Rarest £1 coins revealed with some worth as much as £50

Customers are being advised to check their £1 coins carefully

Zlata Rodionova
Wednesday 22 February 2017 09:25 GMT
The Edinburgh City 2011 and the Cardiff City 2011 coins are believed to be the most sought-after designs
The Edinburgh City 2011 and the Cardiff City 2011 coins are believed to be the most sought-after designs (ChangeChecker)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


More than a billion brand new £1 coins are due to be released on 28 March. The 12-sided coin, described by the Royal Mint as “the most secure coin in the world”, will replace the traditional circular £1.

With just under five weeks to go, the Treasury and money experts have urged the British public to spend or exchange their round pounds before they cease being legal tender. However, before rushing to the bank, money specialist website Change Checker is advising customers to check their £1 coins carefully.

They could be sitting on a small fortune.

That’s because as the round £1 coin disappears from our change forever, collectors are desperate to complete a collection of all 24 designs.

In its “Scarcity Index”, Change Checker has identified 24 of the rarest £1 coins to have ever circulated the UK.

Some are worth as much as £50 each.

Coins scaled at 100 are the most scarce
Coins scaled at 100 are the most scarce (Change Checker)

Scaled from 100 to 1, the scores represent the relative scarcity of each coin, with 100 being the most scarce.

The rarest coin on the index is the Edinburgh, which is already achieving prices of between £10 and £15 on eBay and could soon be fetching between £25 and £50, according to the website.

New £1 coin: Five interesting facts

The 2011 Cardiff City £1 coin – second on the scarcity index – is already selling for £20 on eBay with Change Checker predicting its value will climb.

The £1 coin was introduced in 1983, with a total of 2.2 billion having been struck for circulation since, according to Change Checker.

The last available figures, published by the Royal Mint in 2014, suggested that 1.55 billion £1 coins are in circulation.

Last year, a 2p coin sold for almost £1,400 at auction because it was silver instead of the more conventional copper.

Meanwhile, the Bank of England’s first ever polymer notes were selling for up to £800 on eBay or more than 160 times its face value.

The website also gives collectors tips to find all 24 circulating £1 coin designs before they are replaced.

  1. Check your change drawer or change pot
  2. Ask friends and family
  3. Go to the bank and change notes to £1 coins
  4. Swap with the Change Checker web app – changechecker.org
  5. Befriend the local corner shop or launderette owner and ask them for their £1 coins
  6. Seek out arcade or bingo change machines
  7. Pay with a note and round up with loose change to maximise your £1 coin change
  8. Look for Facebook swap groups
  9. Raid your children’s piggy banks (and replace them with notes!)
  10. Look for abandoned supermarket trolleys
  11. Check down the back of the sofa
  12. Check old handbags
  13. Set up a lottery syndicate and collect the payments in round £1 coins
  14. Have a bake sale and charge £1 for everything
  15. Offer to count up any collections and swap out the £1 coins for notes
  16. Car boot sale – everything is “One Round Pound”
  17. Pay car park charges in notes and receive the change in coins
  18. Check any tips your friends might be leaving at restaurants
  19. Always carry some £1 coins with you so you can swap any time you see a good one
  20. Check gym lockers
  21. Try to build a collection as a group – e.g. a school class – 30 Change Checkers are better than 1!

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