The Full Round Pound Collection

Collectors are concentrating on tracking down an example of each type of pound coin before these are withdrawn from circulation.
One of the main UK coin websites has helped introduce new collectors to this hobby with the production of a chart showing all 24 obverse designs released since the UK round pound was first issued in 1983 in order of scarcity and demand.

This makes the task for the novice collector simpler and more manageable but doesn’t cover the full range of variety most collectors strive to assemble.
Many collectors also wish to acquire an example of each variety of coin from every year these were issued and changes in the portrait of Her Majesty can also add to variety. That is why my eBay One Pound sales page currently offers more than 40 varieties of UK Pound Coin from this period and why I am constantly scouting for those rarer varieties not currently available.
A more complete (but not comprehensive) list of the different varieties minted, in order of year issued, includes:

1983 – Royal Arms (433,053,510)
1984 – Scottish Thistle in Diadem (146,256,501)
1985 – Welsh Leek in Diadem (228,430,749)
1986 – Northern Irish Flax Plant in Diadem (just 10,409,501)
1987 – English Oak Tree in Diadem (39,298,502)
1988 – Crowned Shield by Gorringe (only 7,118,825)
1989 – 2nd Thistle (70,580,501)
1990 – 2nd Leek (97,269,302)
1991 – 2nd Flax (38,443,575)
1992 – 2nd Oak (36,320,487)
1993 – Royal Arms (114,744,500)
1994 – Scottish Lion Rampant (29,752,525)
1995 – Welsh Dragon (34,503,501)
1996 – Irish Celtic Cross (89,886,000)
1997 – Three Lions of England (57,117,450)
1998 – only a handful of coins on commemorative year packs
1999 – commemorative year packs
2000 – 2nd Dragon (109,496,500)
2001 – 2nd Celtic Cross (63,968,065)
2002 – 2nd Three Lions (77,818,000)
2003 – Royal Arms (61,596,500)
2004 – Forth Railway Bridge (Scotland) (39,162,000)
2005 – Menai Bridge (Wales) (99,429,500)
2006 – Egyptian Arch Bridge (Northern Ireland) (38,938,000)
2007 – Millennium Bridge (Engand) (26,180,160)
2008 – Final Royal Arms (3,910,000)
– then First Royal Shield (43,827,300)
2009 – Royal Shield (27,625,600)
2010 – Royal Shield (57,120,000)
– PLUS Capital Series: Belfast (6,205,000) and London (2,635,000)
2011 – Royal Shield (25,415,000)
– PLUS Cardiff (1,615,000) and Edinburgh (935,000)
2012 – Royal Shield (35,700,030)
2013 – Royal Shield (13,090,500)
– PLUS Floral Series: England (Oak and Rose) (5,270,000)
– Wales (Leek and Daffodil) (5,270,000)
2014 – Royal Shield (79,305,200)
– Ireland (Flax and Shamrock) (5,780,000)
– Scotland (Thistle and Primrose) (5,185,000)
2015 – Royal Shield (4th Portrait) (29,580,000)
– PLUS Noad Shield (5th Portrait) (62,475,640)
2016 – commemorative sets only
2017 – 12-sided pound coin (1.5 billion, from March 29th 2017)

So my giant Round Pound eBay listing includes almost every one of these 43 varieties – just search on eBay for DoubleTheMoney to find my various sales and see what is available today.

Round Pound Update – 300% Profit in Less Than a Month

Well I’m just back from posting out the 44th round pound coin sold through my huge eBay listing over the past four weeks.
It was a pretty “ordinary” Royal Shield Pound Coin, one of the 27,625,600 released into circulation by the Royal Mint on 2009.
There were no unusual features, no special characteristics or finishes; it was just an ordinary circulated example of the issue in good clean condition.
Yet a collector in Sussex paid me £5 (plus an extra pound for delivery), taking the total so far raised by the “round pound” eBay listing to £155; an average of £3.52 per coin, far in excess of the target set for the DoubleTheMoney challenge.

