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Posts Tagged ‘rare two pound’

The UK’s Top 10 Rarest Coins in Circulation

Which coins should you be looking out for in your change?

We’ve taken a look at the mintage figures for UK coins to find out which ones are the rarest in circulation...

The UK's Top 10 Rarest Coins in Circulation

What you might be surprised by is that on our top 10 list, just 1 out of the 10 coins is a 50p!

The rarest UK coin currently in circulation is the Kew Gardens 50p, but the 9 rarest coins after that are actually £2s.

Whilst 50p coins are very popular amongst collectors at the moment, it’s certainly worth noting that it is in fact the £2 coins which you should be keeping your eyes peeled for, as some of the ones you can find in your change are very rare.

Other rare coins to look out for

Of course, this doesn’t take into account the rare error coins that have been found in circulation, such as:

Whilst exact mintage figures for these error coins may be unknown, we can assume that they could each be rare enough to find themselves near the top of the list.

A-Z of Great Britain 10p coins

The UK's Top 10 Rarest Coins in Circulation
A-Z of Great Britain 10p coins

It’s also worth noting that whilst mintage figures for the individual designs haven’t been released, if we assume that each A-Z of Great Britain 10p has been struck in equal quantities, then there would be approximately 281,000 of each design.

This would put each A-Z 10p design in equal second place on the list of the top 10 rarest coins in circulation!

What about the coins no longer in circulation?

Currently the Kew Gardens 50p is the rarest coin in circulation, but did you know that it isn’t actually the UK’s rarest 50p?

This title goes to the 1992/93 UK EC Presidency 50p, with a mintage of just 109,000 – almost half of the Kew Gardens!

In 1997, 50p coins were redesigned in the smaller specification and this coin was demonetised, meaning it is no longer in circulation.

The UK's Top 10 Rarest Coins in Circulation
192/93 EC Presidency 50p

The same can be said of the 1989 Claim of Right £2, which was demonetized in 1997 when the bi-metallic £2 coin was introduced.

This coin has a mintage of 381,400 which makes it the rarest UK £2 and would put it in second place on the list if it were still in circulation.

The UK's Top 10 Rarest Coins in Circulation
1989 Claim of Right £2 – the UK’s rarest £2

Are you lucky enough to have any of the top 10 rarest coins in your collection? Or perhaps you’ve even been lucky enough to get your hands on the pre-1997 coins listed above. Let us know in the comments below!


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

August 2019 Scarcity Index update!

Discover how sought-after your coins are with the latest Scarcity Index update!

This information has been compiled using data from the Change Checker Swap Centre (find out how it works here) and presented in the easy to use indexes below, with arrows to signify how many places up or down a coin has moved since the last Scarcity Index.

A-Z 10p Scarcity Index

August 2019 Scarcity Index update!

There has been quite a bit of movement on the A-Z 10p Scarcity Index since the last update, which is to be expected as more of these coins start turning up in people’s change and duplicates are swapped.

Moving up 7 places to take the top spot on the index is Z for Zebra Crossing, which is now the most sought-after A-Z 10p.

Amongst the top 4 scarcest coins on the index is the N for NHS 10p, which has also jumped up 7 places, although the biggest upward movement actually goes to A for Angel of the North. This coin has managed to move up the index by 12 places and now sits in the middle of the pack.

Conversely, the biggest downward movement goes to K for King Arthur (previously at the top of the index) which has now dropped by 21 places to sit amongst the bottom 5 coins.

It’s important to note that the A-Z 10p Scarcity Index is currently based on estimated mintage figures, assuming each coin has been struck in equal quantities. This includes the extra 2.1 million coins released in 2019. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens to the index once the official mintage figures are confirmed.

50p Scarcity Index

August 2019 Scarcity Index update!

There’s no surprises at the top end of the 50p Scarcity Index, with the Kew Gardens remaining on top and the next top 5 coins remaining unchanged.

Whilst there has been some small movement amongst the Olympic 50ps, aside from the Kew Gardens, these coins dominate the top 17 places on the index.

In fact, the only non-Olympic 50ps to feature on the first half of the index are the Kew Gardens, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Sir Isaac Newton and Suffragettes 50ps, which remain in the same position as the last update.

The biggest upwards movement for the 50p index actually goes to Canoeing and the Battle of Hastings, both of which have moved up by 6 places.

The Battle of Hastings 50p was re-issued this year as part of the 50th Anniversary of the 50p Military Set, which might have increased demand for the circulation coin.

