Change Checker has launched the 50p “Scarcity Index”, which tracks which circulating 50p coins are the most scarce and collectable.
The index uses a unique combination of mintage, collecting and swap data to give the most up-to-date picture of today’s 50p coin collecting market.
The top 5
There’s no surprise to find Kew Gardens at the top of the list. With a mintage of just 210,000, it is also the least owned and most requested swap. The next 4 scarcest coins are all from the 2012 Olympics – Football, Triathlon, Judo and Wrestling.
The recent Beatrix Potter 50p coins also rank highly, with Jemima Puddle-Duck and Squirrel Nutkin coming in at numbers 6 and 7 – based largely on their low level of ownership and high swap requests, as official mintages are yet to be confirmed by the Royal Mint.
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 Beatrix Potter issues being a classic 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. Whilst Kew Gardens 50p coins command prices on eBay of between £70 and £100, other coins towards the top of the scarcity index typically achieve a premium of roughly 10 – 12 times face value.
But don’t forget the joy of Change Collecting is that you have always have a chance of finding any one of these coins in your change – even Kew Gardens – you just have to be sharp-eyed.
What about £1 and £2 Coins?
The £1 Scarcity Index has already been published for the round £1 coins and, because they are no longer being issued, this is now set in stone. Change Checker will be releasing the £2 Scarcity Index later in April.
To receive a FREE notification when the updated Scarcity Indexes are published (including the new £2 Scarcity Index), please complete your details below:
Get FREE Scarcity Index Updates
The Rio 2016 Olympic Games are in full swing and we can hardly believe it’s been 4 years since London 2012. It’s about time we revisited the iconic UK Olympic Fifty Pence series.
Without doubt, the 29 coin series created a storm among collectors – millions rose to the challenge of collecting all 29, and for many, it marked the start of their interest in coins.
The Royal Mint estimates that as many as 75% of the Olympic 50p coins have been removed from circulation by collectors.
Do you own the rarest Olympic 50p?
Olympic 50ps have long been a favourite amongst collectors, but did you know that only 1,125,500 Football fifty pence pieces entered circulation? It’s definitely the rare one to look out for.
Although the Football 50p narrowly holds the title of the rarest sport in the series, there were still over one million of those struck for circulation. To hold the honourable title as “rare”, we must look beyond the official Royal Mint circulation figures…
The withdrawn Aquatics ‘minting error’ Olympic 50p
The Aquatics 50p which we are familiar with today is actually a modified version which removed the waves passing over the swimmer’s face.
Despite the original coin being withdrawn from circulation and the design adapted – there are still a few out there.
Although the exact quantity of the original Aquatics design remains a mystery, we know it’s not unusual for these special coins to exchange hands for close to £1000… not a bad return on a 50p coin!
2009 Athletics Olympic 50p
In 2009, nine-year old Florence Jackson became the youngest person to design a coin for circulation in the UK. Her Athletics Olympic 50p design was the ultimate winner of a Blue Peter competition.
Although you may recognise this coin, you may not know that a rare version of this coin exists. When the competition winner was revealed, only 100,000 special edition Blue Peter coin packs were released with a 2009 dated coin – making it the only Olympic 50p without a 2011 date.
That makes this 2009 Athletics Olympic 50p more than twice as rare as the famous Kew Gardens 50p.
The rarest of the series
It is without doubt that the gold versions of each 50p remain the rarest of the collection.
Unfortunately for collectors, obtaining one of these is nearly impossible as only one gold version of each design was presented to the respective winning designer.
Aside from the precious metal content, their unique status and significance rank them as potentially the most valuable UK 50p coins in existence.
Is this the 30th Olympic 50p?
To the delight of many Olympic 50p collectors, this year the Royal Mint issued a special 50p to wish Team GB success for the Rio 2016 Games.
The coins obverse features a swimmer with the Team GB logo, the Olympic rings and the inscription ‘TEAM GB’. Designed by Tim Sharp, the coin has been officially endorsed by Team GB and celebrates the spirit of British Olympians – a must have for all Olympic 50p Collectors.
Click here to own the coin that will be popular with coin collectors and sports enthusiasts alike.
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