2009 Royal Shield
This unexceptional coin sold for five times face value

Key to this run of sales has been the ability to offer a full range of pound coins through the giant “One Pound Race” eBay listing. This meant I was able to offer the full range of pound coins I’ve set aside over the past couple of years to offer them at some point in the future when demand rises. The imminent withdrawal of round pounds from circulation means that time has finally arrived. The dozens of coins I’d already hoarded have also been supplemented by withdrawing several hundred pounds from my bank account and asking for this money in pound coins.
As coins have sold, I have used this method at various bank branches and Post Offices to add to the quantity and range of coins on offer. At present, this means I am able to offer nearly 700 pound coins. Fortunately my previous success in selling currency for more than face value means this is possible without having to miss or even delay payments to credit cards, mortgage, etc. One silver lining of the current crash in bank interest rates (my bank has paid zero per cent interest on my current account for the past two years) is that I lose nothing by having to keep my cash in physical notes and coins, rather than stored in a bank vault.
Therefore the gain of a £111 profit from the sale of £44 in less than a month makes keeping a balance of several hundred in physical cash (in a safe provided by a friend at a secret location) much more sensible.
Over the past month, some other pound coins offered went for more, such as a Cardiff City pound from 2011 which went for £8, and some less, including three earlier Cardiff coins I offered for just £3 each before I realised how quickly these were becoming scarce.
I decided to assemble a large group of used pound coins and offer these for sale to collectors in response to the announcement that a new twelve-sided, bimetallic design of pound was to be made available at the end of this month, sparking the withdrawal of all current round pound coins in circulation by October.
The imposition of this deadline caught the attention of the national press and the publication of various articles about the imminent disappearance of the familiar style of round pound (due to the extraordinary high proportion of forgeries on circulation) lead to the addition of hundreds or even thousands of new collectors.
Last year I realised the opportunity to benefit from the drive of collectors to acquire an example of every one of the 25 different designs of pound coin issued since the coin’s introduction more than a third of a century ago in 1983 but soon realised there were more varieties of interest to collectors once changes in Her Majesty’s portrait were included.
Then there was also the desire from collectors to possess an example of the different pound coins from each year they had been issued; hence the willingness of the man in Sussex to send me six pounds to cover purchase and delivery of a clean example of an ordinary Royal Shield pound from 2009 and complete his date run of this style of coin before these disappear from circulation.
Last year, when I realised how much interest there would be in collecting every Round Pound, I simply began to gather as many pound coins as I could so that I would be able to offer a comprehensive range for sale online.
I began to ask for all change o be given in pound coins rather than paper money and doing this meant I was soon able to assemble an example of every different poundcoin issued.
Unfortunately, those which now command the highest prices were noticably fewer – the only recent example of the rare Edinburgh City pound I found was unfortunately sold as part of a complete group of all four Capital City coins issued between 2004 and 2005 for just £6 in January before the sudden inflation of the Edinburgh Pound alone to £30 or £40 and before the creation of my grand “Round Pound” eBay listing.
At the time of writing this progress report less than four weeks after the listing went live on February 16th, 44 coins have sold for a total of £155.
Initially the Capital City coins I had available attracted the most attention and soon collectors around the UK had snapped up each of the four Cardiff coins I’d gathered as well as seveal London and Belfast examples. At first these went for three pounds but I soon saw prices achieved for these creep higher as demand grew and their availability suddenly began to decrease when banks and Post Offices began to withdraw old-style pound coins from circulation in preparation for the injection of 1.4 billion of the new coins into circulation from March 28th. It is estimated that these will take a month to filter completely through the economy and, while the existing round pounds will remain legal tender until October 15th, these will swiftly become a rare sight as these are banked and withdrawn from circulation.
Hopefully this means their value will probably continue to rise as people suddenly notice their scarcity. I will add a further update on how the remaining stash of coins perform before they are added to my high-interest Zopa account later this year.