Both Fencing and Ironside 50ps have actually moved 8 places down the index since the last update, although it’s worth noting that Ironside moved up 9 places on the last index, so is mostly likely just settling back into place following increased popularity last quarter.

We’re eagerly waiting for when the mintage figures for 2018 coins will be released so that we can update the Scarcity Index and add some new coins into the mix!

£2 Scarcity Index

August 2019 Scarcity Index update!

There’s been quite a shuffle on the £2 index this quarter and whilst the Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland £2 remains on top, the other Commonwealth Games coins have had a move around.

In fact, the Commonwealth Games Wales £2 has now been overtaken by Olympic Centenary and King James Bible which have managed to break up the Commonwealth Games coins by pushing Wales down to 6th place on the index.

The biggest increase goes to the Gunpowder Plot £2, which has moved up the index by 7 places to now sit nearer the middle of the pack.

Rugby World Cup has taken a big hit this quarter and has actually moved down 10 places to second from the bottom.

This has effectively bumped up the bottom few coins by one or two places each.

It will be really interesting to see how the £2 index will change in future if more £2 coins enter circulation and mix up the rankings.

How your 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 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 200 times face value on eBay.

You can use the 6 point guide to help you determine a more realistic value for your coins.

What about £1 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.


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

Why you should be collecting £2 coins

With some truly fantastic releases recently, the UK has fallen head over heels for the 50p, with many collectors focusing on hunting down these seven sided gems for their collection.

But whilst collectors are busy scouring their change to find the latest and greatest 50p releases, the £2 coin, it seems, has taken a bit of a back seat…

So why should you be collecting £2 coins?

In this blog, we’ll take a look at which rare coins should take pride of place in your collection, which potential error coins might be out there and we’ll also share with you our top three £2 coins to look out for.

Rare and Error Coins

With over 37 different UK £2 coin designs in circulation, it’s worth paying attention to the £2 coins in your change, as you never know when you might come across something extra special…

2002 Commonwealth Games NI £2

Why you should be collecting £2 coins
The UK’s rarest £2 in circulation

The 2002 Commonwealth Games England £2 Coin is officially the most scarce £2 coin in the UK, ranking as 100 on our Scarcity Index.

Four coins were released in 2002 to celebrate the Commonwealth Games and at first glance, you might struggle to spot the difference between them. They all feature the same running athlete trailing a banner behind. But each has a different cameo, representing each of the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom.

The fact that this coin is so hard to spot and has such a low mintage of just 485,500 means that the Commonwealth Games NI £2 is the holy grail of £2 coin collections.

2015 Britannia £2

Britannia 1 300x300 - Happy Birthday to the £2 coin!
Antony Dufort’s modern interpretation of Britannia.

It wasn’t until 2016, when The Mint released the mintage figures for the 2015 coins, that collectors realised just how special the new definitive £2 coin was.

Only 650,000 of the 2015 date Britannia £2 coins had been stuck for circulation, making it one of the most scarce UK £2 coins ever issued! So scarce in fact that there were fewer of this coin than the England and the Scotland coins from the famous 2002 Commonwealth Games series.

This makes the 2015 Britannia £2 joint third scarcest £2 coin in circulation, alongside the Navy £2.

Inverted Effigy Britannia £2

britannia 2 pound coin error2 0031 - Just Discovered: Rare â??Inverted Effigyâ? £2 Coin

First discovered by a Change Checker, and later confirmed as a genuine error by The Royal Mint, this unusual strike appears on a handful of the 2015 Britannia £2 Coins.

The Royal Mint has accounted for the seemingly impossible misalignment of the Queen’s effigy as almost certainly the result of one of the dies working loose and rotating during the striking process”.

The result is that the Queen’s head is offset by around 150 degrees compared to the Britannia design on the reverse of the coin.

We analysed 5,000 circulation Britannia £2 coins and our results suggested that the Inverted Effigy may have affected as few as 1 in 200 of the coins struck – in other words around just 3,250 coins.

2015 Navy with Flag

st change checker royal navy 2 mis strike with arrows - Is there an even rarer version of the Navy £2 in circulation?

We already know the 2015 Navy is one of the rarest £2 coins with just 650,000 struck for circulation, however Change Checkers have speculated whether there are two different design variations…

The original Navy £2 design (left) shows the coin without any markings on the top right of the mast, but the coin on the right looks like it has a flying flag.

The Royal Mint strike up to 5 billion coins a year and from time to time cracks on the die cause pools of metal to form on the coin whilst striking. It just so happens that this bit of metal has caused the markings on these coins to look like a flying flag on the ship – fuelling speculation that two different variations were struck.

