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Posts Tagged ‘UK Coins’

A history of UK Remembrance Day coins

Every year since 1919, on the second Sunday of the 11th month, at the 11th hour, the nation falls silent for two minutes to pay their respects to the brave men and women who have lost their lives in conflict around the world, and for those who continue to safeguard our freedom.

Today marks 100 years of Remembrance and to commemorate this significant occasion, I’ve taken a look at the history of UK coins issued in tribute.

History of Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day first began as ‘Armistice Day’ in Great Britain on the 11th November 1919, in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the peace agreement that ended the First World War.

After the conclusion of WWII in 1945, the British government wanted to honor those who fought in the World Wars and decided to replace Armistice Day with a new Sunday observance, which thereafter was known as Remembrance Sunday.

UK Remembrance Coins

2017

A history of UK Remembrance Day coins
UK 2017 Remembrance Day £5

In 2017, The Royal Mint released the first official UK Remembrance Day £5 coin, designed by Stephen Taylor to honour the fallen and ensure their stories live on through the generations.

Traditionally, Remembrance Day £5 coins were produced by The Royal Mint on behalf of Alderney and would therefore have been Alderney tender, however 2017 marked the first time this important anniversary was commemorated on a UK coin.

2018

A history of UK Remembrance Day coins
UK 2018 Remembrance Day £5

In 2018 The Royal Mint released their second Brilliant Uncirculated Remembrance £5 coin to honour the sacrifices of all those who have risked, and continue to risk, their lives to protect our freedom.

This £5 coin features a design by Laura Clancy, including vibrant red selected colour printing, symbolic of the resilient and determined poppies that grew amidst the destruction in the valley of the Somme.

2019

A history of UK Remembrance Day coins
UK 2019 Remembrance Day £5

This year, a brand new UK £5 was released, featuring a design by artist Harry Brockway, incorporating the famous lines from ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon.

The intricate design has selected colour-printing highlighting a red poppy – the recognised symbol of Remembrance to honour those who have fought.

The use of selected colour printing is normally reserved for Proof quality coins, which makes the Remembrance Day £5 coins particularly special.

UK coins commemorating wartime

The Remembrance £5 coins are a poignant tribute to those who fought and lost their lives in the World Wars, and The Royal Mint have also issued a number of other wartime themed UK coins.

From 2014-2018, The Royal Mint issued a series of commemorative £2 coins to commemorate the wartime journey of the First World War from outbreak to armistice.

2014

The first coin in the series was the 2014 Kitchener £2 which featured John Bergdahl’s depiction of Lord Kitchener’s famous call to arms, alongside the words ‘YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU’.

A history of UK Remembrance Day coins

Kitchener was a British military leader and Secretary of State for War in the first years of the First World War. Unlike many others in the Government and the military, Kitchener foresaw a war lasting for years and he planned accordingly. He rapidly enlisted and trained huge numbers of volunteers for a succession of entirely new ‘Kitchener armies’. It was this enlistment campaign that coined the now famous phrase that appears on the reverse of this £2 coin.

5,720,000 of these coins entered circulation in 2014.

2015

The second £2 coin in the Royal Mint’s five year programme to commemorate the centenary of the First World War pays tribute to the Royal Navy.

A history of UK Remembrance Day coins

Renowned military artist David Rowlands designed the reverse of this coin, and it features a battleship approaching on the open sea, paying homage to the British fleet that defended coastal waters against the Germans. At the time, The Royal Navy was by far the most powerful navy in the world. The British economic blockade of Germany, afforded by the Royal Navy’s command of the sea, inflicted great damage on the war effort of Germany.

650,000 of these coins entered circulation in 2015, making it the third rarest £2 coin currently in circulation.

2016

In 2016, the third issue of the First World War Centenary series commemorated the role of the Army.