Round Pound Mania

Well the penny (or should that be pound) has finally dropped in the mainstream media that the introduction of the UK’s new 12-sided pound coin means the current crop of round pound coins in use will soon be removed from circulation.
The first wave of coverage this week has been a call to action for people to search for every one of the soon-to-be useless old style of round pound coin and deposit these in a bank or Post Office before they cease to be legal tender in October.
The next, I am sure, will be some hysterical reporting that among these coins are one or more “rarities” which can sell for many times their face value, prompting a nationwide race against the clock to uncover a fortune down the back of your sofa before the coins become worthless.
The imminent removal of millions of pound coins from circulation has prompted existing collectors to make sure they have an example of each variety while media coverage has created a new group of collectors.
The next wave of media coverage will probably feature those less common examples of pound coin collectors are desperate the get their hands on.
Amid all the inevitable misinformation sure to emerge from mainstream media reports, it was reassuring this week to see the publication of a definitive new “Scarcity Index” for most pound coins. This was the result of research carried out by the Change Checker blog and goes further than a simple ranking of mintage figures (the supply side of the equation) but also adds a measure of demand by ranking the number of collectors who have used the site’s boards to seek an example of various coins.
Unsurprisingly, this found that 2011’s Edinburgh version of the UK Cities series of coins was the most scarce, followed by the London and Cardiff examples and the Scottish thistle version of 2014’s Floral emblems series, with the distinctive Gorringe Crowned Shield of 1988 completing the top five.
This index was very well timed as it was published a few days after I decided to create a large multi-item eBay listing to offer all of the hundreds of pound coins I have amassed through work and other areas over the past few years. The extra information will help inform my pricing of these lots.
Less than three days into this listing going live, ten coins had been sold for a total of £26, beating the DoubleTheMoney target, but I soon realised some prices had already risen faster than I anticipated.
Change Checker had also recognised the inevitable upsurge in interest in the country’s stock of round pound coins as their replacement by the new 12-sided pound became imminent so this year they launched “The Great One Pound Coin Race”, complete with a handy chart showing the “24 varieties of pound coin” issued since the first Royal Arms pound in 1983.
This convenient guide was perfect for many collectors as it reduces the dozens of varieties issued to a more realistic figure by disregarding other changes (to year and portrait, etc.) to leave a manageable target.
However, my eBay offering took more than a week to assemble as I wanted to be able to offer collectors a comprehensive listing of every variation of pound coin in circulation before they are removed. It can be found at eBay under the heading “Every UK Round Pound Coin from 1983 to 2017 (almost!) Great One Pound Race” (the “almost” refers to the face that, at the lime of launching, there was no Edinburgh pound available.)
So, in addition to listing every example I had amassed, my overall framework also included slots for every variation so I would be able to add these as and when I come across them in future. So watch this space for more news of how prices are moving in the marketplace. This will be updated with current stock so please return over coming months for the latest information.

WWF 50p Price Increase Mirrors Kew’s Surge Following Media Attention

Like most people who keep an eye on the market for modern UK coins, I was immediately interested in late November when I spotted internet chatter about the latest  newspaper article on a coin worth far more than its face value.
This time it was the fifty pence coin issued in 2011 to commemorate 50 years of the WWF (previously known as the World Wildlife Fund), featuring a collection of 50 designs on its front, including the organisation’s iconic panda emblem, 3,400,000 copies were released into circulation, a figure which, according to the Change Checker website, makes it the third most scarce 50p in circulation. (This is despite the fact that 2011 also saw the release of 29 styles of 50p coin, each in numbers fewer than the WWF release to mark sports competed at the year’s London Olympics.)
The latest over-inflated claim appeared in The Sun on November 22nd 2016 under the headline “These five 50p coin designs are worth up to £3,000… so how many have YOU
got hiding in your purse?”

