The 2002 Commonwealth Games England £2 Coin was recently confirmed as the most scarce £2 coin in the UK in our latest Scarcity Index update. It jumped up two places to the top spot increasing its score by 19 points, from 81 to 100.
But you’d be forgiven for thinking that this coin is easy to identify.
In fact, only the most eagle-eyed collectors will be able to spot the difference between the four £2 coins that make up the 2002 Commonwealth Games £2 series.
There’s a number of reasons they’re hard to tell apart. Firstly, there isn’t just one Commonwealth Games £2 coin but in fact four different designs – only identified by a hardly distinguishable cameo design representing each of the UK’s constituent nations, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.
Further confusion arises when the flags are shrunk to less than 1mm in size, struck during the minting process and subjected to the usual wear and tear of a circulation coin. By this stage they all start to look very similar.
Tougher still, the only difference between England’s ‘St George Cross’ flag and Northern Ireland’s ‘Ulster Banner’ flag is the ‘Red Hand of Ulster’, the star and the crown which feature at the centre.
On uncirculated coins it is usually possible to see the difference between the flags and determine which coin you have found.
However, to be able to identify a circulation 2002 Commonwealth Games England £2 coin with certainty, you will likely need a magnifying instrument, such as a Phonescope. The Phonescope works by clipping onto a mobile or tablet device, magnifying the camera and allowing you to take close-up photos and videos.
The Phonescope is the perfect tool for viewing the details of coins up close.
Suitable for all popular smartphones and tablets.
Following the launch of the Change Checker “Scarcity Index” earlier this year the Quarter 2 Index has just been published.
It takes into account all of the latest ownership and swap information and, most importantly, this Quarter factors in the Royal Mint’s confirmed mintage figures for the 2016 releases.
Jemima Puddle-duck confirmed as most sought-after Beatrix Potter 50p.
For many Change Checkers, the most eagerly anticipated information concerns the Beatrix Potter 50p coins. Following confirmation of the low Jemima Puddle-duck mintage in comparison to the other 3 character designs, we can see the significant effect on the Scarcity Index – with Jemima Puddle-duck holding a scarcity score of over double the next character, Squirrel Nutkin.
For those of you still keen to add Jemima Puddle-duck to your collection, why not enter our Face Value Ballot.
Elsewhere among the 50p coins, it will be of little surprise that Kew Gardens maintains its top spot as the UK’s most sought after circulation coin, whilst Isaac Newton debuts with a score of 23 after its surprise limited release into circulation last month. That will certainly be one to watch over next quarter.
New coin crowned as the UK’s scarcest £2 Coin
Interestingly, the £2 Scarcity Index has seen a new coin top the list. Jumping up 2 places and from an Index score of 81, the England Commonwealth Games £2 coin takes the crown this quarter, benefiting from extra swap interest. However, there are no great surprises when you look at the other top 4 £2 coins, which comprise the other Commonwealth Games coins. Indeed the average Scarcity Index Score for the 4 Commonwealth Games coins has jumped almost 10 points for 85.5 to 94.75.
Elsewhere, we have seen a relaxation in the figures for the 2016 coins as they have made their way into wider circulation and The Royal Mint has confirmed sensible mintages.
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 Kew Gardens 50p coin commands a premium of up to 160 times face value on eBay.
What about £1 Coins?
Today Canada turns 150. To celebrate, The Royal Canadian Mint has released a once-in-a-life-time set of coins highlighting this milestone event in Canadian history.
And one of them glows in the dark!
The new two-dollar coin, (or toonie), celebrates the wonders of Canada with an evocative design featuring the Northern Lights and glows in the dark thanks to special ink that contains luminescent material.
The specially designed two-dollar coin, which has been issued to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada, features two people paddling in a canoe as the northern lights dance high above – which the Cree peoples called “the dance of the spirits”.
When the coin is put in the dark, the aurora borealis glows softly, thanks to a new ink formulation that contains luminescent material.
Just 3 million of these coins have been released into general circulation in Canada meaning just one in ten Canadians are expected to find one in their change.
The only other way to get hold of this coin is by securing the 2017 ‘My Canada My Inspiration’ Collector Card. Featuring all five brand new commemorative designs, there is no doubt that these coins would create a collecting frenzy if a similar event like this was to happen in the UK.
In fact, each and every one of these special Royal Canadian Mint releases are certain to become a collector’s item now and forever.
Going by previous issues, 25 cents and $2 coins are extremely difficult to get hold of. This set guarantees collectors the brand new coins issued for 2017, displayed in a special Collector Card.
Own a significant collection of Canadian coins which are sure to make a great addition to any Change Checkers collection.