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Posts Tagged ‘numismatics’

Why are some UK coins magnetic?

It’s a question many coin collectors ask, and so in this blog we’re going to get to the bottom of which UK coins really are magnetic and why!

Why are some UK coins magnetic?

1p and 2p coins

Prior to 1992, 1p and 2p coins were made from a bronze alloy of copper, tin and zinc.

As a result of rising prices of base metals, from 1992 onwards the composition of the coins changed to copper plated steel.

Both compositions are the same weight, diameter and design, meaning that they circulate together with no noticeable differences – other than the fact that coins with a steel core are magnetic.

The steel core of the newer coins is electroplated in copper to give them the same colour as the pre 1992 coins, so the only way to tell them apart is to use a magnet!

5p and 10p coins

As a result of metal prices rising on world markets, since January 2012 the compositions of 5p and 10p coins have been made from a plated steel, making them magnetic.

In 2013, The Royal Mint began a programme to recover old 5p and 10p coins from circulation. 330 million of new plated steel coins have been issued in their place.

In the same style as the new 1p and 2p coins, the new 5p and 10ps are electroplated, but with nickel rather than copper to give them their ‘silver’ colour.

Interesting Facts

  • When plated steel coins are attached to a magnet, the coins themselves become magnetized. With a strong magnet you can attach coins to each other and ‘dangle’ them. (The Royal Mint).
  • There are a higher percentage of magnetic 5p and 10p coins in circulation compared to 1p and 2ps.
  • The 5p and 10p coins became 11% thicker when their compositions changed.
  • In 2010, a magnetic sculpture called ‘Drop’ was created by Paul Cocksedge to encourage passers-by to attach unwanted pennies to its surface in aid of charity.

Have you noticed any magnetic coins in your change? Test it out for yourself and see if you can create your own magnetic artwork using these 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

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

Our Top 10 Coins from the Isle of Man

Are you a collector of Isle of Man coinage?

The island has released some truly beautiful coins in recent years, and as their mintage figures are typically much lower than UK coins, they are often highly sought-after by collectors…

The recent release of a second Christmas themed £2 coin has got everyone at Change Checker HQ talking, and so in this blog I’ve decided to take a look at some of our favourite Isle of Man coins!

1) 2019 Santa £2

Our Top 10 Coins from the Isle of Man
2019 Isle of Man Santa £2

The Isle of Man is renowned for their Christmas themed coins.

Traditionally the island release Christmas themed 50ps most years, however last year an incredibly popular Christmas £2 coin was released for the very first time, and this has now been followed by a second £2 this Christmas.

This year’s magical design features an enchanting portrait of Old St. Nick and bears the inscription ‘Nollick Ghennal’ which is Manx for ‘Merry Christmas’.

At the top of the coin, the distinctive Isle of Man Triskelion (three armoured legs) can be seen.

2) 2019 Peter Pan Set

Our Top 10 Coins from the Isle of Man
2019 Isle of Man Peter Pan 50p set

This year, collectors were swept off their feet by this set of 6 commemorative Peter Pan 50p coins.

These are the very first coins to feature ‘the boy who never grew up’ and the set has been issued to commemorative the 90th anniversary of Peter Pan author, JM Barrie, gifting the rights to the story to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The first coin in the series features an engraving of Peter Pan from David Wyatt’s illustration from the Oxford University Press edition and includes the iconic quote from the book, ‘Second to the right and straight on till morning’.

25,000 of each design entered circulation, but only on the Isle of Man so you’d be incredibly lucky if you managed to come across one in your UK change!

3) 2017 Triskelion £5 Coin

Our Top 10 Coins from the Isle of Man
2017 Isle of Man Triskelion £5

This £5 coin from 2017 features the Triskelion (three armoured legs) which is arguably the most recognised symbol of the island (featured on both the coat of arms and the flag).

The Isle of Man is the only country that circulates £5 coins, which means you could actually spend this coin in shops on the island!

But if you were lucky enough to have one I doubt you’d want to spend it, as it’s so unusual to have a circulation £5 coin in your change!

The coin is reasonably light when compared to our UK £5 coins. In fact, its size is 6mm smaller than the traditional UK commemorative £5 coins – so light enough to carry in your pocket!

4) 2003 Christmas 50p: The Snowman

Our Top 10 Coins from the Isle of Man
2003 Isle of Man Snowman 50p. Credit: Numista

2003 marked the very first time The Snowman featured on circulating coinage.

The Isle of Man released a limited-edition coin to mark the 25th anniversary of the release of the ‘The Snowman’ by Raymond Briggs.

Only 10,000 of these coins were ever minted, which makes it incredibly sought-after. In fact, this coin sells for well over face value on the secondary market, often fetching more than £200!

Since 2003, the Snowman has featured on a number of Isle of Man Christmas coins, and has even made two appearances on UK coins, which have been incredibly popular with collectors.

5) 1997 TT Races 50p

Our Top 10 Coins from the Isle of Man
1997 Isle of Man TT 50p. Credit: Numista

This highly sought-after 50p commemorates the 1997 TT races on the island – 90 years since the very first race in 1907.

The Isle of Man has become synonymous with the legendary TT races and each year since 1981 coins have been issued on the island to celebrate the occasion.

The 1997 coin celebrates eleven-time TT race winner Philip McCallen and is one of the most popular TT 50ps released by the Isle of Man.