In 2012, it was just such an article which boosted demand for the now-famous Kew Gardens 50p of 2009, helping propel sale prices even for circulated examples of that
coin to well over £100 before these settled to the current stable level of £40 to £60.
That was why I was interested to see what effect the latest article would have on prices for WWF coins. Unlike when the Kew Gardens coin hit, I had more than 20 examples of WWF coins waiting to be sold.
Just before the sudden Kew price surge, I’d sold a pretty scruffy version I’d found and had been pleased when this went for nearly five pounds. A week later this changed to disappointment when I saw similar coins selling for more than £100.
Eager to track whether prices for WWF coins would be similarly affected, I quickly composed a new eBay listing for a WWF 50p and made sure to include a link to the Sun
article. I then posted this listing with a buy it now price of £200 (but those interested could also submit their best offers) and I also posted a second parallel listing identical in every way except that its Buy It Now price was set at £5.
Surprisingly, the offer with the lower price attracted only about a tenth of the interest generated by its £200 twin.
My listing was not the only WWF coin to be offered at the same time; others were bid up to more than £1,000 (although I doubt these sales were concluded).
The number of times the £200 listing was viewed soon soared beyond 300 and I also saw it was being watched by more than 30 people. This gave the impression that they were waiting to put in a last minute bid but in actual fact, it is more likely they too had a WWF coin they may sell and were watching the outcome of my listing.
As the offer progressed, I was contacted by several people to give their opinion that the valuation given in the Sun article was not accurate.
Others also contacted me with offers for the coin ranging from fifty pence to £2. Each of those who contacted me was directed to the £5 listing, which was attracting only around 10 per cent of the attention paid to the more expensive coin.
Following the first week-long listings, these were resubmitted for a second week, during which I sold two WWF coins for £5.
This was a significant improvement on the performance of this coin over the previous three years when I sold ten similar circulated coins to buyers throughout the UK and one in Russia for an average of £1.30 each.
With the Kew spike in 2012, sale prices swiftly fell below £100 before stabilising at around £50 but in that example media interest quickly spread beyond a single newspaper, ensuring demand was boosted much beyond levels seen with last November’s excitement about WWF in a single publication. Overall, it would seem the effect of the newspaper story was a dramatic increase interest in buying the coin and also in selling it, resulting in an immediate fourfold increase in its market price.

Peer to Peer Saving Update

Recently most posts here have been about coins worth more than face value but another path to prosperity was also included when this blog was started three years ago.
This was using the higher rates of interest available for savers by using peer to peer lending to grow cash faster.
Sadly, the need to have immediate access to most of the money I had hoped to build a nest egg with has meant an increasing focus on generating additional income by selling seemingly ordinary coins for more than face value rather than finding the right environment for savings to grow.
That is why there has been little mention of my experience with Zopa (the world’s first and Britain’s largest peer to peer lender) for more than a year. I was lucky enough to open an account with Zopa shortly after it was launched in 2005 so have recently benefited from an “early adopters bonus”, which means every month I have been paid an additional 0.5 per cent interest on my total balance at Zopa.
This has helped my savings grow much faster than if I’d left them in the savings account of my usual High Street bank, which wrote to me recently to advise me that the balance in the SAVINGS ACCOUNT would attract interest of 0.01 per cent.
An urgent need for cash several years ago forced me to withdraw everything I could from my original Zopa balance of £250. Withdrawals at Zopa are done by selling loans you have made with borrowers to other investors but this can only happen if the borrower has paid on time throughout the course of the loan so far.
Fortunately all but one of the dozens of original borrowers had made every payment in full so I was able to withdraw £274.76 for my original deposit of £250 at Zopa but there was one borrower who had fallen behind in his payments. However, instead of this being a nuisance, this borrower was a huge bonus because he was the reason the account remained open and also because, over time, this borrower ended up paying far more than he would have had he paid on schedule.
Then, a couple of years ago, I was able to make use of the Zopa account again when I wanted somewhere I could put aside a few pounds where it might earn some interest. For several months I developed a routine of depositing whatever change was in my pocket into the Zopa account and this soon began to mount up.
Within a few months, I’d passed the £500 mark and I stuck to my original damage-limitation strategy of lending only £10 to each borrower. This meant each month I had more than 50 small repayments and interest payments coming so every few weeks these totalled more than £10 and I was able to make another loan.
Gradually the total crept up beyond £900 and I was looking forward to breaking the thousand pound barrier but then an unexpected bill – buying a new car at short notice – meant once again I had to test how easy it was to withdraw my funds from Zopa. I am pleased to say this went just as smoothly as it had first time.
As I have written nothing about Zopa for more than a year, for several months I’ve felt it was time for an update. Please come back soon where I will give more details of the higher interest rates I was able to attract for my savings (even when this amounted to only a few pounds) and I will also look at plans announced this week for Zopa to diversify to offer the range of products traditionally offered by High Street retail banks.
This week Zopa announced plans to create a new “challenger bank”, which will be based purely online and will seek to repeat its trick of offering better rates to investors, lenders and borrowers.

