You have just 250 days to collect all 24 Round £1 Coin Designs.
They’ve been a part of our lives for 33 years but the Round Pound Coin will be withdrawn from circulation forever on the 15th October this year.
Starting from today, we’re encouraging collectors across the UK, to join the biggest race of its kind ever held – The Great One Pound Coin Race.
It’s totally FREE to enter the Race and by entering you’ll be able to:
- Collect all 24 circulating £1 coins direct from your change
- Receive collecting tips and suggestions to help you complete your One Pound Collection
- Track your progress with the Change Checker web app or on your FREE downloadable £1 Coin Race Sheet
- Swap coins online with other collectors to help complete your collection
- Win exclusive Gold-plated One Pound Coin Race Participant’s Medals
- Receive exclusive participant’s discounts and savings
33 Years of Round £1 Coins. 24 Designs. Gone in 250 days.
The first £1 coin entered circulation right back in 1983 and featured the Royal Coat of Arms as its design. It was quickly followed the next year with a Scottish thistle design, followed by the Welsh leek, Northern Irish flax and the English oak in subsequent years.
In total 24 different designs have entered circulation with five different series representing the component countries of the UK. The remaining four designs have all been variations on the theme of the Royal Coats Arms. A final, twenty-fifth Round Pound Coin was issued by The Royal Mint in 2016 but it never entered general circulation.
Scarce £1 Coins still available for face value in your change
Of course some £1 coins are much rarer than others. It’s partly because mintages of the different designs vary vastly, from less than 1 million coins to over 300 million. But that’s only part of the story. Older issues are also often more difficult to find, especially in good condition.
The three lowest mintage £1 coins in circulation come from a series of UK Capital City coins issued in 2010/11, with Edinburgh being the rarest with a mintage of 935,000 coins – just 0.04% of all the £1 coins ever struck.
But it’s still possible to find even these rare coins in your change along with all of the other 21 circulation £1 coins. But only for the next 250 days.
Once the 15 October has passed, you will have little chance of building a complete collection of £1 Coins at anything like their face value. So …
on your marks…
The Great One Pound Coin Race is on. Start your race today, before it’s too late.
As it’s St Andrew’s Day today I thought I’d have a look back at the UK coins with designs that have been inspired by Scotland. How many have you got in your collection?
Here are my top 10, with details taken from the Change Checker App…
50p: Glasgow Commonwealth Games
Year of issue: 2014
This 50p commemorates the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. The reverse design by Alex Goudon features a depiction of a sprinter and a cyclist alongside the St Andrew’s Cross. Athletics and cycling are two of the 17 different sports that featured in the Games over its 11 days.
£1 Coin: Scottish Thistle
Years of Issue: 1984 & 1989
The first reverse design series of £1 coins took floral emblems as its theme to represent the United Kingdom and its four constituent countries. They were designed by Lesley Durbin – one of the most highly-regarded silversmiths of the 20th Century. The Thistle is used on this coin to represent Scotland.
£1 Coin: Lion Rampant
Year of issue: 1994 & 1999
The second series of £1 coin designs used heraldic emblems to represent the United Kingdom and its four constituent countries. This coin features a Lion Rampant which is used to represent Scotland. The term ‘rampant’ refers to the position of the lion standing upright with forelegs raised and claws unsheathed, and this symbol was first used to represent the Scottish kingdom by King Alexander in the 13th Century.
£1 Coin: Floral Emblem of Scotland
Year of Issue: 2014
The fifth series of £1 coin designs uses pairs of floral emblems designed by Timothy Noad to represent the United Kingdom and its four constituent countries. This coin features a thistle alongside a bluebell to represent Scotland.
£2 Coin: Claim of Right
Year of issue: 1989
In 1689, Prince William and Mary accepted the Declaration of Rights prior to being offered the throne, which effectively shifted the balance of power from Crown to Parliament and changed the course of British political history. This £2 coin was issued in 1989 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of this landmark act. There were 2 versions of the coin issued – English and Scottish.
£2 Coin: Edinburgh Commonwealth Games
Year of issue: 1986
The thirteenth Commonwealth Games were held in Edinburgh in 1986, and are well remember for being boycotted by 32 of the 59 eligible countries who did not agree with Britain’s sporting connections to South Africa during the Apartheid era. The reverse design features a thistle encircled by a laurel wreath over the cross of St. Andrew. This £2 was the first British coin issued to commemorate a sporting event.
£2 Coin: 2002 Commonwealth Games – Scotland
Year of issue: 2002
The 2002 Commonwealth Games were held in Manchester, and prior to the Olympic Games in London in 2012, it was the largest multi-sport event ever to be held in the UK. There are four different designs of the £2 commemorative coin – all are similar except that the central cameo features a different flag for the four constituent countries of the UK. This coin represents Scotland.
£2 Coin: Act of Union
Year of issue: 2007
The political unification of Scotland and England was sealed in 1707 with the creation of one parliament for both countries – based at Westminster. Despite centuries of conflict and opposition, Scotland and England unified through this parliament, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain. The reverse design by Yvonne Holton features two jigsaw pieces representing both countries alongside a portcullis representing Parliament.
£2 Coin: 250th Anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns
Year of issue: 2009
Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist who is widely regarded as one of the greatest literary figures in British history. Burns night is celebrated each year with a traditional Haggis supper on his birthday, 25th January, and is more widely observed in Scotland than the official national day, St Andrew’s Day. The reverse design of this £2 coin features an extract from Auld Lang Syne, Burns’ most famous work.
£5 Coin: 300th Anniversary of the Death of Queen Anne
Year of issue: 2014
Queen Anne was the second daughter of James II and supported the overthrow of her father by her sister Mark and brother-in-law WIlliam of Orange in 1688. Following William’s death in 1702, Anne took the throne as the very first Queen of Great Britain. She also oversaw the War of Spanish Succesion (1702-1714), an era which lay the foundation for Britain’s colonial power in the 18th century. This coin commemorates 300 years since her death in 1714 and features an elegant portrait of Anne as an 18th century miniature on the reverse.
2014 UK Commonwealth Games circulation 50p
Designed by Alex Loudon, the reverse features a cyclist and athlete depicting the power of sport.
The home of the Games are reflected in the choice of Scottish Saltire and lettering inspired by Glasgow-born architect, artist and designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
The obverse features the fourth portrait of Her Majesty the Queen by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS.
Scotland has long enjoyed good representation on UK currency, especially on the commemorative coins of the last 30 years.
But with the vote for Scottish independence looming, could this be the end for Scottish themes on coins used across the whole of Britain?
If so, the 50p just issued to mark the Glasgow Commonwealth Games would become the last ever Scottish 50p issued whilst the Union is still intact.
Firsts and lasts
Collectors know that ‘firsts’ and ‘lasts’ are often the most sought after issues. Sometimes this only becomes apparent in the years following the event – when the true importance of the coin is revealed.
With this in mind, the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games 50p could be one of the most unintentionally important issues of the early 21st century.
You have to go back to 1707 to find the last pre-Union coins, struck during the reign of Queen Anne. These are now some of the most collectable issues of her reign, and usually the preserve of serious collections only.
So if you happen to be the owner of one of these 50ps, only time will tell how important it could become – regardless it’s a coin with a story of genuine national importance, and one that should definitely be considered for your collection.
If you are interested…
Our friends at The Westminster Collection have a small number of these 50ps remaining from their Commonwealth Games commemorative range.
They are encapsulated and postmarked on the day of the closing ceremony, making them particularly limited. Click here for more information.