Whilst it doesn’t add any extra value to the coin, it’s certainly one to look out for and makes for interesting collecting.

2005 ‘Pemember, Pemember’ Gunpowder Plot £2 

gunpowder plot c2a32 stack - Always 'Pemember' the facts about rare £2 coins
The edge inscription of the Gunpowder Plot £2 appears to be spelt incorrectly

The 2005 Gunpowder Plot £2 commemorates the 400th anniversary of Guy Fawkes’ failed assassination attempt on King James I, but the coin is more familiar to collectors for having a spelling mistake in the edge inscription. The timeless quote “Remember, remember the fifth of November” has been found with various combinations of Pemember, Pemembep, Novemebep and so on. The common factor here is the ‘R’ which appears as a ‘P’.

Sadly for collectors this is apparently not a striking error. The explanation from the Royal Mint is that the down-stroke of the R coincides with the milling around the edge, and as the coin has worn over time, the letter has become less defined. This categorical statement from the Mint means that any mark-up in price for a supposed ‘error’ is completely unjustified, and although it makes the coin more interesting, it is not the mistake which it is often perceived to be.

1997 Maklouf ‘Queen with a Necklace’ £2

product images technology c2a32 650 x 450px 21 - Always 'Pemember' the facts about rare £2 coins
The Maklouf ‘Necklace’ £2 was only issued in 1997

The ‘Queen with a Necklace’ £2 has an enduring legacy in the collecting world. The very first bi-metallic £2 coins were issued in 1997, just prior to the Queen’s portrait change in 1998. This meant that the older portrait by Raphael Maklouf was only used for one year: 1997. His version featured Queen Elizabeth II wearing a necklace, which is how the nickname was derived.

When the portrait change was announced, the new £2 coins were snapped up by collectors believing them to be a future rarity. As it turned out, a mintage of nearly 14 million means the ‘Queen with a Necklace’ £2 is not one of the rarest coins in circulation. Nevertheless, with only one year of issue, it still holds an undeniable interest for collectors.

2007 Abolition of Slavery £2

slave trade c2a32 compare - Always 'Pemember' the facts about rare £2 coins

There is a misconception that there were two types of the Abolition of Slavery £2 coin struck for circulation. It is true that two versions of the coins exist – one has a textured finish whereas the other has a smooth finish and features the artist, David Gentleman’s initials (circled).

The key difference is that only the textured version was struck for circulation, and if you find one of the smoother types in your change, you have actually found a coin which has been taken out of a presentation pack. This makes it considerably rarer than the circulating version, so it is worth keeping rather than spending!

The Top Three £2 Coins to Collect

Why you should be collecting £2 coins

When it comes to collecting, £2 coins are some of our favourites to look out for, but out of the rare and wonderful coins mentioned above, here are our top three £2 coins to collect.

1) It’s no surprise that the UK’s scarcest £2 coin in circulation should come in first place, but you’ll not only have to be very lucky to come across one, you’ll also have to be eagle eyed to spot the correct flag for the Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland £2 coin.

2) Coming in close second is the third scarcest £2 coin, but can you challenge yourself to see if you can find one with the ‘flag’ variation as mentioned above?

3) And as our third placed coin, the 2015 Britannia actually sits in joint third place as the UK’s scarcest £2 in circulation and our challenge to you is to try and find the inverted effigy of this coin too!

Check out how we got on with our own £2 coin hunt and all the fantastic designs we were able to find in a £500 bank bag:

The £2 coins that haven’t entered circulation…

You may have noticed a lack of 2017 coins in your change, as to date The Royal Mint haven’t confirmed if they will enter circulation.

This all depends on demand for specific denominations at the time as UK Banks and Post Offices may not request every denomination every year if there is already sufficient coin in circulation.

Based on The Royal Mint’s figures, we do know that no 2017 Britannia coins were struck for circulation. But there have been 13 other coins designs issued since 2017 that we are yet to find in our change, including:

  • Jane Austen
  • WW1 Aviation
  • Frankenstein
  • Armistice
  • RAF Badge
  • RAF Spitfire
  • RAF Vulcan
  • RAF Sea King
  • RAF Lightning
  • Captain Cook
  • Samuel Pepys
  • D-Day Landings
  • Wedgwood

All of these coins are available to purchase in Brilliant Uncirculated quality here, but we will of course be the first to update you as soon as we have more information on their potential release.

A Treasure Hunt

It can be quite a challenge tracking down every single £2 coin for a complete collection. Remember, if you’re struggling to find those last few coins in your change, you can source them online, in auctions, on Facebook coin groups and of course by swapping with like-minded collectors on our web app.


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