Remember, if what you have read has interested you in opening a Zopa account for yourself, you can do so with this link.

Got New RBS Polymer Fivers

Normally when banks or the Royal Mint release a new item of currency, this happens in London or Edinburgh and only people who live in these areas are lucky enough to see the new notes or coins in the first few days of circulation.

This week, however, I spotted press coverage that the Royal Bank of Scotland’s new polymer five pound notes were to be issued from nine branches of the bank on Thursday October 27th, including one near where I was working that day.

Knowing that the highest prices for new notes are usually achieved in the first few days after their release, I called at the branch identified by media coverage in Inverness but staff there were surprised, pointing out that they planned to launch the notes the following day.

No amount of “But I’m only here for the day” or “Pretty Please” worked so I had to return the next day, when I was greeted by what appeared to be a jobbing out-of-work actor in front of a table covered in cards promoting the new notes and a tray of cupcakes featuring the main character on the front of the new notes.

Result – the notes were finally available and I was among the first in the country to get my hands on them.

My visit the previous day paid off however and staff who recognised me agreed that I would be allowed to withdraw £1,000 in the new “plastic fivers” – far more than the usual limit.

Each bundle is £500




I was also able to get a few of the promotional postcards the bank issued to explain some aspects of the design.

This means I now have all three Scottish polymer notes issued so far:

All three Scottish Polymer Fivers

Gotta dash for now but … will update later.


Plastic Notes Now Going Mainstream

Although they have been around for several years in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the late arrival of Bank of England polymer banknotes has finally pushed this new technology into mainstream consciousness.

The release of the first wave of Bank of England fivers saw the usual rush to be the first to own one and prices for those from the first batch, with an AA01 serial number, rapidly climbed to several hundred pounds.

It is the same phenomenon seen when the Clydesdale Bank released its polymer fivers two years ago.

At that time I was able to walk into a branch, withdraw £500 in crisp new consecutive fivers and pick up a large handful of leaflets explaining the security features seen on this new style of banknote. Then I was able to offer consecutive pairs of uncirculated notes, with an accompanying leaflet, to buyers around the world for £40 per set, rapidly falling to £20 before the market price slipped to £15 within the week as most collectors had already been able to get their hands on an example for their collections.

The same thing happened this week when the media reported prices for the Bank of England’s AA01 notes had been sold on eBay for more than £400 each. Soon Facebook groups were filled with eager sellers keen to sell their notes for a similar sum, only to be disappointed when they discovered what demand there had been had vanished.

However, as this story from the BBC shows , not all initial valuations are destined to decline over time. This tells the story of an extremely limited Bank of Scotland release (just 50 notes!) and an example sold at Spinks in London this week for £18,500.

Look After The Pennies And …


Among the regular items I offer for sale online are annual sets of coins which, when assembled in the correct formation, show the Shield of the Royal Arms spread over standard UK coins from one penny to fifty pence.

