Posts Tagged ‘Two Pound’

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

Have I found a rare coin? £2 ‘errors’ explained!

So you’ve noticed something’s not quite right with the £2 coin you’ve just found in your change. A quick google search of the strange variation you’ve noticed brings up a plethora of eBay listings and news articles claiming that you’ve just hit the jackpot and your ‘error’ coin is worth a small fortune!

Sadly, in this instance Google is not your friend and whilst genuine errors are out there, so too are a number of common mis-strikes and myths, or even fakes that have been manipulated to look like an error.

So what is the difference between a mis-strike and an error I hear you ask.

Put simply, a true error is caused by human mistake, such as the wrong die or metal being used to strike a coin, whereas a mis-strike is created by the mass production process, as hundreds of thousands of coins are struck, meaning variations are bound to occur, especially when dies and machinery become worn.

But which mis-strikes on the bi-metallic £2 coin should you be aware of?

I recently read Scott Wren’s article, ‘Bi-metallic “errors”… Why two is better than one’ published in Coin News which highlights some of the mis-strikes found on £2 coins and how their bi-metallic quality causes the differences to be something entirely more spectacular than those found on monometallic (single metal) coins.

Striking bi-metallic coins

In order to understand why mis-strikes on bi-metallic coins are often more pronounced than monometallic coins, it’s first a good idea to look into how these coins are produced.

When striking £2 coins, the first step is to punch a hole through a blank planchet to create the outer section. The inner core is taken from a different metal, sized to fit inside the outer ring.

Have I found a rare coin? £2 'errors' explained!
Groove milled around the inner core of a £2 core

A groove is milled around the edge of the inner core so that when both parts are struck together, the metals will fuse as the outer ring deforms and spread into the groove, locking it into place.

Now that we know how £2 coins are struck, here are some of the mis-strikes and errors that can occur in the process…

The following images of variations found on £2 coins have been taken from Coin News for use in this blog.

Clipped Planchet

Have I found a rare coin? £2 'errors' explained!

Figure 1 shows how the inner core was punched out from the end of the sheet of metal used for blanks, forming a straight or ragged edge clip.

Whilst this also occurs with monometallic coins, the pairing with an outer ring exposes a large gap which is much more noticeable.

The Royal Mint strike millions of coins each year so it is inevitable that variances will occur during the striking process and can’t always be picked up during quality control, despite the fact that this particular coin would weigh less than the standard 12g £2 coin. However, a small quantity of coins do sometimes manage to slip through the net and as i’m sure you’ll agree, they make for interesting collecting.

But before you pay over the odds for one of these coins, beware of fakers! Some coins are manipulated to look like mis-strikes or error coins and sold to unsuspecting buyers. Check the clipped planchet edge of the coin to see if it’s genuine by making sure the detail of the design fades away towards the edge rather than suddenly stopping, which would indicate the coin had been cut.

Off Centre Inner Core

Have I found a rare coin? £2 'errors' explained!

Figure 2 shows an inner core which hasn’t been united properly prior to being struck.

Due to the way the inner and outer core are struck together with the two metals being lined up and then fused together during striking, a misalignment will mean that the inner core spills into the outer ring, as seen in the image above. There might also be a gap between the two metals on the opposing join.

This mis-strike is thought to be fairly common on the bi-metallic 12 sided £1 coin as well as some of the Technology £2 coins and even foreign bimetallic coins, but have you ever spotted one in your change?

Faulty Outer Ring

Have I found a rare coin? £2 'errors' explained!

Figure 3 shows a faulty planchet or outer ring, where the inner core is exposed.

In the image above, you can actually see the specific engineering design features where the inner core is grooved to help the metal flow bond to the outer ring and fuse during striking.

Similar to the first mis-strike we looked at, this could be caused by a clipped planchet, this time created when the outer ring was punched, however coins like this may also be caused by tampering post striking, for example by fakers trying to replace the inner core of a £2 with another coin to pass off as a rare error.

The Holy Grail of Bi-metallic ‘Errors’

Have I found a rare coin? £2 'errors' explained!

Figure 4 is described as the Holy Grail of bimetallic ‘errors’ and is the result of the nickel-brass £2 blank not having the inner core section punched out before being struck.

This means that the £2 coin is made from one full piece of nickel-brass, completely contrasting the very idea of a bimetallic coin.

A 2007 monometallic £2 was verified by The Royal Mint and in the email confirming the mis-strike it was mentioned that they had only seen 4-5 similar coins before.

This rare striking error is highly sought after and coins have achieved extraordinary prices in private sales and auctions.

Foreign Planchet

Have I found a rare coin? £2 'errors' explained!

Finally, figure 5 shows a £2 design struck on the wrong planchet – a blank normally used to strike a different coin.

