Change Checker has launched the 50p “Scarcity Index”, which tracks which circulating 50p coins are the most scarce and collectable.
The index uses a unique combination of mintage, collecting and swap data to give the most up-to-date picture of today’s 50p coin collecting market.
The top 5
There’s no surprise to find Kew Gardens at the top of the list. With a mintage of just 210,000, it is also the least owned and most requested swap. The next 4 scarcest coins are all from the 2012 Olympics – Football, Triathlon, Judo and Wrestling.
The recent Beatrix Potter 50p coins also rank highly, with Jemima Puddle-Duck and Squirrel Nutkin coming in at numbers 6 and 7 – based largely on their low level of ownership and high swap requests, as official mintages are yet to be confirmed by the Royal Mint.
How the 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 Beatrix Potter issues being a classic 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. Whilst Kew Gardens 50p coins command prices on eBay of between £70 and £100, other coins towards the top of the scarcity index typically achieve a premium of roughly 10 – 12 times face value.
But don’t forget the joy of Change Collecting is that you have always have a chance of finding any one of these coins in your change – even Kew Gardens – you just have to be sharp-eyed.
What about £1 and £2 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. Change Checker will be releasing the £2 Scarcity Index later in April.
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