Since announcing the Coin Design of the Year category as part of our 2018 Change Checker Awards, the votes have been pouring in for your favourite 2018 coin from each nomination, and we now have our results!
You’ve shortlisted the top 4 coins, so we’ve been joined by Luke and Rowena in this video to reveal them to you and open up the vote for the overall Coin Design of the Year 2018:
So now it’s over to Change Checkers to pick the overall winner out of our shortlisted top 4 coins for 2018. Cast your vote using the poll below and let us know why you think your favourite coin deserves to be crowned the champion in the comments section at the bottom of this blog.
*** VOTE NOW CLOSED ***
To find out more about the Change Checker Awards and to submit your nomination for the Change Checker of the Year or Junior Change Checker of the Year 2018, click here.
The lucky winners will be announced on the 7th of December, alongside the Coin Design of the Year and Coin Story of the Year.
Best of luck!
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
Have you ever noticed how the coins in your pocket display some of the most important moments in Britain’s history? From The Battle of Hastings, The World Wars, Votes for Women and more…
In fact, the coins we find in our change almost act as a guide to map out our nation’s heritage, which in my opinion means these coins play an incredibly important role in preserving these key moments for generations to come.
But with so many historically significant coins out there, which is your favourite? We’ve put together a list of our top ten historical coins – including information about their design and the events they represent and asked Change Checkers to vote for their all time favourite.
Take a look through to familiarise yourself with the coins below and then find out the results of our poll at the bottom of this page.
The Battle of Hastings 50p
For many of us, 1066 represents the start of ‘real’ British history – the year of The Battle of Hastings.
On this day, King Harold II’s English army was defeated by the Norman-French army of William the Conqueror. This led to the Norman conquest of England, with William the Conqueror becoming our first Norman King – a crucial moment in medieval history.
In 2016, The Royal Mint issued a 50p coin to mark the 950th anniversary of this hugely significant event which changed the course of history.
The reverse of this coin was designed by John Bergdahl and is inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry. It depicts the fate of King Harold at the hands of William The Conqueror, along with the famous date 1066 – when the battle took place. The obverse features the fifth portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark.
6,100,000 Battle of Hastings 50p coins were struck, but have you found one in your change?
Magna Carta £2
The Magna Carta or ‘Great Charter’ is known as one of the most famous documents ever written and forms the foundations for modern democracy and the rights of all English citizens today.
Issued in 1215 by King John of England (otherwise known as ‘Bad King John’ due to his autocratic rule), the charter made peace with the rebel barons who had been causing a political crisis and stated that everyone (including the king) was subject to the law.
It is still cited in many legal cases to this day and some of the core values can also be seen in the United States Bill of Rights (1791), despite the document being substantially altered within just 10 years of it being issued.
In 2015, The Royal Mint issued this £2 coin to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. The reverse design of this medieval-style coin features King John holding a quill and flanked by two noblemen.
Only 1,495,000 of this coin were struck, meaning it is slightly harder to find in your change, but have you got one in your collection?
Charles Darwin has been described as one of the most influential figures in human history and was known as the ‘father or evolution’.
Born in 1809, Darwin was a British scientist whose work laid the foundations of the theory of evolution and natural selection, forever transforming the way we think about the natural world.
At the time of publication in 1859, his book ‘On the Origin of the Species’ was extremely controversial as it made it seem possible that humans evolved from apes, contradicting the widely held Orthodox Church theory of creation.
His death on the 19th April 1882 was honoured with a burial at Westminster Abbey and in 2009 The Royal Mint celebrated 200 years since his birth and 150 years since the publication of ‘On the Origin of Species’ with this £2 coin. The reverse design by Suzie Zamit features a profile portrait of Darwin facing a chimpanzee.
3,903,000 Darwin £2 coins were struck, so you might have come across one in your change?
On the 5th of July 1948, the National Health Service was born – providing a health service available to all and financed entirely from taxation.
After a Labour victory in the 1945 general election, Aneurin Bevan became minister of health, responsible for establishing the NHS.
This was the first time that anywhere in the world had completely free healthcare for citizens and brought together hospitals, doctors and nurses as one service, becoming the third largest employer in England.
In 1998, The Royal Mint issued this 50p coin to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the NHS. The coin’s obverse design features a pair of hands radiating lines to symbolise hope, created by David Cornell who is most famous for his Diana Princess of Wales Memorial £5 coin design.
5,001,000 NHS 50p coins were struck, but do you have one in your collection?
Gunpowder Plot £2
In 1605, a failed assassination attempt of King James I by a group of English Catholics went down in history as The Gunpowder Plot.
