If you’re new to the collecting hobby, it can feel a bit overwhelming. We think the best way to get started is to hear from others about their own experiences.
Check out these collecting stories from our very own Change Checkers so see what inspired them to start collecting…
“I started collecting when the Olympic 50ps came out the year when my grandson was born. The first one I received in my change was the Rowing 50p and a work mate give me a cutting from a newspaper showing how many Olympic coins there were and what they looked like. I’ve been hooked since 2012 and my collection has grown since”
Julie – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
“My uncle was a collector and I always wanted to look through his collection when I went to visit. One day he gave me some spares and that’s how it started. He travelled a lot for work so would let me have his pocket change when he got back, so I have quite a lot of middle eastern coins. I then started to get a few British coins and realised I could collect from my pocket money, I lost interest for many years and then came across my collection which of course I had to start tidying up and then I found out about these groups…The rest is history as I’m hooked again!”
Stuart – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
“It all started with the Peter Rabbit coins. I just collected them with my change. I came across other coins and put them in my box but didn’t have a clue about coins and coin groups.
When I got a lot of coins, I decided to look for coin on my Facebook and wow it took over my life! I couldn’t believe how many different coins are out there. I would ask for change and stand in shops looking at every single coin to check. Since joining the coin groups, I’ve learnt so much and made lots of coin friends, it’s amazing. My collection is growing all the time and I still enjoy looking at them all. The Change Checker Trading Cards have helped my grandkids to learn about coins too.”
Amanda – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
“In 1990, I went busking for the first time as a 15 year old schoolboy, and this developed into a regular holiday time hobby. I started noticing quite early on the different foreign coins, or those from the various UK territories, that would land in my hat. I suppose my favourite coin from those times was an Isle of Man Christmas 50p, which is still pride of place in my collection. Previously, I kept all of those coins in a cotton bag but around 2013, I brought myself a filing system and it has been growing ever since.
I now keep year runs of the various denominations and buy the occasional treat from the Royal Mint or Westminster Collection. Another favourite coin is an Andorra €1 Coin which I managed to blag from the information desk of the tiny parliament building of Andorra in 2017.”
Carwyn – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
“I was a Scout Leader and knew that a 50p was minted in 2007 for 100 years of Scouting. I started looking for them and realised there was so many other coins and started collecting them and have not stopped!”
Peter – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
“I started in December 2022. As an amateur photographer, I photograph all sorts of things, but rarely have I done product photography. I had already started collecting the Paddington and Beatrix Potter 50ps and then my mum bought me a product photography box from a car boot sale. I picked some of my coins that I’d collected and used them to try out the photography box. From there I started buying coins, first through ebay, then I came across coin groups on Facebook, where I swapped and bought more coins. I also signed up to the Change Checker website where I added my collection and did a few swaps with other members. I got ideas in my head of coins that I’d like to photograph as a series or a certain theme and then I just kept adding to my collection.
At first, I was just getting any coins I could get my hands on, and then I just went on to getting Brilliant Uncirculated coins as the conditions were better and showed better details. I didn’t know about toning and stuff like that, but after joining the Facebook groups, I learned quite a bit and knew what questions to ask when buying coins from people. I now just collect new releases of annual coins and 50p & £2 coins and an occasional £5 coin if I like the design. My favourite coins are bimetallic £1 & £2 and I also love rainbow toned coins!”
Lee – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
“My Father had always collected coins which gained my interest in the hobby, however this has turned in to a passion and (healthy) obsession over the last ten years or so due to all the different commemorative coin designs available. My personal favourite piece in my collection is the Jane Austen Silver £2 coin released in 2017, however I have a slight soft spot for the new Dormouse 1p!“
Rob – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
“Ah, it all started late 2019 and Brexit was on the cards. Saw an advert for a Silver Proof Brexit coin, thought, that’s a piece of history, going to get one of those. It arrived and I thought we have all sorts of pots of change, how great to collect one of each denomination. And so it all began!! Then 2020 and covid, everyone stopped using cash. Binned collecting the small change and stuck to 50ps, 1 and 2 pounds. Well I say collecting, more like buying and bartering. Nearly there with all decimals, a few still to go. Now hooked on making sure I get all the Royal Mint NIFC – wonder how long that will last.”
Gary – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
“I worked in retail for over 30 years so was always seeing the different designs, which is how I got my Kew Gardens 50ps, I think I got the collecting bug when the Olympics 50ps came out.
I enjoyed finding them in the tills and I managed to get all the sought after coins except the undated 20p. I wasn’t prepared to search every coin and coin bag looking for one. Working in retail through covid slowed the collecting down, and I now rely on my wife finding the odd one or two as well as buying online.”
