Each year, The Royal Mint marks important British anniversaries, events or accomplishments on our coins and today I’m delighted to reveal the UK’s new coin designs for 2020.

What’s more, you have the opportunity today to secure them in a variety of different presentations or specifications – I’m sure there is something for everyone.

Simply read on to discover how you can be one of the first UK collectors to add these coins to your collection… 

FIVE new UK commemorative coins

Blog Image 1 cropped if it works better - FIRST LOOK! Brand new UK commemorative coins released for 2020

The Royal Mint has just announced the five new commemorative coins for 2020, issued to mark a variety of occasions and landmark anniversaries that we’ll see over the coming year:

  • King George III £5 – marking the 200th anniversary of the end of King George III’s reign
  • VE Day £2 – commemorating the 75th anniversary of VE day, signalling the end of WWII
  • Agatha Christie £2 – celebrating “100 years of Mystery”, the centenary of her debut mystery novel
  • Mayflower £2 – marking the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s maiden voyage to The New World
  • Team GB 50p – a tribute to Team GB ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games due to be held in Tokyo

UK 2020 Annual Coin Set BU Pack

Blog image 2 - FIRST LOOK! Brand new UK commemorative coins released for 2020

To give as many collectors as possible the chance to own these highly sought-after coins, The Royal Mint has issued them in Brilliant Uncirculated quality, which is coveted by collectors as it means each coin is free from any marks you would find on circulated coins.

In this BU Pack you’ll find the five brand new commemorative coins alongside the eight definitive coins from the 1p to the £2, all newly dated for 2020.

Each one is protectively encapsulated in its attractive original Royal Mint packaging to preserve its quality for generations to come. What’s more, you can secure this BU Pack at the Royal Mint issue price of just £55 (+p&p). Click here to find out more >>

This set of coins is also available as a CERTIFIED BU Commemorative Coin Set for £40 (+p&p). Click here to find out more >>

UK 2020 Annual Collector Proof Coin Set

Blog image 3 - FIRST LOOK! Brand new UK commemorative coins released for 2020

Whilst being struck from base metal, the coins in this set have been struck to a stunning superior Proof finish. This set also includes the five new commemorative coins alongside the eight definitive coins from the 1p to the £2, all newly dated for 2020.

Just 7,000 sets have been released worldwide in this limited edition presentation – that’s under half the edition limit of previous issues that have completely sold out. So, it’s expected this set will be extremely sought-after.

You can order the UK 2020 Annual Collector Proof Coin Set here with a down payment of just £31 (+p&p) followed by 4 further interest-free instalments – that’s the Royal Mint issue price. Click here to find out more >>

UK 2020 DateStamp™ Specimen Set

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The most limited way to own the five new 2020 commemorative coins is by securing the UK 2020 DateStamp™ Specimen Set. In fact, JUST 995 collectors worldwide can own this unique set.

What truly sets the 2020 Specimen Year Set apart from all other 2020 Annual Sets is the fact that it is forever set in time by the official Royal Mail postmark that marks the coins’ first day of release – 1st January 2020.

Each coin is struck to the highly desirable Brilliant Uncirculated quality, and come individually presented in tamper-proof capsules. What’s more, each set has a unique serial number, confirming its place in the tiny edition limit, and you can even register your set online to guarantee its provenance!

This annual set has a track record of completely selling out within a matter of days, so if you want to secure a set for yourself you’ll need to be quick. You can reserve yours with a deposit of just £22. Click here to find out more >>

The 10 Shilling Note, or ‘ten bob’, was a goodly sum in the old days – in the 1960’s it could buy 6 pints of beer, 10 loaves of bread, or 17 pints of milk.

It’s hard to imagine its decimal equivalent, the 50p, buying so much these days!

This old banknote has a fascinating history, from being issued by the Government in a wartime emergency, changing colour to avoid forgery from the Nazis and eventually being replaced by the world’s most popular coin.

The Emergency Banknote

In August 1914, the British economy was in turmoil because of the instability brought on by the oncoming war on the continent. Bankers and politicians were desperately looking for ways to secure Britain’s finances and prevent the banks from collapsing.

