In 1998 the now familiar bi-metallic £2 coin was introduced (the first was actually dated 1997). There had been seven different thicker £2 coins made of a single metal issued before this date but while these coins are still legal tender, they
The £1 coin was introduced in 1983 to replace the Bank of England £1 note, which remained in circulation alongside the new coin until 1988. Many different reverse designs have been used on the £1 coin, alternating design themes each
The 50p coin was introduced in 1969 to replace the Bank of England 10 Shilling note. It was one of only three decimal coins to have been made and circulated before decimalisation took place fully in 1971. A huge number of different reverse designs
The most commonly collected decimal coins from change are the commemorative £2 coins, 50p and the UK themed £1 coins. These have separate pages with links on the home page. For the rest, there is this page, which covers decimal coins under 50p
100s of pages of information, conveniently and logically organised and smart phone friendly!
People have been checking their change with the help of ‘Check Your Change’ for 52 years! The Original Check Your Change is now online and more interactive than ever before.
In the early days it was the Pounds, Shillings and Pence that people were checking. These had served as the coinage of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland for over 1000 years. The UK switched to a fully decimal system (i.e. 100 pennies to the pound instead of the previous 240 pennies or 20 shillings to the pound) in 1971. Forty-six years and a good two or three generations later and anyone under 50 is unlikely to be familiar with anything other than decimal coinage.
Use this website to be able to quickly see what decimal coins were made, the history and information behind the events, mintage numbers and the Rotographic collectability scale. Significant new issues (with the emphasis on standard coinage rather than precious metal issues) and other related decimal coins developments will be added here.
More in-depth information can be found in the UK’s best selling coin book (which is also available in Kindle format) “Collectors’ Coins – Decimal Issues of the United Kingdom“. The book contains all the information on this website, plus a lot more, including price data for all circulation coins and current Bank of England bank notes as well as information on the special proof issues in all metals.
Also available is the Check Your Change app for Android devices (screenshot shown on the right), which allows users to manage their collection of UK decimal coins. It can also be upgraded to provide current values. More details here.
Problems with the site or any gremlins, please report to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This page contains information on:
The Six Different £1 coin types (2015, 2016 and 2017)
Two errors that have been seen often enough to be of note
The two different edge types on the circulation 2016 coin
Information on man-made ‘error’ coins being offered on auction sites
For a coin that has only officially been in use for a short time, there are in fact already six different types of new £1 coin, including one (No.2) that I have confirmed today and am now revealing to the world (29/4/17)! There are: two mules, a trial coin, one sold in pairs only and two fully in circulation. To help understand the chaos, here is a graphic. Feel free to share the info.
Two errors that are rare but certainly not unique as a few of each have been brought to my attention:
1. A partial collar error: The collar surrounds the planchet (blank metal disc before it becomes a coin) while the coin is struck, it gives the coin its shape and in the case of the new £1 also imparts the rim millings onto 6 of the 12 sides. Something went wrong here and the collar wasn’t properly surrounding the whole planchet while it was struck, resulting in part of the rim looking normal and the other part of the rim splaying slightly outwards to form what appears to be a raised lip around the edge.
2. The leaked egg error: Not a technical term, but something that helps visualise this particular error as it looks like the yolk of a fried egg has been broken and leaked onto the egg white! It appears that the collar has somehow broken or not properly surrounded the lower right area of the coin (from the Queen’s head perspective). Metal has splayed out upon strike impact and this has caused a little chain reaction with the silver coloured centre part being pushed to fill the void in the brass outer part. On extreme cases the movement of metal has caused a gap between the outer ring and centre part of the coin (as shown in the image below). It is possible that errors 1 and 2 are related and that error 2 is a further progression of the partial collar issue shown as error 1.
The two different edge types on the circulation coin:
This is a minor variety but is worthy of a mention because it currently appears to amount to between 1 in 20 and 1 in 30 of the total number of new £1 coins in circulation. So far it has only been observed on the normal 2016 and 2017 dated circulation £1 coins.
Normal/commonest type: When the coin is held upright with the Queen facing right and the hologram at the bottom, to the right of the lowest edge point is normally a milled edge section (continuing on alternate straight edges around the coin).
Scarcer (1 in 20 to 1 in 30 observed): When the coin is held upright with the Queen facing right and the hologram at the bottom, the flat edge to the left of the lowest edge point is milled.
The image below shows the commonest edge type, with milling to the right of the lowest point.
Another minor discrepancy
When two coins are compared side-by-side there are often differences in the colour of the brass alloy used for the outer ring of the coin.
Man-made ‘error’ coins being offered on auction sites:
Ever since the new £1 coin appeared in circulation there have been unscrupulous people claiming to offer all kinds of errors for sale, mostly on eBay but also other online sales platforms. Most involve pushing out the middle and either manipulating it or putting it back in the wrong way round, rotated or not putting it back at all! Here is a question I received over email and my response to it.
On 04/05/2017 02:30, Michael M wrote:
Hi, like your website, very quick question….
Loads of £1 coins selling right now on eBay for silly money, most of them claiming to be either….
– centre missing from coin
– queens head on wrong side of coin
– queens head side blank and shiny in centre silver area
– chunk of metal missing from centre silver area
…. and so on.
Is all this nonsense? Looks to me people have worked out an easy way to pop the centre silver disc out (whack with mallet?) and then simply put it back the other way round, cut a bit off with hacksaw, use glass paper and buffer to polish one side blank, etc etc etc …….
Thanks for your time reading this.
Yes, it’s absolute nonsense, they are all home made ‘errors’ and technically have no value, not even £1. It’s fairly easy (so I hear) to push out the middle part of the new £1 coin and the same for the £2 coins.Anyone that does so and tries to fool people into thinking it’s some kind of error and was made that way, either by describing it as such, not describing it at all, or claiming to innocently know nothing about it, is clearly of very dubious character. People that break coins are also committing a crime.
Genuine error collectors know what genuine error coins look like and always understand exactly what went wrong during production. The general public can either learn about the minting process and about the major types of genuine error coins that can occur, or they should leave well alone, especially on eBay!I’ll post this on the ‘The six new £1 coin varieties’ page for people to see.
Bought the book this year and need a little update on the current scene? The ‘Check Your Change’ printed book was published in March 2017. Here it is on Amazon. Things can move pretty fast in the realm of decimal
The Royal Mint released the final 2016 mintage figures today. They are: £2 WWI Army: 9,550,000 £2 Fire of London: 5,135,000 £2 Shakespeare Comedies (Jester hat): 4,355,000 £2 Shakespeare Histories (Crown and Dagger): 4,615,000 £2 Shakespeare Tragedies (Skull and Rose):
To mark the 150th anniversary of the death of Beatrix Potter (in 2016) the Royal Mint issued 5 Potter themed coins. They had absolutely no idea how popular the Peter Rabbit silver proof coin (complete with tacky colour transfer, which
The old round pound is due to be replaced in March, but what that will mean for the existing round pound coins? The answer is ‘absolutely nothing’, and here are some further musings: It’s started already, as I suppose is inevitable these days.
A man from the Midlands found this 2016 dated new 12-sided £1 coin in his change today (7th November 2016)! He was also recently in Devon and isn’t sure when or where he received it. Some vending machine company’s do