Check your £1 coins before you spend…

The £1 coin that could be worth over £25.00 and why you need to be checking your £1 coins before you spend them.

Jump straight to the NEW Change Checker £1 Scarcity Index
British one pound coins

It’s not too late to find a rare £1 coin in your change before they cease to be legal tender after 15 October 2017

With just 5 weeks to go, the awareness campaign for the new £1 coin has stepped up a notch over the last few days, with the press warning that you need to spend all your old round £1 coins before they cease being legal tender on 15 October (although you will still be able to exchange them at banks).

But Change Checker is urging the British public to check their £1 coins before they spend them. That’s because as the Round £1 Coin disappears from our change forever, collectors are desperate to complete a collection of all 24 designs. And that includes some really quite rare £1 coins still in circulation.

Launch of the NEW Change Checker £1 Scarcity Index

That’s why Change Checker has launched its NEW £1 Scarcity Index to help collectors identify which coins are the rarest.

Up to now, change collectors have relied upon mintage figures for their indication as to which coins in circulation are the rarest. But the story is not that simple…

The £1 coin has been in circulation since 1983. During that time a total of 2.2 billion £1 have been struck for circulation. But they are not all still in use.

The last available figures for coins in circulation, published by The Royal Mint for 2014, suggest that 1,553,000,000 £1 coins are in circulation.

In other words, 650 million of the coins struck no longer circulate, presumably withdrawn over the years as worn or damaged.

The majority of those 650 million coins are from the early issuing years, meaning that although some of those years may have high mintages, the actual number of coins available to collect from your change is far lower. In fact our research suggests that only a little more than half of the early years’ £1 coins are still in circulation. Far fewer if you’re trying to secure one in good collectable condition.

Scarcity breeds scarcity

But even that is only part of the story. Of course, scarcity breads scarcity.

Even before the launch of the Great One Pound Coin Race, we noticed a rise in collector interest for £1 coins on the back of the introduction of the new 12-sided £1 coin. And the demand is always disproportionately high for the more difficult coins. The result is a continued ratcheting up in demand for the rarer coins.


The Change Checker £1 Scarcity Index

That’s the benefit of the new £1 Scarcity Index. Rather just relying on mintage figures, we have combined them with the two critical points above – the actual numbers of coins in circulation and real collector demand, measured by Change Checker swap data – to create a unique Scarcity Index for the £1 Coin.

Scaled from 100 to 1, the scores represent the relative scarcity of each coin, with 100 being the most scarce.

Scarcity vs Value


The Edinburgh City £1 coin is the UK’s scarcest £1 coin design

So what does a coin’s Scarcity Index Score mean for its value? Broadly speaking the higher the score, the more valuable a coin is likely to be. So to take the example of the highest scoring coin – the Edinburgh City £1 – it is already achieving prices of between £10.00 and £15.00 on eBay.

However, things can very quickly go mad. For example, since the Royal Mint confirmed the 2009 Kew Gardens 50p as the smallest coin mintage in circulation, online prices have regularly achieved £100 (200 times its face-value).

So with an estimated 600,000 – 800,000 coins still in circulation, the Edinburgh City £1 is somewhere in the region of 25% as scarce as the Kew Gardens 50p but with collectors clamouring to complete their £1 collection, it seems likely that a good quality example could soon be fetching between £25.00 and £50.00.

As for the other £1 coins, they will all be getting rarer by the day as they start to be removed from circulation once the new 12-sided £1 coin is released on 28 March. And, come 15 October, one thing is for certain, any collector looking to own a £1 coin will be paying a premium.

So don’t just spend your £1 coins. Check them. Rather than being worthless come 15 October, they may have even more value to collectors – especially if you own a particularly scarce £1 coin.

the-great-one-pound-coin-race-banner-350x350It’s not too late to join the Great One Pound Coin Race.

Almost 20,000 collectors have already joined the Great One Pound Coin Race for FREE.

Simply click here to enter today and you too could own a complete collection of £1 coins direct from your change before they’re gone for ever.