Whilst the 5th of November is now an an exciting celebration with fireworks and bonfires, the plan made by these rebels back in 1605 was far less lighthearted…
They plotted to blow up the House of Lords during the opening of Parliament on 5th November 1605, but Guy Fawkes was discovered the night before guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder and was subsequently executed along with seven other plotters.
In 2005, The Royal Mint issued this £2 coin to mark the 400th anniversary. The reverse design of this coin features a montage of bishop’s crosiers, swords, and the Parliamentary mace – symbolising the survival of the British establishment.
5,140,500 of this coin were struck and many have found their way into the hands of collectors.
With Emmeline and Christabelle Pankhurst at its forefront, the Suffragette movement finally saw the partial votes for women in 1918, with the franchise being extended to all women over 21 in 1928.
The passionate campaigning for equal voting rights by this pioneering group of women meant that they risked ridicule and even imprisonment in defense of their cause.
However, the foundations they laid shaped society’s idea of women and sparked a new era of feminist history.
The Royal Mint issued the Suffragettes 50p in 2003 to commemorate the centenary of the establishment of the Women’s Social and Political Union. The design by Mary Milner Dickens features the figure of a suffragette chained to railings holding a banner on which appear the letters WSPU and to the right a ballot paper marked with a cross can be seen.
3,124,030 Suffragettes 50ps were struck, meaning it might be harder to come across in your change.
First World War Kitchener £2
Horatio Herbert Kitchener, the British Secretary of War became synonymous with the enlistment campaign when war was declared on 4th August 1914.
Intuition told him that the war would last for several years and so he masterminded a recruitment campaign to build the largest volunteer army that Britain had ever seen and oversersaw a significant expansion of materials production to fight on the Western Front.
On 5 June 1916, Kitchener died aboard HMS Hampshire, when it struck a German mine near Scotland and sank.
To mark the centenary of the First World War, the Royal Mint revealed a five-year commemoration of the wartime journey from outbreak to armistice. and this first coin in the series is the £2 coin bearing sculptor John Bergdahl’s depiction of Lord Kitchener’s famous call to arms alongside the words YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU.
5,720,000 coins were struck, meaning you are likely to come across this coin in your change.
Sir Isaac Newton 50p
Sir Isaac Newton is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution.
According to the Julian calendar in use in England at the time, Newton was born on Christmas Day, 25 December 1642 in the county of Lincolnshire. He became a fellow of Trinity College and the second Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.
His works changed our understanding of mathematics and physics and redefined the way we see the world.
In 1696 on the recommendation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Isaac Newton became master of The Royal Mint, where he shaped the security of our currency, ensuring coins were made of the correct weight and fineness, varying as little as possible one from another.
Designed by Aaron West, this 50p coin was issued by The Royal Mint in 2017 to commemorate the achievements of Sir Isaac Newton and remember the legacy he left.
With a mintage of just 1,801,500 this 50p is the second rarest commemorative 50p in circulation.
Great Fire of London £2
The Great Fire is one of the most well-known disasters to hit London, when an accidental spark from a baker’s oven on Pudding Lane led to the destruction of a third of the city.
At the time, London had an estimated half a million inhabitants, many of which lived in wooden houses and makeshift structures which had become bone dry during an exceptional drought.
Over the course of 4 days, flames reaching temperatures of 1,250 °C consumed 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St Paul’s Cathedral, and most of the buildings of the City authorities.
This 2016 £2 coin was issued by The Royal Mint to mark the 350th Anniversary of the iconic moment in the city’s history from which modern London emerged. The reverse depicts the city of London burning in flames from a distance and was designed by Aaron West.
The coin has a mintage of 5,135,000.
60th Anniversary of the end of World War Two £2
The 8th May 1945 is known as VE Day – Victory in Europe, which marked the end of World War Two.
This followed Germany’s surrender, about a week after Adolf Hitler had committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin.
Upon Germany’s defeat, an eruption of celebrations swept across the western world and in the UK more than a million people took to the streets to mark the end of war. In London, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth appeared on the balcony of the palace alongside Prime Minister Winston Churchill, to stand before the cheering crowds.
The reverse design of this £2 features a depiction of St Paul’s Cathedral which survived the Blitz to become a great symbol of hope to a war-torn nation. The edge inscription reads – IN VICTORY: MAGNANIMITY, IN PEACE: GOODWILL – part of the famous maxim that prefaces Churchill’s history of the Second World War.
With a mintage of 10,191,000 this coin is the most common £2 coin (excluding the Technology £2). Do you have one in your collection and do you think it should be named the favourite historical coin?
