The Sir Isaac Newton 50p is one of the most popular 50ps in circulation. Shortly after it was issued in 2017, it ranked as the second rarest 50p in circulation after the Kew Gardens 50p, with a mintage figure of just 1.8 million.
Due to its huge popularity, the following year The Royal Mint announced that collectors would be able to strike their own 2018 dated Sir Isaac Newton 50p at The Royal Mint Experience. The 2018 dated coin became one of the rarest 50ps, as the only way to get one was to strike your own.
What makes this 50p so popular?
The coin’s incredibly detailed reverse design by Aaron West is based on elements of Propsition 11, in Book One of Newton’s Principia Mathematica. It also pays tribute to the legacy of Sir Isaac Newton, a genius of the Scientific Revolution and one of the most famous figures to ever hold the role of Master of the Mint.
Change Checkers even voted the 2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p as their all time favourite Queen Elizabeth II circulating 50p in a poll last year.
An interesting error
As if this coin’s incredible popularity, intricate design and low mintage figure weren’t enough to make it extremely collectible, there’s something else you should look out for...
Several collectors have reported finding an error on their 2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p. The reverse design looks normal, however the obverse appears to have several extra lines across Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait.
This is thought to be an error caused during the striking process, a result of what is known as a die clash. Interestingly, the extra lines aren’t grooves scratched into the surface of the coin, but rather ‘whiskers’ standing slightly proud of the surface.
How rare is it?
Although we don’t know for sure how many of these error coins are in circulation, they’re thought to be extremely rare. They’ve even been listed on the secondary market for more than 100 times face value!
Always make sure you’re careful buying coins on the secondary market to avoid being overcharged.
Have you ever found an error coin in your change? Or perhaps you have this one? Let us know in the comments below!
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Good news Change Checkers – your latest eBay Tracker and Valuation Index is here!
Whilst the secondary market can be a bit of a minefield, we’ve put together an easy way for you to see how much the Top 10 UK coins and banknotes are selling for right now.
Find out which coins and notes have been the key movers and shakers in the updated eBay Tracker below.
We’ve seen a huge jump in price for the Undated 20p, increasing by a huge £9! This coin dropped in value in the last eBay Tracker so it’s interesting to see it climb to £50 this month.
This coin is regarded by many as the Holy Grail of change collecting, and back in 2008, the undated 20p saga encouraged an entire country to start carefully checking their coins.
This mule coin came about when the new Royal Shield 20p coins were struck for circulation, with no date on the reverse. The old die was accidentally used, meaning a batch was issued with no date on either side of the coin.
The undated 20p became the first coin in over 300 years to enter circulation without a date and it’s estimated by The Royal Mint that no more than 250,000 coins made it into circulation.
So, there’s no surprises people are prepared to pay a pretty penny on the secondary market to secure one for their collection!
There’s also been an increase in the sold prices of the 2018 Sir Isaac Newton 50p, jumping up by £6.00.
As the 2018 Sir Isaac Newton 50p is a strike your own version, this indicates that collectors are likely heading to secondary markets to get hold of these types of coins, as The Royal Mint Experience remains closed.
With less cash also being used in the past few months because of the current climate, it’s clear this has influenced collector behaviour on the secondary markets too, as people are unable to exchange coins in the same ways they were previously. This therefore drives the price up, as demand for the coin increases.
Additionally, with more time being spent at home and people seeking new hobbies to keep themselves entertained, new collectors are perhaps becoming more aware of rare and collectable coins that might be worth owning and as a result, are heading to the secondary market to get hold of one.
But will we continue to see the price of this coin rise on the secondary market as we head back to a new kind of ‘normal’? Only time will tell and we’ll have to wait for the next eBay Tracker update to find out!
As collectors are unable to source coins in the usual ways due to the current climate, it’s interesting that we’ve seen some big changes this month, as people head to secondary markets to secure coins for their collection.
Overall, there’s been a 1.3 point increase value for the Top 10 UK coins and banknotes since June’s update and this is no doubt due to the increase in price for 7 of the coins in the tracker.
After an impressive spike in our last update, we’ve seen another increase in January – taking it to the highest we’ve seen since the Tracker started!
My coin isn’t on the eBay Tracker
The eBay Tracker follows the movements of the Top 10 UK coins and banknotes, however if your coin doesn’t appear on the tracker you can use our 6 point guide to help determine realistic a value for your coin.
So now that you’re up to date with our latest eBay Tracker, will you be selling any of the coins in your collection or will you continue to save them? Let us know in the comments below.
How does the eBay Tracker work?
The Change Checker eBay Tracker takes the last 9 sold prices achieved on eBay and gives the median price achieved (rounded to the nearest 50p). By taking the median, rather than an average, we avoid skewing created by one or two excessive prices achieved.