Sean – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
“I have collected every coin for 2023 from the 50p to the 5 pounds coins from year set to each and every coin of 2023 and got two sets of the new Kings Charles sets. I have also been to the Royal Mint a few times with in the year too and out of 861 coins, so far I have got 771 coins so by the end of 2024 I hope to have every single coin that has been sold for my collection.”
Stephen – Change Checker of the Year Nominee
“First coins I liked were the silver 3d that we found in the Christmas Pudding. Another favourite pre-decimal coin was the Half Crown I got for doing my paper round after school. I got Churchill, Jubilee and Diana Crowns given to me. I collected all the different shiny round £1s which I regret spending when they were recalled. One of my oldest coins I found under a flagstone in our old cottage when we dug the floor up.
Luckily I found the Change Checker Community site, bought 2 folders and also won one, so then the serious decimal coin collecting began for our Grandchildren. There’s a lot of fun and learning going on when you become a Numismatist.”
Ann – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
“Over the past 3 years I have built up a very extensive 50p coin collection, ranging from the UK to the Territories too. Much to my wife’s dismay at my passion for my collection and how much I spend on it….I still buy what I need via the tills at my workplace and order bulk 50ps in £250 bags through G4S & work. They bring bulk change to my work, I buy them in bulk from the safe with notes…then return them for the next bag when I have looked through them all. Sadly I haven’t found my nemesis “KEW GARDENS” but have found many lower mintage 50ps from the likes of Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Falklands, Jersey, Guernsey, St Helena, Alderney etc…not to mention my extensive USA collection of ALL the US quarter programs, Innovations dollar program, Presidential Dollars, Native American dollars and much, much more.”
Alex – Change Checker of the Year Nominee
“My Grandfather was mainly a stamp collector- particularly keen on gutter pairs. He had a few predecimal coins which he gave to me in 1985 when he had to move house. My brother got the stamps. I decided to buy an annual set every year from then to keep the collection going. I also collected every circulated coin for a date run, although I didn’t know it was called that. Other things took priority for many years. In 2017 I decided to find a whole set of pound coins before they were demonitised. I didn’t manage it but I noticed several coins that just looked odd. They were usually fakes but occasionally genuine errors. So now I collect a year set each year. I buy coins from Change Checker and the Royal Mint, but also check every coin I get for mistakes and fakes. To help me I ask friends and family to give me any bags of change they want banking and sort through those. I then take them to the bank for them. A free service I provide…”
Roger – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
“I started collecting when I was around ten years old (42 years ago) the 1973 EEC 50p was given as pocket money and I just couldn’t spend it, even though it was a small fortune to me, I was fascinated by it because it was so different to other coins.
Then it was the 20p which I kept asking my local paper shop for, eventually he got some from the bank lovely and shiny, again I couldn’t spend them same with the new pound coin in 1983. I then started with help from my Mum to collect and send off for various promotional coins from everyday food and drink brands. I sort of kept my hobby to myself for many years collecting every coin in circulation and having coins from the Royal Mint bought for me for birthdays & Christmas. I joined the young coin club and my Mum joined the adult version, this is what got me into the facts and figures side of the hobby because the mintage and sales figures were published in the magazine. Books were the next thing for me reading anything and everything then forums contributing and learning and sharing. Coin fairs, car boots. Then social media with coin groups lead to my involvement with best selling books and apps. I have worked with the Royal Mint behind the scenes and continue to do so to this day with also running their Facebook group. My hobby also lead to the creation of my own website which if I don’t mind saying so is the most comprehensive UK decimal website there is. Our hobby can be so diverse with so many avenues you can explore, I’m still learning even after all this time and I’ve probably answered millions of questions over the years…”
Lee – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
“I started when I got Peter Rabbit in my change. My daughter worked in a shop and started getting me ones I didn’t have, now she collects too. So sad you don’t get many in your change any more.”
Val – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
“I always liked coins and used to put away old coins for my 3 kids, after my Mum gave me her silver three pence coins some with the young Queen Victoria, but I couldn’t afford to save coins, dished out what I had to the kids and stopped – until I had a Brunel £2 coin in my change, that started me off again and it’s become an obsession.
I used to look at my change even ask the cashier if they had any shiny new coins in the til! I’ve made new friends and enjoy the banter, but still can’t afford the big ones only get them with winning draws and selling on to buy more, but love it!”
