Following the launch of the Change Checker “Scarcity Index” early last year, the final 2017 Quarter 4 Index has now been published.
50p Scarcity Index
It’s of little surprise that Kew Gardens maintains its top spot as the UK’s most sought after circulation coin with a perfect score of 100.
The mintage figures for the 2017 50p coins were released just before Christmas and have had an effect on the Scarcity Index scores. Interestingly, the Sir Isaac Newton 50p only scores a 3/100 which is lower than we anticipated. This is mainly due to the large number of Change Checkers who list having the coin in their collection. However, we are expecting this score to increase during the next quarter due to the low mintage figure, of just 1.8 million, driving demand.
Jemima Puddle-Duck remains the most scarce Beatrix Potter 50p, with Tom Kitten and Benjamin also scoring quite highly with a score of 13 and 7 respectively. Tom Kitten and Benjamin Bunny were only released into circulation in December so requests for swaps are high. Mintage figures for these coins are also relatively high so as more people find these coins in their change it is possible these scores will decrease slightly.
Interestingly, the mintage figure for the Jeremy Fisher 50p coin has been released, however the coin is not yet in circulation.
£2 Scarcity Index
There’s not a lot of movement in our Quarter 4 £2 “Scarcity Index” update.
The Commonwealth Games Wales £2 coin takes top spot from the Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland. This is down to the very large number of swap requests for this coin in the last quarter. At 99/100 the Northern Ireland coin is still very scarce (as are the other two coins in the Commonwealth Games series) and it’s very possible it will retake the number 1 spot next quarter.
We are still waiting for the Jane Austen and WWI Aviation £2 coins to be released into circulation, hence why they do not feature on our Index. We await the release of these and their mintage figures with great interest, could they be low like the Sir Isaac Newton 50p? It is possible.
How the 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 recent 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 160 times face value on eBay.
What about £1 Coins?
Today marks 20 years since the small 50p was first released into circulation.
To celebrate this anniversary we’ve taken a look back at the history of the 50p over the last 48 years…
You can download our infographic in a handy PDF format: A History of the 50p coin
Have I just found a rare coin? It’s a question which collectors ask daily, and to help answer it, we’ve put together these charts showing the TOP 10 rarest coins for each of the four denominations on the Change Checker App.
How does your coin stack up against the others?
- £2 Coins – View in the Change Checker App
The Northern Ireland 2002 Commonwealth Games is the rarest £2 coin currently in circulation – in fact the four designs in the 2002 Commonwealth Games series occupy the four top spots. Others to look out for include both 2008 and 2012 Olympic Handover Two Pound Coin designs.
- £1 Coins – View in the Change Checker App
The rarest One Pound coin currently in circulation is the Edinburgh £1 – have you ever spotted one in your change? The Royal Arms is a common design which is sometimes ignored, but remember to look out for one with a 2008 date – that’s actually the fourth rarest.
- Olympic 50p Coins – View in the Change Checker App
The Olympic Fifty Pence series is very popular with Change Checkers, but in terms of rarity, there really isn’t much separating the top 10 designs. The Football ‘Offside Rule’ 50p was certainly one of the most talked about designs, and it also narrowly ranks as the scarcest.
- 50p Coins – View in the Change Checker App
As mentioned in our previous blog the rarest coin, of any denomination, is the Kew Gardens 50p. Its status as the most scarce coin has been well publicised, and as a result, many are hoarded by collectors. The chart below illustrates just how rare it is compared with other Fifty Pence designs.
Hopefully our charts will help you identify which coins you should be looking for in your loose change, and remember you can Find, Collect and Swap all your coins for FREE with the Change Checker App: www.changechecker.org