The first Change Checker Scarcity Index update of 2018 is here. The 50p and £2 Scarcity Indexes have been compiled using data from the first three months of the year.
We’ve added a new feature to help you track the performance of your coins. The arrows signify how many places, up or down, a coin has moved on the Scarcity Index; any coins with a yellow star are making their first appearance after having been released into circulation.
50p Scarcity Index
Kew Gardens remains the most scarce UK 50p coin which is not surprising with a mintage figure of just 210,000. There are a number of coins which have moved up the index quite significantly, such as Shooting, Pentathlon and Hockey, all part of the 2012 Olympic series. Also, Triathlon moves it into the top 3, replacing Judo.
Sailing and Wheelchair Rugby, part of the same series, have not performed as well and both have move down 5 places.
Jeremy Fisher makes its debut in our Scarcity Index with a score of 14, making it the third scarcest Beatrix Potter coin behind Jemima Puddle-Duck and Tom Kitten.
£2 Scarcity Index
There’s not a huge amount of movement in this quarter’s update and also no new coins have been added. The 2017 WW1 Aviation and Jane Austen £2 coins are yet to enter circulation.
The Commonwealth Games Wales coin retains its spot at the top of the £2 Scarcity Index with Scotland moving up to 2nd. Interestingly Northern Ireland drops down to 4th place due to far less swap demand than the other 3 coins in the 2002 Commonwealth Games series. In fact, in this quarter, the Northern Ireland coin was requested to swap almost 50% less than the Wales, Scotland or England.
There’s a particularly strong performance from the Florence Nightingale and Paddington Station coins, each moving up 7 places.
The First World War Centenary (Army) is the worst performing coin, moving down three places.
What about the A to Z 10p coins?
Unfortunately, at present, there is simply not enough data to accurately compile an A to Z 10p Scarcity Index. However, we have a few early indicators to show which 10p coins may become the most scarce in future.
The three A to Z 10p coins that most people have in their collection are B-Bond, A-Angel of the North and H-Houses of Parliament. As people are struggling to find these coins in their change, the majority of coins in people’s collections would have been ‘Early Strike’ coins that they have purchased. Therefore this would indicate that, at this stage, these three designs are amongst the most desirable.
The three A to Z 10p coins that most people are looking to add to their collection are E-English Breakfast, A-Angel of the North and F-Fish and Chips. Interestingly, A-Angel of the North appears on both lists meaning that, at this very early stage, it’s arguably the most popular A to Z 10p coin.
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 recent 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 160 times face value on eBay.
What about £1 Coins?
The deadline day to trade in your Round £1 coins has now been and gone yet it’s estimated that there’s still over 450 million coins in circulation.
However, don’t panic if you didn’t have time to return them to the bank or have found some in a forgotten piggybank, there’s a number of options for you.
Here’s a list of five things you can do with your old Round Pounds to ensure that you don’t lose out:
1. Check if your coin is rare
If you find a Round Pound, the first thing to do is check to see if it’s rare. The most accurate way to determine the rarity of a circulation coin is our Scarcity Index.
From our experience we know that the rarer a coin is, the more desirable it becomes to collectors.
Although they are unlikely to make you rich overnight, some of the rarest circulation £1 coins currently sell for up to £20 on eBay. We’d also expect this to increase slightly now the coins have been withdrawn from circulation.
2. Donate your coin to The RBL Poppy Appeal
The Royal British Legion have announced that this year they’ll be accepting donated old pounds for the duration of their Poppy Appeal.
You can support the Armed Forces community by donating your coins right up until Remembrance Sunday which falls on the 12th November.
3. Return your coin to the bank
You can still deposit your Round Pounds at high street banks but you’ll need to be quick as this is only a temporary measure and at the bank’s discretion.
4. Spend your coin
A number of retailers have announced that they’ll continue to accept the Round Pound even though it is officially no longer legal tender.
Tesco and Poundland have agreed to continue accepting the Round Pound; Tesco for an extra week and Poundland until the 31st October.
The Federation of Small Businesses has also advised its members to continue accepting the round coins to provide a “useful community service” to customers.
5. Swap your coin using the Change Checker Swap Centre
Now that an estimated 1.2 billion Round Pounds have been withdrawn from circulation by the Royal Mint, not forgetting the many thousands that have been added to private collections, it’s become increasingly difficult for collectors to complete their Round Pound sets.
If you find a Round Pound which you do not need, why not list it as available to swap on our Swap Centre? It may well be that it is the exact coin somebody is looking for.
In fact, the Lion of England design was first revealed in 2016 but appeared to be released solely for use with gold and silver bullion coins. However, the design by Jody Clark (the man behind the current Queen’s effigy) met such popular acclaim that the Royal Mint has now confirmed its release in brilliant uncirculated base-metal.
Unprecedented in the modern era
The use of a bullion coin design on a base-metal coin is unprecedented in the modern era, often meaning that some of the UK’s very best coin designs, used on Britannia and Sovereign coins, have simply been too expensive for change collectors to own.
In fact, it is only Pistrucci’s St. George and the Dragon that has ever appeared on a base metal coin, under George VI in 1951, notably at a time when the Sovereign was not even being issued as a bullion coin.
More base metal issues to look forward to
So does this mean that we can expect to see Pistrucci’s St. George and the Dragon and the latest Gold and Silver Britannia Coin designs available in base metal?
Sadly, I think not. But there is some good news for collectors who love Jody Clark’s Lion design.
The Royal Mint has also revealed an accompanying Unicorn of Scotland £5 coin, enabling collectors to own both “supporters” of the Royal Coat of Arms.
Will there be eight more coins to collect?
Whilst the Unicorn of Scotland coin is yet to be released in Silver and Gold it is ear-marked to be part of a continued series of Silver, Gold and Platinum Bullion coins to be issued over 5 years. The set is inspired by the Queen’s Coronation Beasts that lined the entrance to Westminster Abbey for her coronation in 1953.
Currently there is no final confirmation from the Mint, but it seems likely the remaining eight coins will follow in brilliant uncirculated base-metal over the coming 4 years- a definite highlight for base metal collectors. And if the popularity of the precious metal coins is anything to go by, this latest release will be a guaranteed winner with base metal collectors too.
The new Lion of England and Unicorn of Scotland £5 Coins are available to order today in certified Brilliant Uncirculated Condition- CLICK HERE