Check your change for these 50p and £2 coins.


With so many commemorative coins released each year, it stands to reason that some become more rare than others, going on to fetch more than a pretty penny at auction.

50p pieces that many would just assume were loose change can be worth hundreds their legal value, and £2 coins are no different.

Coin collecting site Change Checker has updated its mintage figures, which has revealed a few interesting shifts at the top of the rarest coins table.

With accurate figures on how many of a particular type of coin were produced, here are the Top 10 (five 50p coins and five £2 coins) rarest coins to be looking out for this year.

2009 Kew Gardens 50p

No change at the top, as the Kew Gardens 50p remains the rarest coin in circulation, with just 210,000 of them created a decade ago. Released to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Gardens, the coins can sell for up to £160 on eBay.

They feature the famous Chinese Pagoda encircled by a decorative vine, accompanied by the dates 1759 and 2009, and the word ‘Kew’ at the base.

Those dates are important, because with the Royal Mint reissuing a number of famous commemorative coins to celebrate 50 years of the 50p, newer – and much less rare – versions are now out there.

2002 N. Ireland Commonwealth Games £2

Just under half a million (485,500 to be precise) of these £2 coins celebrating Northern Ireland’s participation in the Commonwealth Games of 2002 were minted, making them the rarest variant of the £2 coin around.

Part of a set depicting the four home nations – Wales, England and Scotland versions of the same coin are also highly sought after – if you have one in your possession, an asking price of £30 is not unreasonable to collectors.

2002 Wales Commonwealth Games £2

Only a few more of the Welsh variation of the Commonwealth Games coin were produced (to a total of 588,500), meaning if you have this coin in your possession, you’re also in luck.

It depicts the same design as the above NI version, but switches in the Welsh flag, and collectors are likely to pay anything up to about £20 to get their hands on one.

2015 Navy £2

The standard collector’s price for this coin – released to commemorate the Royal Navy’s efforts in World War One – is about £10, however some are selling for as much as £100 on eBay.

It features a battleship design by military artist David Rowlands and the fifth portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to appear on UK coinage. Only 650,000 of them were ever produced.

2015 Britannia £2

You’d expect the introduction of a new standard design of coin to come with high mintage figures, but in the year that the Britannia £2 design was brought in (replacing the old ‘Technology’ design which had featured on the coin since 1997), only 650,000 of them produced. This makes a 2015 dated £2 coin the joint third rarest £2 coin in circulation.

2002 England Commonwealth Games £2

With just 650,500 produced, England’s entrant to the Commonwealth Games set is the third rarest of the four (Scotland’s is ‘least’ rare, though is still fairly scarce with only 771,750 ever made). Again, it follows the usual Commonwealth Games £2 coin design, but feature the cross of St. George, and sells for similar prices to the Scottish coin – about £10.

2017 Shield 50p

These 50 pence pieces bearing the royal coat of arms are one of the most common varieties of the silver coin, but those minted in 2017 are even rarer than some of the sought-after collectable coins from the same year.

The Royal Mint created 1.8 million of the coins, and while that may sound like a lot, it’s actually a small percentage of the overall total. You likely won’t be making your fortune from a sale of one of these coins just yet, but it is predicted they may go up in value for collectors as time passes on. At the time of writing, there are a number advertised for sale on eBay, with the most expensive seemingly this listing for £34.95.

2017 Sir Isaac Newton 50p

Once thought to be the second rarest UK 50p in circulation after the Kew Gardens coin, Sir Isaac’s 50 pence piece now falls to third in the rankings, with only 1,500 fewer 2017 Shield 50p’s being minted.

2016 Jemima Puddleduck 50p

The Beatrix Potter commemorative coin – part of a collectors set of five – has been dubbed “rare” and “valuable” since the Royal Mint announced that only 2.1 million went into circulation when the collection was released in 2016. That figure still holds true today, and compared to the 9.6 million Peter Rabbit coins made for the collection, that makes them much harder to get hold of.

2013 Suffragettes 50p

This coin, which celebrates the hundredth anniversary of the foundation of the Women’s Social and Political Union, features the figure of a suffragette chained to railings and holding a banner. Only 3,124,030 were ever produced, which has seen them sell for up to £14 on eBay.

(Story source: Inews) 

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