I’m sure you’ll agree that each of these remarkable coins beautifully represents a very special part of British heritage and acts as a window into our past history. Now it’s time to reveal which coin has been named the favourite amongst Change Checkers, based on their historical significance and quality of design.
Secure your History of Britain in Coins Collector Pack
Collect and preserve these fantastic coins for yourself with the History of Britain in Coins Collector Pack, including 10 expertly illustrated fact cards and introductory cover page, housed within protective pages in a Change Checker album.
What’s more, when you order today, you’ll receive the Great Fire of London £2 for FREE to get your collection started!
This pack makes for the ideal gift and is a great way to encourage junior Change Checkers to build their collections, whilst also helping them to learn about British history at the same time.
With the release of the brand new Paddington 50p coin series in 2018, I’ve been thinking back over some of the UK’s top coin releases and of course nothing is quite as exciting as a whole series of brand new coins to add to your collection! But which series has been your favourite, Change Checkers…?
The results are now in and it’s safe to say that we have a clear winner with the coin series that started it all – the Olympic 50ps! That’s right, Change Checkers voted this hugely popular series as their favourite and it’s no wonder, as these coins created a collecting storm back in 2012 when coin collectors and Olympic enthusiasts alike looked to secure these coins for their Olympic collections.
Find out more about these coins below and take a look at the results of our poll at the bottom of this page.
Coming in a close second were the brand new 2018 RAF £2 coins, closely followed by the new A-Z 10p coins. It seems that Change Checker’s are really enjoying these new coins releases and whilst the RAF coins haven’t been released into circulation yet and the A-Z 10ps are proving tricky to find, they are clearly holding a lot of appeal for collectors.
Read all about these coins, and the other 50p and £2 coin series below.
The first series to really kick start coin collector’s of the nation was the Olympic 50p series, which has since become so popular that it’s now estimated that 75% of the coins have been removed from circulation by collectors!
So what made this coin series so special? The 2012 Olympics were of course a hugely exciting time for Britain and people were undoubtedly looking for a ‘free’ souvenir to mark this significant event.
Struck at the organisation’s headquarters in South Wales, the coins were designed by members of the public as part of a Royal Mint competition in which nearly 30,000 entries were submitted. They are the first ever UK coins to be designed by the public.
Each of the twenty-nine 50p coins features an Olympic or Paralympic sport on its reverse. These include sailing, cycling and basketball as well as less well-known sports such as handball and the Paralympic sport boccia.
The 50p coins are seen as a perfect souvenir to remember London 2012 due to their intrinsic value and quality which holds an interest and fascination for generations to come and have been officially voted by Change Checkers as their favourite coin series!
2016 Beatrix Potter 50ps
Following the collecting sensation of the Olympic 50ps, the Beatrix Potter 50p coin series quickly became the next big thing to get Change Checkers and coin collectors across the nation excited! There have been three series of these hugely popular 50ps, with each series including much-loved characters from the Beatrix Potter books.
The first series was released by The Royal Mint in 2016 to mark 150 years since the birth of the beloved children’s author and featured 5 coins including Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Jemima Puddle Duck and a coin depicting elements that celebrate the life of Beatrix Potter.
The response from collectors was staggering, with The Royal Mint’s website crashing under the sheer weight of the public’s interest in the first morning of the 2016 Peter Rabbit 50p going on sale.
He has since featured in each of the following series, the only character to appear in all three, which just goes to show what a popular little bunny he is!
2017 Beatrix Potter 50ps
In 2017, much to the delight of coin collectors across the nation, The Royal Mint released a brand new series of Beatrix Potter 50ps to carry on the celebrations of some of Beatrix Potter’s most loved animals.
This series included Peter Rabbit (of course), Jeremy Fisher, Tom Kitten and Benjamin Bunny.
The huge popularity of the previous year’s coins meant that collector’s couldn’t wait to get their hands on these coins and build their collection of Beatrix Potter 50ps.
We are now starting to see these coins entering circulation, with Tom Kitten and Jeremy Fisher turning up in people’s change, so make sure to keep your eye out for them!
2018 Beatrix Potter 50ps
This year, we’ve seen another Beatrix Potter series released and collectors seem to be continuing to fall in love with the adorable characters on these coins.
Peter Rabbit returns for a third year running in the 2018 series, alongside his friends Flopsy Bunny, the Tailor of Gloucester and Mrs Tittlemouse.
These coins have not been released into circulation yet and mintage figures remain unknown for now, but all four coins are now available to buy in Brilliant Uncirculated quality and collectors remain eager to snap up these coins for their Beatrix Potter collections.
