Rare Trial Pieces including Kew Gardens 50p to be Auctioned for the First Time Ever!

Have you heard the news that for the first time in its history, The Royal Mint plan to auction rare sample coins for collectors?

Trial pieces are some of the very first samples of a new coin to be struck. They are used to set the standard for each coin issued and are carefully inspected by coin makers to ensure they meet the correct standards before striking of the new design begins.

Trial Coins Put Up For Auction

Rebecca Morgan, director of collector services at the Royal Mint, said: “This month we are delighted to offer a sample of our trial pieces at auction for the first time. Each of the trial pieces has played an integral role in creating the final coin, and offer collectors the chance to own a part of numismatic history.”

The Royal Mint have announced that collectors will have the chance to get their hands on a number of trail pieces at auction on Sunday 26th September.

Included in the auction are the coveted Kew Gardens 50p (the UK’s rarest circulation coin) and the Three Graces (a collection that sold out in 25 minutes last December).

Rare Kew Gardens 50p

2009 Kew Gardens 50p

Considered the ‘holy grail’ of change collecting, the Kew Gardens 50p tops the Change Checker Scarcity Index time and again. In fact, this coin is so sought-after that collectors are willing to pay well over face value to get their hands on one, with our latest eBay Tracker revealing the coin currently selling for £157 on the secondary market!

However, we always urge buyer caution when purchasing a Kew Gardens 50p, as there are a number of fakes out there to be aware of. Find out how you can spot the fake Kew Gardens 50ps here.

1994 Mayflower £2 Trail Piece

1994 Mayflower Trial £2

Rare trial pieces have been seen before, often becoming very sought-after amongst collectors…

In 1994, ahead of the introduction of the UK’s first bi-metallic coin – the £2 – The Royal Mint created a trial piece. This was used by The Royal Mint to test the minting process of the new coin and to help the automatic vending industry re-calibrate their machines in preparation.

The trialled reverse design features a three-masted sailing ship. Although the ship is not named, it is likely to be the Mayflower, which set sail from Plymouth to America to establish the first permanent New-England colony. The outer ring bears the inscription Royal Mint Trial with the date, 1994.

There were just over 4,500 packs of this trial £2 issued and as the coin design was never released into circulation, it has become an incredibly rare example of a bi-metallic £2 coin.

If you own one of these £2 trial pieces you can consider yourself very lucky!

But with the upcoming auction set for the 26th September, we’re sure collectors will be excited at the chance of getting their hands on the trial piece coins offered by The Royal Mint, including that sought-after Kew Gardens 50p which we’re sure will be incredibly popular.


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How much is my coin worth? January 2021 eBay Tracker Update!

Good news Change Checkers – your latest eBay Tracker and Valuation Index is here!

Whilst the secondary market can be a bit of a minefield, we’ve put together an easy way for you to see how much the Top 10 UK coins and banknotes are selling for right now.

eBay Tracker

Find out which coins and notes have been the key movers and shakers in the updated eBay Tracker below.

We’ve seen a huge jump in price for the Undated 20p, increasing by a huge £9! This coin dropped in value in the last eBay Tracker so it’s interesting to see it climb to £50 this month.

This coin is regarded by many as the Holy Grail of change collecting, and back in 2008, the undated 20p saga encouraged an entire country to start carefully checking their coins.

Undated 20p

This mule coin came about when the new Royal Shield 20p coins were struck for circulation, with no date on the reverse. The old die was accidentally used, meaning a batch was issued with no date on either side of the coin.

The undated 20p became the first coin in over 300 years to enter circulation without a date and it’s estimated by The Royal Mint that no more than 250,000 coins made it into circulation.

So, there’s no surprises people are prepared to pay a pretty penny on the secondary market to secure one for their collection!

2018 Sir Isaac Newton 50p

There’s also been an increase in the sold prices of the 2018 Sir Isaac Newton 50p, jumping up by £6.00.

As the 2018 Sir Isaac Newton 50p is a strike your own version, this indicates that collectors are likely heading to secondary markets to get hold of these types of coins, as The Royal Mint Experience remains closed.

With less cash also being used in the past few months because of the current climate, it’s clear this has influenced collector behaviour on the secondary markets too, as people are unable to exchange coins in the same ways they were previously. This therefore drives the price up, as demand for the coin increases.

Additionally, with more time being spent at home and people seeking new hobbies to keep themselves entertained, new collectors are perhaps becoming more aware of rare and collectable coins that might be worth owning and as a result, are heading to the secondary market to get hold of one.

But will we continue to see the price of this coin rise on the secondary market as we head back to a new kind of ‘normal’? Only time will tell and we’ll have to wait for the next eBay Tracker update to find out!

As collectors are unable to source coins in the usual ways due to the current climate, it’s interesting that we’ve seen some big changes this month, as people head to secondary markets to secure coins for their collection.

Valuation Index

Overall, there’s been a 1.3 point increase value for the Top 10 UK coins and banknotes since June’s update and this is no doubt due to the increase in price for 7 of the coins in the tracker.

After an impressive spike in our last update, we’ve seen another increase in January – taking it to the highest we’ve seen since the Tracker started!

My coin isn’t on the eBay Tracker

The eBay Tracker follows the movements of the Top 10 UK coins and banknotes, however if your coin doesn’t appear on the tracker you can use our 6 point guide to help determine realistic a value for your coin.

So now that you’re up to date with our latest eBay Tracker, will you be selling any of the coins in your collection or will you continue to save them? Let us know in the comments below.

How does the eBay Tracker work?

The Change Checker eBay Tracker takes the last 9 sold prices achieved on eBay and gives the median price achieved (rounded to the nearest 50p). By taking the median, rather than an average, we avoid skewing created by one or two excessive prices achieved.

Please note that the Change Checker eBay Tracker is only ever designed to be a guide as to prices achieved on eBay. Prices may vary depending on collector demand and the quality of the coin being sold. It does not provide any guarantee as to future values of 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

January 2019 eBay Tracker Update

Colouring with Change Checker!

I don’t know about you but here at Change Checker, we’ve been getting creative in our spare time recently.

We’ve loved creating designs and patterns from our coin collections, seeing Change Checkers design their own 50p coins for our Key Worker Heroes and creating their own A-Z 10p designs too!

But our latest creative activity, has involved partnering up with Half Asleep Chris to design the very first Change Checker Colouring Sheets.

Change Checker Colouring Sheets

The Change Checker Colouring Sheets feature some of the most popular coins as a template that you can download, for you to colour in at home!

Once you’ve completed your colouring sheets, send us a photo of them by commenting on this Facebook post, or by emailing info@changechecker.org for the chance to see your design feature in our July Newsletter!

To get involved, just follow these simple steps:

Change-Checker Colouring SheetsDownload

Entries close 24th July. We can’t wait to see how you all colour in your coins!

Happy colouring!


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

Change Checker Web App Banner 2 Amends 1024x233 1 1024x233 - Your January 2019 Scarcity Index update!

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