Discover how sought-after your coins are with the latest Scarcity Index update!
This information has been compiled using data from the Change Checker Swap Centre (find out how it works here) and presented in the easy to use indexes below, with arrows to signify how many places up or down a coin has moved since the last Scarcity Index.
A-Z 10p Scarcity Index
There has been quite a bit of movement on the A-Z 10p Scarcity Index since the last update, which is to be expected as more of these coins start turning up in people’s change and duplicates are swapped.
Moving up 7 places to take the top spot on the index is Z for Zebra Crossing, which is now the most sought-after A-Z 10p.
Amongst the top 4 scarcest coins on the index is the N for NHS 10p, which has also jumped up 7 places, although the biggest upward movement actually goes to A for Angel of the North. This coin has managed to move up the index by 12 places and now sits in the middle of the pack.
Conversely, the biggest downward movement goes to K for King Arthur (previously at the top of the index) which has now dropped by 21 places to sit amongst the bottom 5 coins.
It’s important to note that the A-Z 10p Scarcity Index is currently based on estimated mintage figures, assuming each coin has been struck in equal quantities. This includes the extra 2.1 million coins released in 2019. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens to the index once the official mintage figures are confirmed.
50p Scarcity Index
There’s no surprises at the top end of the 50p Scarcity Index, with the Kew Gardens remaining on top and the next top 5 coins remaining unchanged.
Whilst there has been some small movement amongst the Olympic 50ps, aside from the Kew Gardens, these coins dominate the top 17 places on the index.
In fact, the only non-Olympic 50ps to feature on the first half of the index are the Kew Gardens, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Sir Isaac Newton and Suffragettes 50ps, which remain in the same position as the last update.
The biggest upwards movement for the 50p index actually goes to Canoeing and the Battle of Hastings, both of which have moved up by 6 places.
The Battle of Hastings 50p was re-issued this year as part of the 50th Anniversary of the 50p Military Set, which might have increased demand for the circulation coin.
Both Fencing and Ironside 50ps have actually moved 8 places down the index since the last update, although it’s worth noting that Ironside moved up 9 places on the last index, so is mostly likely just settling back into place following increased popularity last quarter.
We’re eagerly waiting for when the mintage figures for 2018 coins will be released so that we can update the Scarcity Index and add some new coins into the mix!
£2 Scarcity Index
There’s been quite a shuffle on the £2 index this quarter and whilst the Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland £2 remains on top, the other Commonwealth Games coins have had a move around.
In fact, the Commonwealth Games Wales £2 has now been overtaken by Olympic Centenary and King James Bible which have managed to break up the Commonwealth Games coins by pushing Wales down to 6th place on the index.
The biggest increase goes to the Gunpowder Plot £2, which has moved up the index by 7 places to now sit nearer the middle of the pack.
Rugby World Cup has taken a big hit this quarter and has actually moved down 10 places to second from the bottom.
This has effectively bumped up the bottom few coins by one or two places each.
It will be really interesting to see how the £2 index will change in future if more £2 coins enter circulation and mix up the rankings.
How your Scarcity Index works
Generally collectors have had to rely upon mintage figures to identify the scarcest coins. But they only tell part of the story. Trying to find a good quality coin from 15 – 20 years ago, even for a higher mintage issue, is much more challenging than a more recent issue, as coins become damaged over time and are ultimately removed from circulation.
Additionally, some designs are more hoarded than others by people who might not normally collect coins – the poignant First World War £2 Coin series being an example. Finally, it can be up to a couple of years before the Royal Mint eventually confirms the actual mintage for an issue.
That’s why we have combined the mintage information with two other key pieces of information.
- How many of each design are listed as “collected” by Change Checkers, indicating the relative ease of finding a particular coin.
- The number of times a design has been requested as a swap over the previous 3 months, showing the current level of collector demand.
Importantly, as new coins are released and popularity rises and falls across different designs the Scarcity Index will be updated quarterly allowing Change Checkers to track the relative performance of the UK’s circulation coins.
How much are my coins worth?
The Scarcity Index does not necessarily equate to value but it is certainly an effective indicator. For example, the Kew Gardens 50p coin commands a premium of up to 200 times face value on eBay.