Please note that the Change Checker eBay Tracker is only ever designed to be a guide as to prices achieved on eBay. Prices may vary depending on collector demand and the quality of the coin being sold. It does not provide any guarantee as to future values of coins.
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
As collectors, we often find ourselves focusing on the commemorative coins that turn up in our change, but how often do we pay attention to the definitive designs?
We wouldn’t normally combine definitive and commemorative mintage figures into one chart, however the comparative figures give us an interesting insight into the change in our pockets and actually go to show why the definitive coin designs deserve your attention…
50p Mintage Figures
Our latest charts featuring the updated commemorative coin mintage figures for circulation coins revealed the 2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p as the second rarest UK 50p in circulation after the Kew Gardens, with a mintage of just 1,801,500. This knocked Jemima Puddle Duck off the second spot with a whopping 298,500 less coins being struck.
Change Checkers had already shown a great response to the Sir Isaac Newton coin, voting it their favourite coin design of the year in 2017. But now, as we delve deeper into the mintage figures for not only commemorative 50p coins but also the definitive designs, an unlikely rival has pipped the 2017 Isaac Newton to the post to claim the title of the second rarest UK 50p coin in circulation…
You might be surprised by the second rarest 50p in circulation…
The chart above features the mintage figures for every commemorative and definitive UK 50p coin in circulation and whilst the Kew Gardens still remains king, it came as a surprise that the second rarest 50p was actually a definitive rather than a commemorative design.
The 2017 Royal Shield 50p has a mintage of just 1,800,000 which means there are 1,500 less coins than the 2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p. This is by far the lowest mintage figure for any definitive 50p coin, with the next rarest definitive coin having almost double the amount of coins struck – the 2008 Britannia with a mintage of 3,500,000.
Definitive 50p coin designs
Christopher Ironside’s Britannia design featured on all UK definitive coins from their first appearance in 1969 with the words ‘NEW PENCE’ inscribed above. The inscription was revised in 1982 to say ‘FIFTY PENCE’ and this design remained unchanged until 2008, when Matthew Dent’s Royal Shield design was introduced, featuring the third and fourth quarters of the Royal Arms.
It comes as no surprise that the majority of the definitive designs can be found towards the bottom of the chart, with the most common UK 50p in circulation being the 1997 Britannia. The old larger 50p and this smaller one were both dated 1997, however the larger coin was only struck as year sets, whereas the smaller circulated in very large numbers, with a mintage of 456,364,100.
The fact that the 2017 Benjamin Bunny commemorative 50p features in amongst the definitive designs goes to show just how many of this design were struck and how likely you’ll be to find one in your change.
We haven’t included the Olympic 50p coins in the mintage chart as this was a specially struck series, with low mintages figures for each coin. You can see the Olympic 50p mintage figures here >>
£2 Mintage Figures
When it comes to the £2 coins, the Commonwealth Games are some of the rarest in circulation. In fact, all four coins would be sat at the top of the mintage charts if it wasn’t for two 2015 coins…
The rarest definitive £2 coin revealed…
Many collectors will be aware of the 2015 Navy £2‘s low mintage figure of 650,000, making it the third rarest UK £2 coin in circulation, however many of us may not know that this coin is in fact joint third, as a definitive design from the same year also holds the same low mintage figure.
In 2015, the new definitive £2 coin was introduced, with a design featuring the Britannia, replacing the Technology design which had featured on the coin since 1997. Britannia has featured on a British coin in one way or another for more than 300 years, apart from after 2008 when she was dropped from the 50p coin. She received a welcome return to British coinage for the 2015 definitive £2, but with so few coins being struck, this coin has become the third rarest UK £2 coin in circulation.
The 2016 version of the coin had a higher mintage of 2,925,000, but this is still incredibly low when compared to the 1998 Technology £2, which has a mintage of 91,110,375.
Of course the most common £2 coin you’re likely to come across in your change is the Technology £2, which dominates the bottom of the chart. The rarest of the Technology £2 coins is actually the 2005 issue, with a mintage of 3,837,250, making it the eighteenth rarest UK £2 in circulation.
You may have noticed a lack of 2017 coins on the £2 chart as to date The Royal Mint haven’t confirmed if they will enter circulation. Based on The Royal Mint’s figures, we know that no 2017 Britannia coins were struck for circulation.
I was certainly surprised by the rarity of some of the definitive designs shown on the charts above and will be checking the dates of the coins in my change very carefully to see if I can find any rarer ones for myself, but will you be doing the same?
Your chance to own the 2017 Britannia £2
This coin wasn’t struck for circulation, however you can own this coin as part of the 2017 Royal Mint Annual set.
But you’ll have to be quick, as this set is no longer on sale at The Royal Mint.