Coutts – bankers to the Queen – have confirmed coins as the third most lucrative hobby investment over a ten year period. 

The Coutts Passion index tracks the rate at which the price of hobby investments has risen, and its increase of 80% between 2005 and 2014 proves that there is money to be made for those who decide to turn their hobby into an investment.

And it’s great news for coin collectors, as old coins rank as the 3rd most lucrative hobby. Last year prices for old coins grew at a rate of 9% and over the 10 year period between 2005 and 2014 they have risen a staggering 176%

A spokesman for Stanley Gibbons explained that the enduring popularity of coins is down to their “tangibility and literal link to money, wealth and precious metals”. He added: “Unlike other passion assets they are straightforward for storage, servicing and insurance”.

Kew Gardens 50p A

The Kew Gardens 50p often sells for up to £30 (60 times its face value)

Change Checkers will be particularly pleased with the news, given that their hobby is also very affordable.

With coins like the undated 20p and the Kew Gardens 50p which can simply be found in loose change, the return on their investment stands to be even higher in percentage terms!

Classic cars were ranked as the most lucrative investment, and last year a new record was set when a 1962 Ferrari sold for £24m at auction in California. But just in case you don’t have millions of pounds lying around, coin collecting is not a bad alternative!


The most lucrative ‘hobby investments’ over 10 years

  1. Classic cars
  2. Old Master and 19th Century art
  3. Old coins
  4. Rare musical instruments
  5. Post-war and contemporary art
  6. Jewellery
  7. Rugs and carpets
  8. Impressionist and modern art
  9. Stamps
  10. Fine wine
  11. Traditional Chinese works
  12. Watches

Have I just found a rare coin? It’s a question which collectors ask daily, and to help answer it, we’ve put together these charts showing the TOP 10 rarest coins for each of the four denominations on the Change Checker App.

How does your coin stack up against the others?

The Northern Ireland 2002 Commonwealth Games is the rarest £2 coin currently in circulation – in fact the four designs in the 2002 Commonwealth Games series can be found in the top ten chart. Others to look out for include both 2008 and 2012 Olympic Handover Two Pound Coin designs and the 2015 Royal Navy £2.

The rarest One Pound coin currently in circulation is the Edinburgh £1 – have you ever spotted one in your change? The Royal Arms is a common design which is sometimes ignored, but remember to look out for one with a 2008 date – that’s actually the fourth rarest.

A chart showing the rarest £1 coins in circulation

The Olympic Fifty Pence series is very popular with Change Checkers, but in terms of rarity, there really isn’t much separating the top 10 designs. The Football ‘Offside Rule’ 50p was certainly one of the most talked about designs, and it also narrowly ranks as the scarcest.

The top 10 rarest designs in the famous Olympic sports 50p series

As mentioned in our previous blog the rarest coin, of any denomination, is the Kew Gardens 50p. Its status as the most scarce coin has been well publicised, and as a result, many are hoarded by collectors. The chart below illustrates just how rare it is compared with other Fifty Pence designs.

 

Hopefully our charts will help you identify which coins you should be looking for in your loose change, and remember you can Find, Collect and Swap all your coins for FREE with the Change Checker App: www.changechecker.org/app

 


 

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Which coins are missing from your collection?

 

It’s 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. In fact plenty of collectors are still doing just that in the hope of finding one.

Online sellers have set prices sky high, with one seller asking for an astonishing £10m for the the coin! However, although these chancers are unlikely to see their coin actually selling for that price, some people have been willing to pay in the thousands for the chance to own one of these rare coins.

The story of the coin

If you’re not familiar with the story of the undated 20p, this is it:

In 2008, the reverse of each denomination from 1p to £1 was redesigned by Matthew Dent to feature a different part of the Royal Arms Shield. The 20p had previously included the date on the reverse, but with the entire face of the coin now devoted to the new design, the Royal Mint produced a new die with the date on the obverse (Queen’s head) side.

However, when the new Royal Shield 20p coins were struck for circulation, the old die was accidentally used, meaning a batch was issued with no date on either side of the coin.

Coins with mismatched sides like these are known in the collecting world as ‘mules’ – the name deriving from the hybrid offspring of a horse and a donkey. Mule coins are always highly coveted, but they rarely receive the kind of mainstream media attention afforded to the undated 20p.

 

The undated 20p

The undated 20p was the first coin issued for circulation in over 300 years without a date on either side

 

The first for 300 years

The undated 20p became the first coin in over 300 years to enter circulation without a date, and when the story broke in the press, it caused a frenzy not just in the collecting world but amongst the general public who realised they stood just as good a chance as anyone of pulling one out of their change.

Estimates have varied over the years but The Royal Mint confirmed in a statement that no more than 250,000 coins made it into circulation.

 

Media speculation fuelled wild estimates about the value of an undated 20p

Various stories in the media helped to fuel wild estimates of the value of an undated 20p

 

Stories from numerous media outlets fuelled rumours about the coin’s value. Experts suggest that the faulty 20ps could be worth £50 each, however sellers on eBay listed the coins for thousands, with one lucky seller fetching a colossal £7,100 (35,500 times face value). 

Of course, a coin with such a high mintage could never really be worth that sort of figure, and in recent years the average selling price for an undated 20p has levelled off. Nowadays they normally sell for around the £50 mark which I’m sure you’ll agree is still not a bad return for a 20p coin!

In terms of rarity, you are approximately twice as likely to find an undated 20p as you are the famous Kew Gardens 50p. However, ordinarily an undated 20p will sell for more. But why?

The reason quite simply is that everyone loves a good story.

The fact that the coin only exists by way of a freak accident really adds to its appeal, and makes it a collector’s item in every sense of the term. So remember to have a good look at your 20p next time you’ve got one in your hand. A flip of your coin could be worth a lot more than you thought.

 


 

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

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