Whilst there are many Isle of Man TT 50p coins in circulation, this isn’t the only denomination issued for the event…

6) 2018 TT £2 pair

Our Top 10 Coins from the Isle of Man
2018 Isle of Man TT £2 pair

£2 coins such as these have also been issued to celebrate the Isle of Man TT races.

These particular coins from 2018 mark 60 years since fan favourite ‘Mike the Bike’ first raced the International Isle of Man TT and 40 years since he returned to the event. They were officially licensed by the Isle of Man TT & Mike Haliwood foundation.

Mike Haliwood secured 14 Isle of Man victories during his racing career and his triumphant return to the TT has been described as ‘one of the most emotional moments of 20th century sport’.

Only 3,000 of each coin entered circulation on the Isle of Man, making them very hard to come by and practically impossible to find in your UK change.

7) 2011 Tosha Cat £2

Our Top 10 Coins from the Isle of Man
2011 Isle of Man Tosha Cat £2

In 2018, this coin caused a stir on Facebook coin groups and was even voted ‘Coin of the Year’ by the coin collecting community.

The £2 was actually issued in 2011 to commemorate the fourth Commonwealth Youth Games, held on the Isle of Man for the very first time.

However the coin seemed to be overlooked for the next 7 years until it piqued the interest of collectors on Facebook and prices on the secondary market started to skyrocket!

Sold prices for the coin vary and buyers must beware of fakes, however in some cases you’d be looking at parting with over £100 to get hold of one.

8) 2017 Round £1

Our Top 10 Coins from the Isle of Man

In 2017, when the UK welcomed the brand new 12-sided £1 coin, the Isle of Man confirmed they would be keeping the familiar round pound coin – making them the only British Isles country to do so.

However, their round pound was to feature a complete redesign. It now featured a Falcon and a Raven which are symbolically associated with the Island and feature on the Coat of Arms.

The new round pound features Jody Clark’s sixth effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II, which also features on coins from Crown dependencies and Commonwealth countries.

You might recognise the portrait from the £5 coin mentioned earlier as both look fairly unusual due to the inclusion of the Queen’s shoulders on the design.

9) 1978 Definitive £1

Our Top 10 Coins from the Isle of Man
1978 Isle of Man £1. Credit: Numista

When it comes to pound coins, the Isle of Man were ahead of the game…

In fact, the world’s first base-metal circulating £1 was actually issued on the Isle of Man – five years ahead of the first £1 coin issued in mainland Britain.

It features the Three Legs of Man against a map of the island on the reverse and was issued as part of the Isle of Man £1 coin series.

These old style £1 coins were withdrawn from circulation in 1983, but would certainly make for an interesting addition to any collection.

10) 1990 ‘Penny Black’ Crown

Our Top 10 Coins from the Isle of Man
1990 Isle of Man Penny Black Crown. Credit: Numista

In 1990, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first postage stamp – the ‘Penny Black Stamp’ – the Isle of Man released this striking Crown coin.

The coin features an image of the stamp which was designed by Henry Corbould in 1840, showing the profile of the young Queen Victoria.

Struck in ‘pearl black’ Copper-Nickel, this highly innovative coin was awarded with three Coin of the Year Awards – Best Crown, Most Innovative Coinage and overall Coin of the Year.

A reissued version of this coin was struck in 2015 to celebrate the 175th anniversary.

Do you collect British Isles coinage and are you luck enough to have any of these beautiful Isle of Man coins in your change? Let us know in the comments below!


Celebrate the festive season with the BRAND NEW 2019 Isle of Man Christmas Santa £2 coin

Our Top 10 Coins from the Isle of Man

The 2019 Isle of Man Christmas Santa £2 coin is a truly unique festive addition to any collection this Christmas season, or could even make the perfect Christmas gift or stocking filler for a friend or relative!

Click here to secure yours in Brilliant Uncirculated quality.

The 2020 Dinosaur coins – What we know so far…

2020 is already shaping up to be a big year for coin collectors, as recent Royal Proclamations have revealed an exciting line-up of new coins to look forward to next year.

And we’ve just heard the biggest news yet… In fact, this news is so colossal that it’s sure to shake the coin collecting community!

That’s because the Royal Proclamation on the 8th November has revealed a brand new series of dinosaur themed 50p coins will be released next year.

The 2020 Dinosaur coins - What we know so far...

Three dino themed 50ps

Three designs have been announced, including the Megalosaurus, Iguanodon, and Hylaeosaurus.

‘Megalosaurus’ is Greek for ‘great lizard’ and at seven to eight metres long it certainly lives up to its name! In 1676 the first Megalosurus bone was discovered in Oxfordshire and publication of the find is thought to make this dinosaur the very first to be described in scientific literature.

Iguanodon were large herbivores with distinctive thumb-like spikes. After Megalosaurus, these were the second type of dinosaur to be formally recognised.

Hylaeosaurus was an armoured dinosaur with at least three long spines along its shoulders. However, much of the anatomy of this dinosaur is still unknown due to the fact that very limited remains have been found.

The UK’s first dinosaur coins

Excitingly, these will be the first ever UK dinosaur coins and I for one can’t wait to see these roarsome coins let loose!

Of course the designs and release dates are top secret for now, but if you’d like to be kept up to date with all the latest information about the 2020 Dinosaur 50p coins, simply sign up using the form below.

Stay up to date with all the latest 2020 Dinosaur 50p news…

Fill in your details below to be kept up to date with all the latest news about the 2020 Dinosaur 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

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

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