Posts Tagged ‘Rare Coins’

UPDATE: How rare is my coin? A Change Checker guide to UK coin mintages

You might remember our blog from last year reviewing 2016 coin mintages, but we’ve also updated our Change Checker Guide to UK coin mintages which includes all the details we have so far on the coins issued in 2017.

Have you managed to find any yet?


Change Checker Graph 50p 2017 Figures amends 518x1024 518x1024 - UPDATE: How rare is my coin? A Change Checker guide to UK coin mintages

Updated mintages including 2017 dated 50p coins


Not surprisingly, Kew Gardens remains king of the 50p coins, with Jemima Puddle Duck also sitting in top three, however a new contender has knocked this sought-after Beatrix Potter 50p off second spot, as the 2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p takes 2nd place just below Kew Gardens.

The 2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p was issued to commemorate the achievements of one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution, as well as being master at The Royal Mint for three decades. Although this coin comes nowhere near to the Kew Gardens’ scarce mintage of 210,000 and is closer to Jemima Puddle Duck’s mintage of 2,100,000, still only 1,800,000 of these coins were minted, meaning our top three each have at least 1 million less coins in circulation than any other 50p.

Other newcomers to our updated UK mintage guide include the 2017 Beatrix Potter coins – Jeremy Fisher, Tom Kitten, Benjamin Bunny and Peter Rabbit. These four coins have fairly high mintage figures, with Peter Rabbit in fact having the highest mintage figure of all circulation 50ps at 19,300,000. This is thought to be due to the staggering popularity of the 2016 Beatrix Potter coins and high demand for the Peter Rabbit coin in particular. It will be incredibly interesting to see what the mintage figures for the 2018 Beatrix Potter characters will be.

But what about the 2017 £2 coins?

We haven’t been able to include the 2017 Jane Austen £2 or the  WW1 Aviation £2 coins in our charts yet as the mintage figures are yet to be released, however you can view our previous £2 mintage figures here. There hasn’t been any feedback from Change Checkers finding these coins in circulation but we’re hoping they’ll turn up soon. We will of course be the first to update you as soon as we have more information on these coins.

So far in 2018, seven new 50ps have been released, including the Representation of the People Act, Peter Rabbit, Flopsy Bunny, Tailor of Gloucester, Mrs Tittlemouse, Paddington at the Station and Paddington at the Palace. As far as we’re aware the coins have not entered circulation and therefore we don’t expect the mintage figures to be released for quite a while.

Want to add the 2017 Jane Austen £2 to your collection?

jane austen - UPDATE: How rare is my coin? A Change Checker guide to UK coin mintages

Own it today in Brilliant Uncirculated quality. Secure yours here >>

Discover the Treasure Hidden in your Holiday Change!

Summer is right around the corner and as we start thinking about jetting off on holiday for some fun in the sun, it’s time to organise that all important foreign currency.

But have you ever thought about checking your holiday money for hidden treasures and rare coins?

Having recently returned from a two week holiday in Japan, I’ve got foreign currency on my mind and a few leftover Yen in my pocket!

Despite the growing use of credit and debit cards in Japan, the country still relies largely on cash for daily spending, making coins an indispensable aspect of living – although it did take me some time to feel comfortable handling their 500, 100 and 50 Yen coins! Other denominations of Japanese currency include 20, 10, 5 and 1 Yen coins and 1,000, 5,000 and 10,000 Yen notes, with 10,000 Yen converting to roughly 65 Pounds.

Since returning to England, I’ve begun to wonder what some of these coins might be worth…

The 5 Yen coin is said to be the luckiest of all because of the way the Japanese pronunciation of the coin sounds – “Go-en” –which is the same as the word for destiny in Japanese and the expression for good luck.

When visiting the many Shinto shrines around the country, I noticed people giving 5 Yen coins as donations, and souvenirs of the coin were available to buy, decorated with ribbons and chains through the handy hole in the middle, which can be used to string many coins together.

