Out of the 8 brand new coins that will make up the UK’s New Coinage, we wanted to know which design is your favourite!
The results are in!
We asked for Change Checkers to vote for their favourite design from the New UK Coinage, and over 700 of you voted!
The results are in:
As you can see, the Bee £1 was the clear winner, with a whopping 37.67% of the vote!
The Red Squirrel 2p came in second place with 14% of the vote, just edging in front of the Atlantic Salmon 50p and the Puffin 20p which both had 12% of the vote.
Find out more about these exciting new coins and secure yours here >>
Whilst new commemorative coins are issued each year to celebrate some of the UK’s most important anniversaries, did you know that the coins most readily found in our day-to-day change feature the same designs each year?
These are known as the ‘definitive’ coins, and it’s actually been a whole 15 years since we last saw a change to their reverse designs!
But, as we now enter a new era of King Charles III, it’s #AllChange for our humble definitive coins, with eight brand new designs set to be revealed this year…
From the 1p to the £2, these coins have formed the UK’s circulating currency for over 50 years.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at the history of UK definitive coins and what the future might bring as we look forward to the new releases coming soon!
The UK’s Eight Definitive Coins
There are eight different coin denominations to be found in our everyday change (1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, £2).
Their story began in 1971, when Britain’s coinage went decimal – a plan which had been in the making for over 10 years!
Originally, only the 1p-50p coins were released and each featured the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Arnold Machin on the obverse. Their reverse designs had been created by Christopher Ironside, for which he won an OBE.
Whilst the Queen’s portrait has changed on these coins throughout the years (Raphael Maklouf in 1985, Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS in 1998 with the introduction of the definitive £2 coin and Jody Clark in 2015), it wasn’t until 2008 that the reverse designs all changed and the first definitive £1 was introduced.
The Royal Shield on Coins
In 2008, the new definitive coins were released.
Competition winner, Matthew Dent had created a clever design utilising each of the denominations from 1p-50p and bringing them together like a jigsaw to form the Royal Shield – shown in its entirety on the definitive £1 coin.
At this time, the definitive £2 remained unchanged with the Technology design, first introduced in 1998.
The very last change we’ve seen to our definitive coins came in 2015, when the £2 reverse design was updated to the iconic Britannia design by Anthony Dufort.
Not only this, but the obverse design for all denominations was also updated in 2015 as the last effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark graced our UK coinage.
What’s next for UK Definitive Coins?
Usually, definitive coins are issued each year as part of the Annual Coin Set and then released into circulation based on demand.
However, following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the introduction of King Charles III’s new coinage portrait, this year has been an exception…
Whilst a 2023 Annual Coin Set was released, this only featured 5 commemorative designs and no definitive coins.
Throughout the year, many collectors have asked us when the King Charles III definitive coins will be released and what the designs will be.
Excitingly, it seems that the wait is almost over, as The Royal Mint announced on the 5th October 2023 that we can expect to see new definitive coin designs featuring King Charles III on the obverse very soon…
This will be the first time that both the ‘heads’ and ‘tails’ sides of coins have changed at the same time, and of course, the first time the King will feature on a UK 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p and £1 coin!
As perhaps the biggest change we’ve seen to UK coinage in decades, we’re expecting a huge collecting rush for the New UK Coinage for King Charles III and can’t wait to see the new coins when they’re released.
What do you think the designs will look like? Let us know in the comments below!
It’s an exciting time in the collecting world, with many ‘firsts’ to look forward to as we enter a new era of King Charles III coinage.
From the first ever King Charles III portrait featuring on our coins, to the UK’s first ever Coronation 50p, there’s already been some remarkable milestones celebrated on the coins you can find in your change.
These issues will undoubtedly become increasingly sought-after in years to come. But demand for King Charles III coins is already proving to be high!
In August, the Isle of Man released the FIRST King Charles III Decimal Coin Set – including all seven of their decimal coins, which lucky islanders will be able to find in their change.
Isle of Man Manx Wildlife Set
I knew these coins would be popular, but I was shocked at just how quickly we sold through our allocation… In fact, all our stocks had completely sold out in just a few days!
Popularity for the first full King Charles III coin set has certainly got us thinking about what could lie ahead for UK coins and just how high the demand might be when we start to see more King Charles coins released.
So far, the 2022 Memoriam 50p and 2023 Coronation 50p have found their way into our change and we released collector maps for both so that Change Checkers can track where across the country these coins are being found.
If you’re lucky enough to have found the new Coronation 50p in your change, make sure you add it to our map here >>
In the meantime, I (like many other collectors) am eagerly awaiting the chance to find more King Charles III coins in my change and build up a new collection.
For almost 70 years, our definitive and commemorative coins have featured the Queen’s portrait, but with a new era of King Charles III coinage upon us, the collecting race begins once again!
Own the Queen Elizabeth II LAST Definitive Coin Set
2022 marked the final year of Her Majesty’s reign and, as such, these 2022 dated definitives coins were the last ever to be issued with the Queen’s portrait on the obverse.