I hope both winners enjoy reading more about coins on the allaboutcoins.co.uk website and in Coin Collector magazine!”


Coin Design of the Year

It comes as no surprise that the 2019 Coin Design of the Year is awarded to the 2019 UK Stephen Hawking 50p.

This coin was issued at the beginning of the year, as part of The Royal Mint’s new series celebrating Innovators in Science. It’s design, by Edwina Ellis, honours the most famous British scientist of modern times, Stephen Hawking and his contributions to the world of physics.

Hawking becomes one of only three people to be commemorated on a coin within a year of their death (the others being the Queen Mother and Winston Churchill).

Congratulations Edwina Ellis!

Coin Story of the Year

The winner of the 2019 Coin Story of the Year Award goes to Alex Nelson from iNews for his fantastic article on the 2019 Stephen Hawking 50p – the most talked about coin of the year!

Alex said, “Thanks Change Checker! What a nice surprise. Here’s hoping there’s plenty of new coins to report on in 2020! “

A big thank you once again to AllAboutCoins for supporting us this year and of course a huge congratulations to all of our winners and all the fantastic entries we had this year.

We’d like to thank each and every one of you for your continued support in 2019 and hope that 2020 is a fantastic year of Change Checking for you all!


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

It’s a question many coin collectors ask, and so in this blog we’re going to get to the bottom of which UK coins really are magnetic and why!

1p and 2p coins

Prior to 1992, 1p and 2p coins were made from a bronze alloy of copper, tin and zinc.

As a result of rising prices of base metals, from 1992 onwards the composition of the coins changed to copper plated steel.

Both compositions are the same weight, diameter and design, meaning that they circulate together with no noticeable differences – other than the fact that coins with a steel core are magnetic.

The steel core of the newer coins is electroplated in copper to give them the same colour as the pre 1992 coins, so the only way to tell them apart is to use a magnet!

5p and 10p coins

As a result of metal prices rising on world markets, since January 2012 the compositions of 5p and 10p coins have been made from a plated steel, making them magnetic.

In 2013, The Royal Mint began a programme to recover old 5p and 10p coins from circulation. 330 million of new plated steel coins have been issued in their place.

In the same style as the new 1p and 2p coins, the new 5p and 10ps are electroplated, but with nickel rather than copper to give them their ‘silver’ colour.

Interesting Facts

  • When plated steel coins are attached to a magnet, the coins themselves become magnetized. With a strong magnet you can attach coins to each other and ‘dangle’ them. (The Royal Mint).
  • There are a higher percentage of magnetic 5p and 10p coins in circulation compared to 1p and 2ps.
  • The 5p and 10p coins became 11% thicker when their compositions changed.
  • In 2010, a magnetic sculpture called ‘Drop’ was created by Paul Cocksedge to encourage passers-by to attach unwanted pennies to its surface in aid of charity.

Have you noticed any magnetic coins in your change? Test it out for yourself and see if you can create your own magnetic artwork using these coins!


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