Following the launch of the Change Checker “Scarcity Index” early last year, the final 2017 Quarter 4 Index has now been published.
50p Scarcity Index
It’s of little surprise that Kew Gardens maintains its top spot as the UK’s most sought after circulation coin with a perfect score of 100.
The mintage figures for the 2017 50p coins were released just before Christmas and have had an effect on the Scarcity Index scores. Interestingly, the Sir Isaac Newton 50p only scores a 3/100 which is lower than we anticipated. This is mainly due to the large number of Change Checkers who list having the coin in their collection. However, we are expecting this score to increase during the next quarter due to the low mintage figure, of just 1.8 million, driving demand.
Jemima Puddle-Duck remains the most scarce Beatrix Potter 50p, with Tom Kitten and Benjamin also scoring quite highly with a score of 13 and 7 respectively. Tom Kitten and Benjamin Bunny were only released into circulation in December so requests for swaps are high. Mintage figures for these coins are also relatively high so as more people find these coins in their change it is possible these scores will decrease slightly.
Interestingly, the mintage figure for the Jeremy Fisher 50p coin has been released, however the coin is not yet in circulation.
£2 Scarcity Index
There’s not a lot of movement in our Quarter 4 £2 “Scarcity Index” update.
The Commonwealth Games Wales £2 coin takes top spot from the Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland. This is down to the very large number of swap requests for this coin in the last quarter. At 99/100 the Northern Ireland coin is still very scarce (as are the other two coins in the Commonwealth Games series) and it’s very possible it will retake the number 1 spot next quarter.
We are still waiting for the Jane Austen and WWI Aviation £2 coins to be released into circulation, hence why they do not feature on our Index. We await the release of these and their mintage figures with great interest, could they be low like the Sir Isaac Newton 50p? It is possible.
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?
Change Checkers are often asking me, “when will the 2017 coin designs be released into general circulation?”
So, I have compiled a list below showing which coins are now available in your change and those that are still to be released.
The list will be updated as soon as we get confirmation from The Royal Mint that any new coins have entered circulation.
2017 circulation coin release dates
- WWI Aviation £2: A small amount released in September (Duxford Airshow), full release TBC
- Jane Austen £2: A small amount released in July (Winchester Cathedral), full release TBC
- Peter Rabbit 50p: September 2017
- Jeremy Fisher 50p: TBC
- Tom Kitten 50p: December 2017
- Benjamin Bunny 50p: December 2017
- Sir Isaac Newton 50p: June 2017
It’s worth noting that coins are only released into general circulation as and when they are required by the banks.
If you find yourself asking, “When are the 2017 coins released into circulation?”, this is the place to check!
If you find any of the 2017 coins in your change, especially those that are still to be released into circulation, we’d love to hear from you.
Change Checkers have been speculating whether there are two different design variations of the 2015 Navy £2 coin that was released into circulation a couple of months ago.
This coin has already caused a stir in the collecting world as we revealed it was one of the rarest £2 coins with just 650,000 struck for circulation.
The original Navy £2 design (above) shows the coin without any markings on the top right of the mast, but we’ve seen a few £2’s out there that look like they have a flying flag.
As you can see from the two coins pictured above, the coin on the right looks like it has a flying flag on the mast whereas the first coin is free from any markings.
So are there two different designs?
No – The Royal Mint strike up to 5 billion coins a year and from time to time debris can get caught between the die and the coin whilst striking.
It just so happens that this bit of debris has caused the markings on these coins to look like a flying flag on the ship fueling speculation that two different variations were struck.
Well done to the eagle-eyed change checkers out there who spotted differences between the coins. It’s the little details like these that make collecting so interesting so remember to always check your change carefully.
Have you checked your Navy £2?