A history of UK Remembrance Day coins

Tim Sharp’s design marks a poignant moment in military history, honouring the ‘Pals Battalions’. As part of Lord Kitchener’s New Armies, it was realized that many more men would enlist if they could serve alongside their friends, relatives and workmates. This encouraged the coining of the term ‘Pals battalions.’ On 21 August 1914, the first Pals battalion was raised and in a matter of days, 1,600 men had joined what became the 10th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers.

9,550,000 of these coins entered circulation in 2016.

2017

The fourth £2 coin in The Royal Mint Centenary of the First World War series paid tribute to the aviators of the First World War.

A history of UK Remembrance Day coins

As technology developed, air combat became an innovative form of warfare. Fighter pilots were portrayed as noble gentleman duelists in the skies above the horror of the trenches. The edge lettering of this coin pays tribute to the first aviators to sacrifice their lives in ‘The War in the Air’ and the reverse design by Dan Flashman shows an aircraft from birds-eye view with land in the background.

This coin has not entered circulation.

2018

In 2018, The Royal Mint issued their final commemorative £2 coin in their Centenary of the First World War series. This coin commemorated the 100th anniversary of Armistice.

A history of UK Remembrance Day coins

Armistice marked the signing of agreements to end of the First World War and the victory of the allies on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month in 1918. The reverse of the coin was designed by Stephen Raw and features the words ‘The truth untold, the pity of war’ from the Wilfred Owen poem ‘Strange Meeting’.

This coin has not entered circulation.

Today, these coins act as a reminder of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and fought for our freedom and encourage the younger generations to learn about our country’s history.


Honour those who have fought and secure your 2019 Remembrance £5 today

A history of UK Remembrance Day coins

This brand new UK issue is a poignant tribute to all the soldiers who have fought in conflicts across the world.

Click here to secure this 2019 UK Remembrance Day £5 in superior Brilliant Uncirculated quality for your collection today.

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

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Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app

How are coins made? The 5 stages of coin production

Have you ever wondered how the coins in your change are made?

From the drawing board to your pocket, there’s a lot that goes into the production of UK coins, and so we’ve put together a 5 stage infographic to break it down for you…

How are coins made? The 5 stages of coin production

1) Designing

First, The Royal Mint’s marketing team look at possible themes and develop a brief for the designer. They work with internal artists, graphic designers and external artists such as competition winners.

The designer sketches a concept either by hand or on a computer and this is sent to The Royal Mint Advisory Committee for feedback and approval.

The final stage in design is to send the coin to the Queen for final sign off of the design.

It was actually revealed recently that the Queen took a particular liking to the 2019 Stephen Hawking 50p, which has proven to be a big success and a hugely popular design this year.

2) Moulding and Engraving the Master Die

Designs are transferred and sculpted onto a plaster mould 5 times the size of the coin.

This model will be scanned and stored as a digital image to be used by an engraving machine.

The transfer-engraver reproduces the design onto a master die the same diameter as the coin to be struck.

This will be used to make the dies that will actually strike the coins.

3) Blanking

Sheets of metal are pressed into the exact thickness of the coin required and then rolled into coils.

These huge coiled strips of metal are then cut into the correct shapes by blanking presses.

The presses punch out blank discs with a pressure of around 60 tonnes, creating coins at a speed of 850 strikes per minute!

The blanks are checked before being annealed and blanched to create a lustre suitable for coining.

4) Striking

To transfer the design onto the blanks to be struck, the coin blank is pressed between two dies using a hydraulic press.

The variable pressure of the press is up to hundreds of pounds per square inch.

This forms the shape and design of the finished coin, striking up to 25,000 coins every hour!

5) Inspecting, Sorting and Bagging

The final stage involves checking the coins for imperfections and sorting them into the correct denominations or designs.

They are wrapped and stacked in bags to be stored in ‘the long room’, ready for despatch.

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, and these coins will be issued into circulation, ready and waiting to be found in your change!

I don’t know about you, but the next time I check my change I’ll certainly be considering the journey the coins have been through to end up in my purse and the incredible production process that goes into creating UK 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

Change Checker Web App Banner 2 Amends 1024x233 1 1024x233 - Your Latest Scarcity Index Update!

Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app