As The Royal Mint strikes a huge quantity of coins for different denominations and even different countries, blanks can sometimes end up in the wrong striking chamber, creating a wrong or foreign planchet error.

This is actually down to human error rather than a mis-strike and the coins would normally be picked out during quality control, however some have been spotted in circulation, not only on the £2 coin, but on various different denominations across UK coins and world wide.

One of the most famous examples in the UK is the silver 2p a 2p coin struck on to a 10p blank which sold for 67,580 times its face value at auction.

So how much is my ‘error’ coin worth?

These mis-strikes and errors certainly make for interesting collecting and the rarer variations, such as monometallic £2 coins could certainly sell for over face value.

In fact, one such monometallic mis-strike found on a 2007 Technology £2 is estimated to be worth over £1,000!

Ultimately, as with all coins, it’s all down to how much an individual collector is willing to pay to add that coin to their collection.

If you’ve found a £2 coin with a mis-strike, it’s certainly worth having it verified and authenticated by The Royal Mint, who will supply a letter detailing their findings.

So have you found any interesting variations on your bimetallic £2 coins? Let us know in the comments below!

With thanks to Scott Wren from Coin News.


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 won’t find any 2017 20p coins in your change…

For those of you collecting date runs, you might have noticed that in 2017 The Royal Mint didn’t strike a single £2 or 20p coin for general circulation.

In 2016, nearly 29 million £2 coins and almost 213 million 20p coins were struck for circulation, however the next year that number dropped to 0.

Why you won’t find any 2017 20p coins in your change...

From the graph above, you’ll notice that whilst most denominations had relatively few coins struck in 2017 compared to 2016, the mintage figure for £1 coins for both years is comparatively very high.

Introduction of the new £1

It’s thought that the introduction of the new 12 sided £1 coin to replace the old round pound in 2017 affected the demand for the other coins in circulation.

Why you won’t find any 2017 20p coins in your change...

This could be down to the fact that the public were emptying their piggy banks and checking their loose change to make sure their old pound coins were used up before shops stopped accepting them. In doing so, they also ended up spending other coins in their change, meaning there was plenty of cash to re-circulate, and not as much demand for new coins to be struck for circulation.

This coupled with the growth of card payments and the decline of cash transactions, as well as the impressive 25-30 year lifespan of UK coins meant that enough £2 and 20p coins could be re-circulated in 2017 and new coins weren’t needed.

The Royal Mint had been expecting this drop in demand, as had been seen in similar cases overseas when coins were withdrawn.

Where does demand for cash come from?

The Royal Mint does not actually have any real control over how and when coins go into circulation, as this is based on demand.

HM Treasury and the large cash distribution services run by the Post Office and some banks, as well as private operators handle, sort and distribute the billions of coins in circulation, even swapping stocks between themselves.

The Royal Mint and cash distribution services regularly review the amount of coins in circulation and it’s only when they are short of a particular denomination that stocks will be called from The Royal Mint, who act as the manufacturer of the coin on behalf of the Treasury.

Surplus coins will be re-circulated before new coins are released.

Rare 50p coins from 2017

Whilst more 50p coins were struck in 2017 than 2016, two 2017 designs in particular actually have some of the lowest mintage figures of any 50p coins in circulation, excluding the Olympic 50p series.

The 2017 Royal Shield actually comes in as the second rarest 50p in circulation, closely followed by the 2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p.

Take a look at our 50p and £2 mintage charts here.

Why you won’t find any 2017 20p coins in your change...

Where can I find the 2017 £2 and 20p coins?

Whilst no £2 or 20p coins were issued for circulation in 2017, brilliant uncirculated commemorative coins were still issued, including the Jane Austen and First World War Aviation £2 coins.

These coins, along with the 2017 Britannia £2 and the 2017 20p which weren’t issued for circulation were also featured in brilliant uncirculated quality within the 2017 Annual Coin Set, which has now sold out at The Royal Mint.

This means that the only way to get hold of these coins is to purchase the set on the secondary market, with prices typically around £65, although some sets have sold for over £100.

Why you won’t find any 2017 20p coins in your change...

So far the 2018 £2 coins haven’t been released into circulation and whilst the 2019 Royal Shield 50p has been seen in circulation, we’re yet to hear if any of the other 2019 coins will turn up in our change.

Do you think the move towards a cashless society could be on the horizon, or are we still recovering from the surplus cash flow in 2017? Let us know in the comments below!


Secure the commemorative coins from 2017 for your collection!

Why you won’t find any 2017 20p coins in your change...

Today you can own all 4 of the United Kingdom’s commemorative coins from 2017 with the Change Checker Commemorative Coin Pack, including the rare Sir Isaac Newton 50p and the Jane Austen and First World War Aviation £2 coins that can’t be found in circulation.

Click here to secure your coin pack for just £25 >>