You can use the 6 point guide to help you determine a more realistic value for your coins.
What about £1 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
Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app
To celebrate 50 years since the release of the first seven sided coin in 1969, in January The Royal Mint released a set of five carefully curated commemorative edition 50p coins, including the UK’s most sought-after 50p in circulation, the Kew Gardens.
These coins were issued in Base Proof, Silver Proof and Gold Proof, but within just two hours of going on sale, the entire range completely sold out!
Many collectors were left feeling disappointed after missing out on the chance to own this set, however today The Royal Mint has released a Brilliant Uncirculated edition to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 50p.
Find out about the coins featured in this set below…
The very first 50p coin issued in 1969 was designed by Christopher Ironside and featured the seated Britannia alongside a lion.
This coin was issued between 1969 and 2008, after which The Royal Mint held a public competition to redesign the reverse of UK coins, with Matthew Dent’s winning shield design featuring on the reverse of definitive 50p coins since.
It seems only fitting therefore that the first 50p chosen to commemorate the coin’s 50th birthday is the ‘New Pence’ Britannia featuring Ironside’s design, a firm favourite for collectors, representing a numismatic milestone for Britain.
Girl Guides 50p
Within this set you can see not only the Britannia, but also the Girl Guides 50p which was issued in 2010 to celebrate 100 years of Girlguiding in the UK.
Girlguiding began in the UK after Robert Baden-Powell asked his sister Agnes to start a group especially for girls that would run in a similar way to the scouting movement he founded in 1907.
The trefoil Girlguiding logo seen on the reverse of the coin represents the threefold promise of the Guides, and is the focus of this commemorative 50p which celebrates the centenary of the organisation.
The next coin in the set is the 2007 Scouting 50p. The Scouting movement was started in 1907 by Lord Robert Baden-Powell at an experimental camp in 1907 on Brownsea Island in Dorset.
Baden-Powell was a decorated soldier, talented artist and free-thinker who believed in teaching boys practical outdoor activities and resourcefulness.
‘Be prepared’ became the motto of the scouting movement and features on the design of this commemorative 50p which was issued in 2007 to mark 100 years of Scouting in the UK,
Roger Bannister 50p
Another firm favourite which features in this set is the 2004 Roger Bannister 50p.
On 6 May 1954, 25-year old medical student Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile barrier, celebrated by this 50p issue. His time of 3mins 59.4 seconds was achieved at the Iffley Road track in Oxford and watched by around 3000 spectators.
This 50p is unusual in the sense that it is very rare for the achievement of a living person to be celebrated on a coin.
UK’s scarcest 50p – Kew Gardens
These retrospective reverse designs taken from the last 50 years create a wonderful set of coins to commemorate the 50p coin, however we all know that the coin collectors are most excited about is the re-issue of the Kew Gardens 50p.
Initially when the coin was released in 2009 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, its rarity was overlooked.
However in 2014 The Royal Mint revealed just how scarce this coin really is, with only 210,000 coins being struck. From this moment, prices on the secondary market began to skyrocket and collectors have since been desperate to add the coin to their collection, regarding the coin as one of the biggest prizes in the collecting world.
The 2019 re-issue of the most highly collected UK coin is a chance for collectors who have not already got this coin in their collection to finally own a genuine Kew, as many fakes have unfortunately been doing the rounds on the secondary market. Find out how to spot a Fake Kew Gardens here >>
Following the popularity of the Base, Silver and Coin Proof sets, we expect these Brilliant Uncirculated coins to be very sought-after.
Will you be securing the set for your collection?
Secure this iconic set, including the 2019 re-issued Kew Gardens 50p
This set is now available to order in Brilliant Uncirculated quality.
As collectors, we often find ourselves focusing on the commemorative coins that turn up in our change, but how often do we pay attention to the definitive designs?
We wouldn’t normally combine definitive and commemorative mintage figures into one chart, however the comparative figures give us an interesting insight into the change in our pockets and actually go to show why the definitive coin designs deserve your attention…
50p Mintage Figures
Our latest charts featuring the updated commemorative coin mintage figures for circulation coins revealed the 2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p as the second rarest UK 50p in circulation after the Kew Gardens, with a mintage of just 1,801,500. This knocked Jemima Puddle Duck off the second spot with a whopping 298,500 less coins being struck.