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Lucky 5 Yen coins at a Japanese Shinto shrine. Credit

Roughly converting to a mere 3 Pence, these coins have sold online for much higher than their face value. If dated before 1959 they could be worth about £7 if in uncirculated condition. Coins dated 1957 are scarce and could be worth around £20 in uncirculated condition.

Japan might not be everyone’s typical holiday location, but you too could discover a hidden treasure when you return from your next holiday, with many European, US and Australian coins proving to be very collectable.

Lucy Mackenzie, our Head of Numismatics says, “I would recommend they do their research before they travel to their destination and pay close attention to their change as they could find a rare coin or mis-strike.

“The minting process is never completely exempt from human error and mistakes happen, when it comes to coins these mistakes can often be worth a lot money to sharp-eyed collectors.”

So which holiday destinations do we deem to be the ‘hot spots’ for rare coin hunting?

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Currency from around the world.



Europe is certainly a popular and convenient location for us Brits abroad, but before you think about getting rid of those Euros when you return, keep your eyes peeled for the special edition 2 Euros which have been sold for up to fourteen times face value!

Most sought after editions include the 2011 2 Euro Europa from Greece, the 2008 2 Euro Human Rights coin from Finland, 2005 Austrian state contract coin and the 2007 Monaco 2 Euro featuring Grace Kelly which has become one of the rarest commemorative coins, selling for roughly £1,100.

You might also be lucky enough to discover old tender in Europe on your next holiday. These coins were replaced by the Euro in 1999 but could now achieve an easy profit.
Look out for Irish coins from the 1980s and 90s which have been valued for thousands of pounds at auction. The 1985 copper-coloured 20p and the 1992 10p are also ones to hunt out and have both been sold at $5-$10,0000!

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2007 Monaco 2 Euro, one of the rarest commemorative coins. Credit:



For a hop across the pond to America, you could get your hands on rare quarters such as the 2004 Wisconsin extra leaf high quarter, which eBay says is the most sought after of all due to an extra cornstalk leaf on the design being struck by mistake. This small error means that these coins are being sold online for up to £125!

Also look out for the 2005 Minnesote Doubled-die Extra Tree Quarter and the 2000 South Carolina off-centre error quarter to add to your rare coins collection when on your trip stateside.

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2004 Wisconsin State Quarter with extra leaf. Credit:



If you’re travelling farther afield, the Australian mule could make you a tasty profit of $1,000 and has been sold for thousands online, with one selling for $2,742 at auction in 2016.

The production error occurred in 2000, resulting in a coin that was thicker than usual, with a double rim on the Queen’s side. If this treasure turns up in your foreign change, it’s definitely worth keeping hold of!

Australian mule - Discover the Treasure Hidden in your Holiday Change!

Australian 1 Dollar mule, selling for £1,000. Credit:


I’ve certainly admired the beauty of the coins I’ve found on my travels and always keep hold of a few as mementos, but it’s also worth being extra vigilant and checking your foreign currency to see if you can find any hidden gems!

Have you found any rare coins on your trips abroad? Let us know in the comments below.

The Great 2015 Coin Search

where are the 2015 uk coins to collect - The Great 2015 Coin SearchIt’s nearly December, and one question keeps cropping up here at Change Checker – where are all the 2015 commemorative coins?

The new designs for 2016 have been revealed and yet we have not seen a single one of this year’s commemorative coins in circulation.

What’s happened to them? Where have they gone? Will they ever get released – and as they only have a month to run, will there be some rare low mintages?

For us, and I’m sure other Change Checkers, this is an incredibly frustrating position. All of the anniversaries that are being commemorated have long past, and the opportunity for new collectors to get excited about the year’s coins has faded away.

All we want to do is find these coins!

In fact, we’d like to see The Royal Mint put the commemorative coins in circulation before the anniversary dates. 

Do you agree? Have your say in our poll below…