These are the Top 10 tips to complete your £1 Coin Collection…

The Great One Pound Coin Race is well underway and lots of you have already managed to complete a full collection of £1 coins.

For those of you that haven’t don’t worry, there’s still time… but it is getting harder!

You’ve only got until 15 October to find all 24 circulating £1 coin designs so here are the Top 10 tips to complete your collection.

Since the release of the new 12-sided £1 coin last month, the new £1 has been turning up everywhere, and that means the round pounds will start to slowly disappear. That’s because the banks will stop issuing the round pounds and will start to take them out of circulation.

Lots of you have also come forward with your own tips and tricks for finding £1 coins…

How to enter the Great One Pound Coin Race

If you haven’t started your Great One Pound Coin Race yet, it’s not too late.  Simply click here to enter today and you too could own a complete collection of £1 coins direct from your change before they’re gone for ever.

It looks like the round pound will be around for a little bit longer…

In 2017, the Isle of Man confirmed that they will be keeping the familiar round pound coin.

This makes them the only British Isles country to continue issuing round pounds…

The Isle of Man £1 Coin featuring two birds – a Raven and a Falcon

The 2017 design for the Isle of Man £1 coin features two birds – a Falcon and a Raven.

These birds are symbolically associated with the Island and feature on the Coat of Arms.

A Celtic interlocking border circulates the outside of the coin while the Triskelion (three armoured legs) features at the twelve o’ clock position.

In contrast, both Jersey and Guernsey have confirmed that they will stop striking the round £1 coin this year, opting to use the paper £1 note instead.

All change

Not only are the Isle of Man keeping the £1 coin, all their circulation coins have had a total redesign and been struck at a new Mint.

Here are a few of the new Isle of Man coins that were launched…

                                                                 New Isle of Man Coins 

5 Pence – Features the Manx Shearwater, an amber-listed species of particular conservation concern on the Isle of Man. This design celebrates the increasing number of this traditional Isle of Man bird species.

10 Pence – Features the famous Isle of Man Manx Cat, best known for being entirely tailless. The other distinguishing characteristics include elongated hind legs and a rounded head.

20 Pence – The Isle of Man has a significant Viking heritage; key symbols are Odin’s Raven and Viking Longships. The design depicts a typical scene of a sailing Viking Longship.

50 Pence – The design depicts the Manx Loaghtan, a breed of sheep native to the Isle of Man. The sheep have dark brown wool and usully four or occasionally six horns.

1 Pound – The £1 coin features two birds – a Raven and a Falcon. These birds are symbolically associated with the island and feature of the Isle of Man Coat of Arms.

2 Pound – Featuring the Tower of Refuge, this important landmark was built upon the reef on the orders of Sir William Hillary, founder of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in 1832.

5 Pound – The Triskelion (three armoured legs) is arguably the most known symbol of the island and is included in both the coat of arms and the flag of the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man also circulates their £5 coins making them the only Crown dependency country where you could find one in your change, and spend it.

A new effigy

The new effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

And the changes didn’t stop there.

The coins also feature a new effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, created by designer and sculptor Jody Clark.

The outer description includes the Queen’s full title, country of issue and year of issue.

The new portrait will be used on coins from Crown dependencies and Commonwealth countries.

No new coppers

Although the Isle of Man have completely redesigned their circulation coins, they have not produced any new designs for the 1p and 2p coins. Instead they will continue to use their current stock.

Own the 2017 Isle of Man Triskelion Uncirculated £5 Coin

The Isle of Man is the only part of the British Isles to use a genuinely circulating £5 Coin and this coin has one of the lowest mintages for any British Isles circulation coin.

You can now own one in Certified Uncirculated condition for just £14.99.

Click here to secure your own set >>



The Pound Coin and the rejected bird designs

25 years ago The Royal Mint decided to explore the possibility of creating a new series of reverse designs on the £1 coins to represent the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom .

Selected artists were invited to submit designs that should have a common theme and a unified style, but they were allowed a free hand in the choice of subject matter.

In a 1992 edition of ‘The Medal’ magazine, Marina Warner – a writer and member of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee – revealed that there were two finalists in the competition and wrote “Designer 9 produced an elegant series of sketches that were in positive danger of producing pleasure“. 

The designs, by Mary Milner Dickens, featured the avocet for England, the osprey for Scotland, the red kite for Wales, and the roseate tern for Northern Ireland. Each had been close to extinction earlier in the century but had made a successful breeding return.  Designer 8, meanwhile, “submitted a series of ploddingly traditional heraldic schemes“. 


The first Mary Milner Dickens designs: a crow for England and osprey for Scotland.

The first sketches show each national bird perched on a crown. The bird representing England appears to be a crow, but this was changed to an avocet in subsequent sketches.


Designs for the four nations with and without the crown, with an avocet for England instead.

Later sketches show each bird sitting on a national plant (oak branch, thistle, leek and flax respectively) and another variation shows the same designs but with a crown separating the words “ONE POUND”.


The designs featuring the birds with rivers as well as the birds with wild flowers.

In later designs Mary Milner Dickens showed the birds in flight. One version shows each bird above a map of a pertinent national river, while the other variation shows essentially the same design but with the rivers replaced by flowers. Both versions depict a relevant national crown for each design, rather than simply portraying St Edward’s crown in each case.

However, there was a conflict of interest.

In 1993, Norman Lamont (Chancellor of the Exchequer and ex-official Master of The Royal Mint) caused dissent amongst The Royal Mint Advisory committee by overriding a decision usually made by them. In a statement by Mr Anthony Nelson (Economic Secretary at the Treasury) he told members that Mr. Lamont “just does not like birds” and was consequently opting for the heraldic design.

This decision sparked outrage leading to the resignation of Marina Warner, a member of the Committee at the time, who accused the Chancellor and his officials of rejecting the designs because of the idea of innovation itself in the iconography of the coinage.

The Royal Mint documents do not reveal the details of the discussions, stating only that there was a “full and frank” discussion.

So instead of the 1994-1997 heraldic £1 coins designed by Norman Sillman (designer 8) that we are so familiar with today, we could have had four completely different £1 designs in our change.


The heraldic £1 coin designs from 1994-1997 that represent the four constituent parts of the UK designed by Norman Sillman

At the time Mary Milner Dickens had already designed the 1992 EC 50p and she later went on to create the reverse designs of the Libraries 50p in 2000 and the Queen Victoria £5 in 2001.

Mary Milner Dickens also designed the 1992 UK EC Presidency, 2000 Public Libraries 50p and the 2014 Queen Anne £5

As the 1990’s progressed, the designs of commemorative 50p and £2 coins became more boldly innovative. The national bridges that featured on £1 coins between 2004 and 2007 were distinctly non-heraldic – and no-one objected.

Credit: First published in Coin News – this article was written by Philip McLoughlin and researched by Dutch numismatist Niels van Schendel.