Posts Tagged ‘numismatics’

WINNERS of the 2018 Change Checker Awards announced!

Change Checker Awards Logo 2018 01 1 - WINNERS of the 2018 Change Checker Awards announced!


In November we opened the 2018 Change Checker Awards to celebrate the very best people in the world of change collecting, and I must say that it’s been incredible to hear all of your stories from the last year.

In fact, it’s been a really tough job deciding on the winners, but with thanks to our panel of judges from the Change Checker team and Coin Collector magazine, our well deserved winners have now been selected…

Checker Checker of the Year


Chris Goodman

Chris was nominated by his girlfriend, Chloe who has learnt so much about coins because of him. His passion for coins has grown since he was a child, spending hours in antique shops looking at all the old coins. When it comes to his own collection, Chris is very particular about keeping everything in order, which is why he uses his Change Checker album to store his proudest belongings – coins.

As he carefully researches every coin he owns, Chris takes great pleasure and satisfaction in passing on this knowledge to other collectors and explaining the meaning behind each of his coins to the people he meets. He also owns all of the Change Checker accessories to help him with his collection.

Congratulations Chris – keep up the great work!


Runners up:

Paula Treleaven

Paula was nominated by Garry Williams for helping members to send and swap their coins throughout the year. She is looking after her husband who has cancer and working, but still manages to find time to keep coin collectors happy and so has been put forward for this award as a thank you for everything that she has done this year.

Susan Walters

Susan was nominated by her husband Robert for her enthusiasm for coin collecting, which started with her collection of Elizabeth II coins and has since grown to encompass £2 and 50p coins as well. She has also led swapping sessions at work and home, sharing her passion for collecting with others, even as her mobility declines. Great work Susan, well done!


Junior Change Checker of the Year


Isla MacDonald (10 years)

Isla has found a special interest in coin collecting which started after she discovered an unusual 50p, which her father helped her to research. After keeping on eye out for other coins, by the end of her first day as a Change Checker, she had found three more and from there her interest has continued to such an extent that she has collected 40 50p coins and 30 £2 coins.

The local shopkeepers now keep aside any special coins for Isla as she always asks for them in her change. This interest has become infectious with her family, and even family friends now actively look out for those special remaining coins to complete her collection.

Isla has recently been covering World War 1 in school and was delighted to take in the First World War £2 coin to show her teacher and the class. She will not spend any of ehr special coins, but will help others who are starting out by swapping her doubles for normal coins.

Well done Isla!


Runners up:

Sophie Welch (15 years)

Sophie started showing an interest in coins nearly two years ago after noticing the different £2 and 50p designs. She soon got her first Change Checker collectors album and since then her collection has grown. Her interest in Art led her to design a coin in 2018 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing. After contacting The Royal Mint to share her design, Sophie was invited to spend a day at the Royal Mint and was even featured in an article on their blog. Sophie is certain that she wants to design coins for The Royal Mint when she is older. Great work Sophie!

Esme Hurley (8 years)

Esme has been an avid coin collector since the release of the first Beatrix Potter coins back in 2016. She now collects all coin denominations and checks every bit of change she receives and has drawn many members of her family and close friends into her collection hobby to assist in completing her ever growing collection. Esme loves to use the swap app and has travelled to the Change Checker live events. Most recently, Esme did a small presentation to her fellow cub scouts all about her coin collection and earned the cub collector badge. Well done Esme!


Coin Design of the Year

It comes as no surprise that the 2018 Coin Design of the Year is awarded to The Snowman 50p.

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Natasha Ratcliffe’s dynamic design knocks Aaron West off the top spot for the first time two years, and it’s clear to see why she is the deserving winner this year. This Christmas 50p issued to mark the 40th anniversary of the publication of Raymond Briggs’ much-loved festive tale The Snowman™ depicts the boy and the snowman flying through the night sky above Brighton Pier and has been the most sought-after 50p of the year.

Congratulations Natasha!


