Posts Tagged ‘Commonwealth Games’

How to identify the UK’s most scarce £2 coin

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.

commonwealth 4 coins - How to identify the UK's most scarce £2 coin

The four coins feature the same base design, making them hard to tell apart

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.

st change checker 2002 commonwealth games 2 coins on desk - How to identify the UK's most scarce £2 coin

Wear and tear can make it harder to distinguish between the 4 Commonwealth £2 coins

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.

change checker commonwealth games 2 pound blog image - How to identify the UK's most scarce £2 coin

The ”Red Hand of Ulster’, the star and the crown are the only difference between the two flags

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.


phonescope - How to identify the UK's most scarce £2 coinThe Phonescope is the perfect tool for viewing the details of coins up close.

Suitable for all popular smartphones and tablets.

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2017 Quarter 2 Change Checker “Scarcity Index” Released

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.

q2 2017 50p scarcity index - 2017 Quarter 2 Change Checker “Scarcity Index” ReleasedFor 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

q2 2017 c2a32 scarcity index - 2017 Quarter 2 Change Checker “Scarcity Index” Released

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?

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.

Recent £2 coin issues ranked amongst the most sought after by new Scarcity Index

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

2 Pound Scarcity Index Change Checker 1 1 - Recent £2 coin issues ranked amongst the most sought after by new Scarcity Index

Recent releases have proved a hit with collectors

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

2 Pound Scarcity Index Change Checker 2 1 - Recent £2 coin issues ranked amongst the most sought after by new Scarcity Index

The four Commonwealth Games £2 coins top the Scarcity index

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.

2 Pound Scarcity Index 527x1024 - Recent £2 coin issues ranked amongst the most sought after by new Scarcity Index

 

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