Rachel – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
“My parents used to leave their change on a desk in their room and as a child I was always fascinated, I had to check through all the coins. As a child, my favourite was the pound coin and I would play snap with them if they had two of the same, eventually I was told to put it down and go on my way. That was until I started earning money of my own and every coin I got that was not standard got put in to a big money tub and once a week or so I would pour it all out count it check all the different ones I had – I was let’s say rather unlucky and my tub was stolen, I was devastated and it wasn’t for a few years down the line I got a nice shiny 50p coin in change this started me off again. Anything different I kept, fast forward 2019 and I decided to actually look in to coin collecting how to store coins etc found all these wonderful group and people and really grew in to my collection”
Natasha – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
“I started collecting when they changed the designs in 2008. I decided to collect one of each of both designs from that year and started to notice the different designs on other coins. I bought some pages of plastic pockets in a folder, but the coins kept falling out (they weren’t Change Checker ones) and then Lidl had the metal cases with the trays which were much better. I used to work in a cafe so I was able to find lots of coins in the till, including some old coins and some fakes. I have bought specials from The Royal Mint and Westminster, and have bought the year sets since 2016. I love the new coins and can’t wait to see what they bring out next. I love being part of this group and I’ve learned a lot from the wonderful people in it!”
Cindy – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
“My son (9yrs old) started his collection at birth. A family member gave him coins from the year of his birth and continued to gift coins every year. Family and friends now gift coins from around the world after being on holiday.“
Mel – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
“I started collecting old coins when I was a young boy and kept them in an old tea caddy tin which I still have. Unfortunately I stopped collecting them when I was a teenager as other things came into my life. When my grandson was born they were decorating his bedroom out with Peter Rabbit which coincided with the release of the Beatrix Potter 50ps. I started collecting them and framed them to hang on the wall in his bedroom. While searching for the the coins, I started to find other designs and kept them to one side. Pretty soon I’d caught the bug again and my collection of 50ps started to grow. Next came the alphabet 10ps released and the Royal Mint were doing a 5 for 5 swap per person. Every week I would get the wife and mother in law in the car and drive the 50 mile round trip to the Mint and get 15 alphabet coins to make up the names of all 6 grandchildren plus mine and my wife’s and mount them on wood. Later on the Mint were doing 10 for 10 per person so I was able to get lots of spares.
I was told about the Change Checker swap site so was able to swap the 10ps for other coins that I didn’t have, thus helping other collectors with their collection. The problem is that once you get the bug there is no going back. Up to date I’ve managed to get one of every different design of 50p and £2 coins released and 3 sets of 2018s and 2 sets of 2019s alphabets. Not all of them have been swaps unfortunately and I’ve spent a lot of money getting the extensive collection I’m proud to have today. I’m currently trying to get all the IOM Christmas 50ps. I’ve got from 1980 to 1992, and 2010 onwards, the problem is the ones missing are getting a bit expensive now so I live in hope. I have made some great friends on this site who have helped me enormously with my collection and I can’t thank them enough. I’ve had coins sent to me for free and kept the gesture going sending my spare coins out to other true collectors in the group for free. To all the true collectors on this group who have caught the bug I wish you well and hope you manage to get your collection completed soon.“
Fred – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
“Mine started as a child, my mum had the coins from the coronation, and the jubilees for myself and my sisters, when the coins changed my mum would tell us to keep the old as they may be worth something. So with every coin change we would keep coins. My dad was in the army and did a tour in Northern Ireland, when he came back he gave me the change as play money (don’t panic I still have the coins). Got the Charles and Diana coin at school which I always kept in a jewellery box. When I was 11 I was adopted into my best friend’s family my second mums brother collected coins, I moved into a house with a lot of items left and found a tub of old coins, I gave them to my uncle, that start a topic of conversation we could talk about. In 2009 I was raiding my change to pay for my children’s school dinner and came across a Kew Gardens 50p (yep you know I could kick myself now but I didn’t know what it was and the kids needed their school dinner money) I didn’t want to let it go as it was beautiful but was a hard time . From that day I started looking at 50ps to try and find the first unusual coin I had seen. It wasn’t really until the Olympic coins came out that I became serious, my hubby and I would save them to try and get all of the coins for our children.
Then Beatrix potter came out and my part time keeping of coins became a a bit more of an obsession. I finally had a great topic of conversation I could talk to my adopted uncle about. Which was brilliant as none of my family collected. My uncle died last year, and I would love to show him my coin collection, having all 50ps, 90% £2, all old £1, Irish, Jersey coins etc and loads of £5 coins, two of which I brought when my children were born. I never thought I would be a coin collector, but now I’ve started I see it as something I can leave for my two children. My adopted uncle passed last year and I wish I could see his lifelong collection to appreciate it, he after all lead me to seeing the beauty found in coins. I think my passion started as curiosity and just snowballed until now. I love my collection, only problem I have is where the hell to put the folders and cases!“
Heidi – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
My journey started in the early 1980s. I fell in love with the design on the back of the two shillings being used as 10p, especially the 1947. I collected every one I could find…until they were discontinued and my dad made me cash them all in. My single biggest regret, but I was hooked from that moment on and now the collection is close to 30,000 coins from all around the world and the passion is still there.”
Chris – Change Checker Facebook Community Group
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