Coin Story of the Year

The winner of the 2018 Coin Story of the Year Award goes to Lee Boyce from This Money for his breaking news article covering this year’s biggest reveal – the A-Z 10p coins!


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Lee Boyce from This is Money. Coin Story of the Year 2018


Lee said, “I’m delighted to receive the award for Coin Story of the Year – and it’s sound as a pound that This is Money has been recognised for our excellent coverage on all things numismatical.

We always like to get our two pennies across in stories, and to make sure that anything we write about coins is accurate – not using overhyped and inaccurate information.

Thanks to Change Checker for the award – we will endeavour to continue with our solid coin stories into 2019.”


A big thank you once again to Coin Collector for supporting us this year and of course a huge congratulations to all of our winners and all the fantastic entries we had this year. We’d like to thank each and every one of you for your continued support in 2018 and hope that 2019 is a fantastic year of Change Checking for you all!



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

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NEW UK Coin Series celebrates one of Britain’s most iconic attractions…

The Tower of London has been a symbol of royal power for nearly 1,000 years.

Built during the Norman conquest in 1066, Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and fortress of the Tower of London has been used as a prison, jewel house, mint and even a menagerie.

It’s been home to kings and queens, thieves and traitors and lions and bears. But it’s the Ravens that have been a constant presence in the tower and legend has it that if they ever leave, the kingdom will fall…

In tribute to these guardians of the Tower, The Royal Mint has issued a brand new UK £5 coin as part of the four coin series celebrating the history of the Tower of London, one of Britain’s most iconic attractions, which will eventually include coins depicting the following:

  • The Yeoman Warders
  • The Ceremony of the Keys
  • The Crown Jewels

2019 The Legend of the Raven £5

AT 2019 The Tower of London The Legend of the Ravens 2019 UK 5 Pound Brilliant Uncirculated Coin 1 - NEW UK Coin Series celebrates one of Britain’s most iconic attractions…

2019 The Tower of London, The Legend of the Raven £5


‘Raven Mythology’

Featuring a Raven with a bird’s-eye view of the Tower in the background, this coin captures the illustrious history of the iconic British landmark and its most famous residents.

The Tower’s ‘raven mythology’ is thought to be a Victorian flight of fantasy and has been a source of many legends, including the fate of Greenwich observatory.

It’s said that King Charles II disliked the raven’s droppings falling onto the telescope at the Tower’s observatory,and so ordered that the ravens must go. However, superstition stated that if the ravens left, the Tower would fall and Charles would lose his kingdom. Ever the pragmatist, the King decided that the observatory must go to Greenwich and the ravens must stay in the Tower. 


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Ravens at the Tower of London. Credit: Wikipedia


Yeoman Warders

Since Tudor times, the Yeoman Warders have been guarding the Tower of London. Nicknamed as ‘Beefeaters’, they originally formed the Yeoman of the Guard, which was the monarch’s personal team of bodyguards.

The Yeoman Warders were responsible for looking after the prisoners in the Tower and protecting the crown jewels, however nowadays they also conduct guided tours of the Tower and are an important icon for Britain, resplendent in their red uniforms and a favoured tourist attraction.

They need to be between 40 and 55 years old on appointment and hold at least 22 years’ military service, during which time they must have reached the rank of warrant officer and to have been awarded the long service and good conduct medal.


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Yeoman Warders. Credit:


The Ceremony of the Keys

For over 700 years, as the clock strikes ten, the words ‘Halt! Who comes there?’ echo in the Tower of London. The ancient Ceremony of the Keys is a formal locking and unlocking of the Tower gates, which started in the mid 1300s on order of King Edward III after he entered the Tower unannounced one night and was able to walk straight in, unchallenged!

Tradition states that at exactly seven minutes to ten at night, the Chief Yeoman Warder of the Tower must leave the Byward Tower, wearing a red Watch Coat and Tudor Bonnet and carrying a lantern. He takes with him a very special set of keys – the Queen’s Keys.