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1914 10 Shilling Banknote

The Government decided that a large supply of banknotes had to be made available for the value of 10 shillings, making it easy for the public to make small transactions. However, The Bank of England was not able to prepare and print the required number of notes quickly enough, so the Government took the unprecedented step of deciding to issue the notes itself.

These banknotes became known as the Treasury banknotes and were unlike anything the British public had ever seen. Until this point the lowest denomination banknote was £5, and in those days this was such a large sum that many people would never have seen or used a banknote before.

That means that these Treasury notes now stand out as the first widely circulated banknotes in England.

The Wartime colour change

In 1928, the responsibility for printing Ten Shilling Notes was transferred to the Bank of England.

However, not long afterwards Britain once again found itself at war, and again found its currency under threat.

During World War II, Nazi Germany hatched a plan to undermine British currency. Through Operation Bernhard they believed that they had discovered a method to manufacture counterfeit ‘White Fivers’ and planned to distribute these in huge numbers to destabilise the British currency.

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Second World War 10 Shilling Banknote

The Bank of England decided to take preventative action and, as a result, the 10 Shilling note was changed for duration of the war to a distinctive pink and blue in an attempt to prevent counterfeiting. It was also revolutionary in the progression of banknote technology by incorporating a metal security thread.

The Nazis could not compete with this high level anti-forgery technology and hence the British 10 Shilling Note stayed strong and supported the British wartime economy as it had done since its conception.

The 50p revolution

After undergoing a colour change during the Second World War, the ‘ten bob’ note reverted to the familiar red-brown until 1961, when a new design featuring a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II was introduced.

Despite a new design for the 10 Shilling Note featuring Sir Walter Raleigh on the reverse being approved in 1964, as part of the process of decimalisation it was dropped in favour of the new fifty pence coin introduced in 1969.

50th Anniversary of the 50p Coin Pair 1969 - The fascinating history of the ‘Ten Bob’ banknote…
1969 ‘New Pence’ 50p coin

The principle reason for the change was to save the treasury money, the notes had an average lifetime of around five months, whereas a coin could last for fifty years. The 50p has since gone on to become the world’s most popular and collected coin, but nowadays few realise the fascinating history of its predecessor, the 10 Shilling Banknote!


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If you’re interested…

It’s now been 50 years since the last 10 Shilling Banknote was issued – which is why you now have the chance to pay tribute to this famous old note with a LIMITED EDITION DateStamp™. But only a very limited number of 10 Shilling Notes will be released in this way, so you’ll need to be quick if you want to secure one for your collection! Click here to order one today >>

The Royal Proclamation confirming the new coin has been passed, and that means production can officially begin.

Plans to release special Brexit coins was first announced by former chancellor Philip Hammond in last year’s Budget. But this is the first confirmation from The Royal Mint that the coin is indeed going ahead.

I don’t know about you, but this coin story is one I’ve been watching for a while. And as such, I suspect it will be one of the most eagerly anticipated issues we’ve seen for a while!

brexit50p - BREAKING NEWS: Brand new 50p be released on 31st October to mark Brexit
A mock-up of what the new Brexit 50p could look like. Image courtesy of The Sun.

Few details are known about the design of the coin, but we do know that it will feature the inscription: “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations”, as well as the historic date the UK is due to leave the EU – 31 October 2019.

A 50p coin was struck when the UK joined the European Economic Community in 1973 and when the UK held the presidency of the EU in 1998. So it only seems fitting one is released to also mark the UK’s departure from the EU. And by marking such a pivotal event in our history, this coin will surely be sought-after by collectors in years to come

Whilst not many details have been released by The Royal Mint, there are rumours that up to 10 million coins will be struck and put into circulation, 3 million of which will be ready for 31st October – news that will surely delight collectors, who could be finding these coins in their change as early as Halloween.

We do not yet know whether special collector versions of this coin will be available. Though we have our fingers crossed that there will be!

If you want to be kept up to date with news of the Brexit coin as we approach 31st October, then register your interest below. We’ll then contact you as soon as we know more, and let you know how you can get your hands on one.

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