Change Checkers had already shown a great response to the Sir Isaac Newton coin, voting it their favourite coin design of the year in 2017. But now, as we delve deeper into the mintage figures for not only commemorative 50p coins but also the definitive designs, an unlikely rival has pipped the 2017 Isaac Newton to the post to claim the title of the second rarest UK 50p coin in circulation…
You might be surprised by the second rarest 50p in circulation…
The chart above features the mintage figures for every commemorative and definitive UK 50p coin in circulation and whilst the Kew Gardens still remains king, it came as a surprise that the second rarest 50p was actually a definitive rather than a commemorative design.
The 2017 Royal Shield 50p has a mintage of just 1,800,000 which means there are 1,500 less coins than the 2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p. This is by far the lowest mintage figure for any definitive 50p coin, with the next rarest definitive coin having almost double the amount of coins struck – the 2008 Britannia with a mintage of 3,500,000.
Definitive 50p coin designs
Christopher Ironside’s Britannia design featured on all UK definitive coins from their first appearance in 1969 with the words ‘NEW PENCE’ inscribed above. The inscription was revised in 1982 to say ‘FIFTY PENCE’ and this design remained unchanged until 2008, when Matthew Dent’s Royal Shield design was introduced, featuring the third and fourth quarters of the Royal Arms.
It comes as no surprise that the majority of the definitive designs can be found towards the bottom of the chart, with the most common UK 50p in circulation being the 1997 Britannia. The old larger 50p and this smaller one were both dated 1997, however the larger coin was only struck as year sets, whereas the smaller circulated in very large numbers, with a mintage of 456,364,100.
The fact that the 2017 Benjamin Bunny commemorative 50p features in amongst the definitive designs goes to show just how many of this design were struck and how likely you’ll be to find one in your change.
We haven’t included the Olympic 50p coins in the mintage chart as this was a specially struck series, with low mintages figures for each coin. You can see the Olympic 50p mintage figures here >>
£2 Mintage Figures
When it comes to the £2 coins, the Commonwealth Games are some of the rarest in circulation. In fact, all four coins would be sat at the top of the mintage charts if it wasn’t for two 2015 coins…
The rarest definitive £2 coin revealed…
Many collectors will be aware of the 2015 Navy £2‘s low mintage figure of 650,000, making it the third rarest UK £2 coin in circulation, however many of us may not know that this coin is in fact joint third, as a definitive design from the same year also holds the same low mintage figure.
In 2015, the new definitive £2 coin was introduced, with a design featuring the Britannia, replacing the Technology design which had featured on the coin since 1997. Britannia has featured on a British coin in one way or another for more than 300 years, apart from after 2008 when she was dropped from the 50p coin. She received a welcome return to British coinage for the 2015 definitive £2, but with so few coins being struck, this coin has become the third rarest UK £2 coin in circulation.
The 2016 version of the coin had a higher mintage of 2,925,000, but this is still incredibly low when compared to the 1998 Technology £2, which has a mintage of 91,110,375.
Of course the most common £2 coin you’re likely to come across in your change is the Technology £2, which dominates the bottom of the chart. The rarest of the Technology £2 coins is actually the 2005 issue, with a mintage of 3,837,250, making it the eighteenth rarest UK £2 in circulation.
You may have noticed a lack of 2017 coins on the £2 chart as to date The Royal Mint haven’t confirmed if they will enter circulation. Based on The Royal Mint’s figures, we know that no 2017 Britannia coins were struck for circulation.
I was certainly surprised by the rarity of some of the definitive designs shown on the charts above and will be checking the dates of the coins in my change very carefully to see if I can find any rarer ones for myself, but will you be doing the same?
Your chance to own the 2017 Britannia £2
This coin wasn’t struck for circulation, however you can own this coin as part of the 2017 Royal Mint Annual set.
But you’ll have to be quick, as this set is no longer on sale at The Royal Mint.