A military escort meets him at the Bloody Tower and at 10pm he moves two paces forward, raises his Tudor bonnet and says: ‘God preserve Queen Elizabeth’. This is answered by ‘Amen’ from the guards and ‘The Last Post’ played on a bugle.

The keys are then taken back to the Queen’s House and handed to the Queen’s representative at the Tower, The Resident Governor.

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The ceremony of the King’s keys. Credit:


Crown Jewels

Several expansions were made to the Tower throughout the reign of Kings Richard I, Henry III and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries, however in general the original layout remains consistent. It suffered structural damage during the Blitz, but this was repaired after the Second World War and the Tower was opened to the public, to marvel at the Tower’s most esteemed treasures – the Crown Jewels!

Not only a powerful symbol of the British Monarchy, the jewels have deep religious and cultural significance in British history and are used by HRH Queen Elizabeth for important ceremonies and royal duties.

However, the 12th century anointing spoon and three early 17th century swords are the only four original jewels left after the English Civil War in 1649, when the Crown Jewels were destroyed and the monarchy abolished. The jewels were remade for Charles II’s coronation in 1661 following Oliver Cromwell’s death.

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Crown Jewels. Credit: Pinterest


Infamous Prisoners

From the late 15th century and during its peak period as a prison in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Tower housed some of Britain’s most notorious criminals, including Guy Fawkes, Anne Boleyn and even Elizabeth I before she became queen. 

For those in a position of wealth, serving time at the Tower could be relatively comfortable, with some captive kings allowed to go out on hunting or shopping trips and even allowed to bring in their servants. However, for those less fortunate, the phrase “sent to the Tower” would conjure up gruesome images of torture and execution, such was its fearsome reputation.

Despite this reputation, only 7 people were executed at the Tower before the World Wars of the 20th century, where 12 men were then executed for espionage.


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Tower of London. Credit:


Royal Mint

From 1272 until 1810, the Tower of London was home to The Royal Mint. Coins of the realm were produced in a dedicated area in the outer ward known as ‘Mint Street’. This dangerous task involved working with sorching furnaces, deadly chemicals and poisonous gases and many Mint workers suffered injuries including loss of fingers and eyes from the process.

In the 1600s, coins were no longer made by hand, but instead a screw-operated press was introduced. However, risk still befell the Mint workers, as they faced severe punishments should they be caught tampering with or forging coins.

In 1810, the Mint moved from the Tower to a new site at Tower Hill and eventually on to its present location in Wales to allow for expansion.


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Working on Mint Street. Credit:


Now that the first coin in the Royal Mint’s brand new four coin series celebrating the Tower of London has been released, I’m sure £5 coin collectors will be looking forward to building up this fascinating collection.

Let us know what you think about the design and which coin in the series you’re most looking forward to seeing.



Secure your Tower of London Raven £5

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You can now own the Raven £5 coin to kick start your Tower of London collection.

Click here to secure yours in Brilliant Uncirculated quality today >>

Vote for the overall Coin Design of the Year 2018!

Since announcing the Coin Design of the Year category as part of our 2018 Change Checker Awards, the votes have been pouring in for your favourite 2018 coin from each nomination, and we now have our results!

You’ve shortlisted the top 4 coins, so we’ve been joined by Luke and Rowena in this video to reveal them to you and open up the vote for the overall Coin Design of the Year 2018:



So now it’s over to Change Checkers to pick the overall winner out of our shortlisted top 4 coins for 2018. Cast your vote using the poll below and let us know why you think your favourite coin deserves to be crowned the champion in the comments section at the bottom of this blog.


coin design of the year - Vote for the overall Coin Design of the Year 2018!


To find out more about the Change Checker Awards and to submit your nomination for the Change Checker of the Year or Junior Change Checker of the Year 2018, click here.

The lucky winners will be announced on the 7th of December, alongside the Coin Design of the Year and Coin Story of the Year.

Best of luck!



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 - Vote for the overall Coin Design of the Year 2018!

Sign up today at: