10 Things you may not know about current UK coins

By on 12th October 2016

Here are some details of not very widely known varieties concerning current UK coinage (more info can be found on the site):

1. There are varieties of 1p coin that concern the type of rivets on the Portcullis shown on the reverse. For some years one type was only made for proof and BU sets, making the other type now quite rare in perfect condition as they were all circulated and are mostly now very well used. More info on the 1p page.

2. 1992 1p coins and 1992 and 1998 2p coins were made in both bronze and copper plated steel (which is magnetic).

3. The 1990 5p exists with either a rounded or squared profile rim.

4. The 2008 shield section 5p is known to exist with 180 degree alignment (i.e. the heads side is upside down compared to the tails

5. There are five different 1992 10p coins, due to the fact that there were two slightly different obverse dies used, two slightly different reverse dies used and two different types of edge (rounded or square, just like for the 1990 5p)! Two pages of identification info in printed in the current book.

6. Two 2009 10p coins are known to exist that have the wrong (previous) reverse, i.e. the Lion reverse instead of the correct shield section reverse. One of the two coins was actually lost in the post! The one that wasn’t lost was sold for £800.

7. There are two different types of 1992 20p, one with a small head (as used on earlier 20p coins 1985 to 1991) and one with a larger head (as used on later 20p coin, up to 1997). Proportionately the small head type is harder to find in change. More info on the 20p page.

8. The 2009 Blue Peter (High Jump) 50p originally had a maximum intended mintage of 100,000. This was reduced to 50,000 and of that limit only 19,751 coins were sold. None were circulated, they were only available in Blue Peter branded packs. These packs have rapidly increased in value over the last couple of months.

9. The 1999 Standard reverse £2 coin (STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS edge) wasn’t made available in the 1999 BU or proof annual set and no one thought about saving exceptionally good ones from circulation at the time. As a result this coin is now incredibly hard to find in perfect condition, despite the 38,652,00 mintage and it being easy to find in normal used condition.

10. The 2015 Britannia reverse £2 coin exists with incorrect alignment – With the Queen up the right way, the reverse shows Britannia with the top of her head at 4 o’ clock. More info on this post.

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The Check Your Change admin is Mr C H Perkins, publisher of numismatic publications in printed and eBook format. Author of "Collectors' Coins - Decimal Issues of the UK" and other books on British coins and related subjects.


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