I expect that, like me, you were brought up to “check your change”. But it has never meant more than now.
Last year, the Royal Mint launched twenty-nine 50p coins into circulation, one for each of the Olympic disciplines. The result: a nation suddenly keen to check the coins in their pocket, hoping to build a complete collection.
In 20 years in the coin business, it was the very first time I had seen people of all ages genuinely interested by the coins in their change.
But the story should not stop with the Olympic 50p coins.
In fact the Royal Mint has been varying £1 coin designs since the coin was very first issued 30 years ago. Remarkably the 50p first saw a commemorative design in 1973, before they became a regular feature of the UK’s coinage during the 1990s. Similarly, £2 coins were used for commemorative coins as early as 1986, well before the current bi-metallic coin, which went into circulation in 1997, with its first commemorative design being released in 1999 for the Rugby World Cup.
The only collection that will cost you nothing
Of course the joy of change collecting is that it is totally free. Simply keep an eye on the coins in your change and very quickly you’ll own an historic collection of some the UK’s finest coin designs.
But now it is even easier to collect the coins in your pocket with the launch of www.changechecker.org. This completely FREE site is available for mobiles, tablets and PC to help you collect your pocket change wherever you are.
Simply identify your coin by denomination and year to keep track of whether you already own it or not. Plus, if it’s a spare, you can quickly and easily find someone to swap your coin with. All without spending a penny (or any other denomination come to that).
Discover more about Change Checker with your 60 second guide.
29 million Olympic 50p coins have been released into circulation by the Royal Mint and, as already reported, as many as 75% have been removed from circulation.
But as collectors strive to build and that complete collection of all 29 50p coins, they are discovering that some sports are more elusive than others.
The launch of The Westminster Collection’s FREE online Olympic 50p Swap Centre has revealed which Olympic coins are top of the scarcity charts, with the most collectors listing them on their “Want List”.
So let’s find out – do you own of the scarce ones?
The most requested 50p coins…
So whether you are in possession of one of the more sought after 50p coins and are able to swap it, or if you are still trying to find that elusive missing piece, try the FREE Olympic 50p Swap Centre.
Simply register online and list the coins you need before entering any swaps you have. Click “search” and you will be able to view your SWAP MATCHES and make contact. All totally for FREE.