But that’s not the end of the story for 50p coin series, because in 2018 The Royal Mint also issued a brand new series celebrating the 60th anniversary of Britain’s most loved bear, Paddington™!
Coin collectors were whipped into a frenzy with the excitement of owning these new 50p coins and it has even been suggested that this could be the most sought-after 50p coin series ever!
Two coins have now been released and are available to purchase in Brilliant Uncirculated quality, the first featuring Paddington wearing his iconic mack, sat on his suitcase at the station and the second showing the delightful bear waving a Union Jack flag outside Buckingham Palace.
This is the first time Paddington has featured on UK coinage and the world of coin collecting has been abuzz with the news of the release ever since The Royal Mint announced the coins would be issued earlier this year.
Have you secured your 2018 Paddington 50p coins yet?
Following a review of the United Kingdom’s coinage in 1996, the decision was made that a general-circulation £2 coin was needed and so the bi-metallic coin we know today was introduced. Whilst these coins are now in circulation and not reserved just for collectors, they have still become increasingly collectable, with a number of £2 coin series being released over the years.
Commonwealth Games £2s
The 2002 Commonwealth Games £2 coins are known as some of the scarcest £2 coins now in circulation, with even the largest mintage (Scotland) set at just 771,750!
But the coin you really need to be looking out for is the Northern Ireland £2. Just 485,000 coins were ever struck making it officially the UK’s rarest £2 coin.
At first glance, you might struggle to spot the difference between them. They all feature the same running athlete trailing a banner behind, but each has a different cameo, representing each of the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom.
Are you lucky enough to have these coins in your collection?
In 2016, three different £2 coins were issued to honour Shakespeare’s tragedies, comedies and historical works and were released into circulation just in time for the 400th anniversary of his death on the 23nd April 2016.
The coins were certainly amongst the favourites of collectors that year with the Skull design in particular receiving a lot of attention, and not just from collectors.
Each coin pays tribute to one of Shakespeare’s major genres and the reverse designs take inspiration from his most famous plays, including Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth.
Which Shakespeare £2 is your favourite?
World War One £2s
To mark the centenary of the First World War, the Royal Mint revealed a five-year commemoration of the wartime journey from outbreak to armistice.
The first coin in the series bears sculptor John Bergdahl’s depiction of Lord Kitchener’s famous call to arms alongside the words YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU. The British Secretary of War became synonymous with the enlistment campaign when war was declared on 4th August 1914.
Following coins in the series have featured renowned military artist David Rowlands design for the reverse of the Navy coin, Tim Sharp’s Army design honouring the ‘Pals Battalions’, the Aviation design by ‘Tangerine’ and Stephen Raw’s interpretation of Armistice which features the words ‘The truth untold, the pity of war’, from the Wilfred Owen poem Strange Meeting.
As this year marks the centenary of the end of World War One, this coin series is particularly poignant.
In this special centenary year, the Royal Air Force has been commemorated with a series of five brand new £2 coins!
The Royal Air Force was formed on April 1st 1918, in the early years of aviation. It was the world’s first independent air force, and is recognised today all over the world for its capability, courage and innovation, which has been represented on these striking coin designs, depicting some of the most iconic RAF aircraft ever flown.
These coins haven’t been released into circulation yet, but are already proving to be hugely popular with collectors and RAF supporters alike.
The first coin in the series features the synonymous RAF Badge, whilst the other four coin designs represent aircraft including the Spitfire, Vulcan, Sea King and F35 Lightning.
This striking series has been voted in second place by Change Checkers which is a fantastic achievement for these brand new coins.
A-Z 10p coins!
26 new UK commemorative 10p coins were released into circulation this year and collectors across the country have joined the nationwide coin hunt to get their hands on these hugely sought-after little coins.
The coins each feature a different letter from A-Z and each letter celebrates a different Great British icon, from Angel of the North to Zebra Crossing and everything in between (my personal favourite is ‘G’ for Greenwich Meantime).
We know that 2.6 million have been released so far overall, but exact mintages for each design are not yet available and so collectors are desperately trying to build up their collection of all 26 coins.
Whilst reports have come in from people starting to find these coins, they are certainly proving tricky to get hold of and it seems that they are quickly being snapped up by eagle eyed collectors!
These little coins have made the top three as voted by Change Checkers, but have you found any in your change and which design is your favourite?
Results of the vote!
It’s always worth taking time to appreciate the fantastic designs we see on UK coinage and I must say that each of these series is truly unique and impressive in its own way.
So now you’ve been brought up to speed with the top UK coin series, take a look at which series Change Checkers have voted as their favourite.
See the results of the vote here: