Change Checker has released the first-ever scarcity index for £2 circulating coins. Following the recently published indexes for the Round £1 Coin and 50p Coin, the Scarcity Index tracks which £2 coins are the most scarce and collectable, using a unique combination of mintage, collecting and swap data to give the most up-to-date picture of today’s £2 collecting market.
Recent Issues are a hit with collectors
However, it has been some of The Royal Mint’s most recent issues that have dominated the top 10 places, with four of the coins coming from the last two years- First World War Navy £2 (2015), The Great Fire of London £2 (2016) and the Shakespeare Comedy and Tragedy £2 (2016).
Whilst all the mintage information is still not available for these issues, intense swap demand and limited numbers of collectors who list the coins in their collections, suggest they may number amongst some of the more sought after issues for years to come– surely a reflection of the UK public’s ever increasing interest in new coin issues.
Commonwealth Games tops the charts
However, it’s the 2002 Commonwealth Games £2 Coin that tops the new Scarcity Index. Whilst almost 2,500,000 £2 coins were issued for the Games, it is only the most eagle-eyed collectors who fully understand the reason for their scarcity.
That’s because there is not just one Commonwealth Games £2 coin but in fact four different designs – only identified by a hardly distinguishable cameo design represented each of the UK’s constituent nations, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.
The result is that rather than 2,500,000 coins being issued, the mintages range between 485,500 and 771,500, helping to cement the coins’ position at the top of £2 Scarcity Index.
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 recent poignant First World War £2 Coin series being an 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. For example, the Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland £2 coin commands a premium of 15 to 20 times face value of eBay.
As for the more recent issues that have made the top 10, it is perhaps too early to tell. But what is clear, is that more and more of the British public are checking their change in the hope of finding interesting or rare coins in their pocket – perhaps even the Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland £2 coin – you just have to be sharp-eyed.
What about £1 and 50p 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. You can also visit the Change Checker 50p Scarcity Index, which will continue to be updated quarterly.
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