This innovative new design was introduced in 2008 when the new system created by Matthew Dent replaced a series of former motifs which had graced UK coins since decimalisation in 1971. (See also my earlier post where I look at how this change has made the final examples of these earlier coins more attractive.)
Despite being made from, by definition, ordinary or standard UK coins in common circulation, these sets have been popular since I began to offer them online at the start of last year.
I offered these via eBay and from the start made sure these sales were visible to the site’s buyers in other countries because I assumed they would be of most interest to people who did not encounter them in their daily lives. Therefore I was surprised in June 2014 when the first set I offered; using coins from 1p to 50p issued the previous year; was bought for £1.60 by a man from England.
Over the following three months, a further three bidders in England paid £1.60 (plus postage) for the group of coins which have a face value of 88p.
By this stage I had been able to assemble similar Royal Shield sets from 2008 (the first year they were issued) and 2012 and was on the lookout for enough 2014 coins to put together similar examples from that year.
Interest in these sets meant that in November, instead of simply buying one of my 2013 sets for their opening bid of £1.60, the top bidder in my auction for such a set was able to buy an example for £2.75 while the man whose rival bids had pushed the price up to this level bought on a second chance offer for £2.55. Again both bidders were from the UK where the coins to put these together were in common circulation.
Then in December that year, the first 2014 set I was able to assemble went to the first overseas bidder when a Russian offered the £2.00 opening price.
Then as 2015 began, the floodgates opened as I was able to offer a regular supply of Royal Shield sets for 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
The higher prices such sets had begun to achieve gave me the confidence to set £1.80 as my usual opening bid price and this was quickly rewarded with the sale of a 2012 and a 2013 set to buyers in England for this new price.
My decision to raise my starting price was soon reversed as sales dried up in January but a new starting price of £1.20 resulted in the sale of a 2012 and a 2014 set to a buyer in Athens in mid-February, while an Australian buyer secured another for £2.21.
The following month a canny Scotsman with an eye for a bargain snapped up another 2014 set for £1.20 , while a bidder in England secured another for £1.70 before I rounded the month off by selling my first 2008 set to the earlier Greek buyer, who also purchased a Kitchener “Your Country Needs You” WWI £2 coin, an Act of Union £2 coin and an oak and rose English floral emblem pound coin for a combined total of £9.20 (again plus postage).
Spurred on by these sales, the starting price returned to £1.80 and the sales continued with a further 17 sales of sets from various years to seven buyers in England, two in Scotland and others in Wales, Denmark, USA, Russia and another in Australia.
So in percentage terms I think I made a reasonable return but unfortunately making a 100 per cent profit on a few pence is never going to make me rich but this has been the clearest illustration I have ever seen of the sage advice, “Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”.
I just need to find a way to get the same rate of return on one hundred pound notes.
During 2015 there were two varieties of standard UK coinage, meaning renewed interest in the Royal Shield sets; please return to see my later post on the higher prices I was able to achieve with these.

Magic Floating Coin! Japanese One Yen

Most of the coins I sell have been examples in current UK circulation but sometimes I come across something a little different.

That was the case with a small very lightweight coin I spotted lying on a pavement outside a supermarket recently.

I realised it was of Asian origin but needed further research to discover this was a One Yen coin issued by Japan during the reign of the Emperor Hirohito. He is the current Emperor, assuming the role in 1989 but, as yet,  I have not discovered the exact date of this coin.

More intriguing was the lightweight metal used to make the coin and online research confirmed my suspicions this was aluminium and I was surprised to see this means it can float on water.

As I have a rule not to collect the coins I discover, it was obvious I should offer the coin for sale. To achieve its best price, I always focus on any coin’s most distinctive quality so this left me wondering if I would achieve the best price by selling to a coin collector or to an amateur magician.

In the end, I listed the coin on the collectable coins section of eBay but stressed this aluminium oddity’s other feature, noting that, in the right hands, it could amaze children or even win its new owner a few drinks at their local bar as I’m sure it will also be the only coin to float on beer, vodka or wine.

Anyway, here is a video my son helped me to make to illustrate how the coin floats:

I’ll let you know how the sale turns out.

Pound Notes Demise Not Decided

A few weeks ago I came across a brief mention online that the Royal Bank of Scotland was to issue as batch of pound notes this September and that these would be the final pound notes issued by any UK bank.

As I regularly sell Scottish banknotes for more than face value, I realised the notes of this final issue would immediately attain iconic status and attract a premium value among collectors and investors.

However, a chance conversation I had this week put this in a different light. Unexpectedly, I had the chance to chat briefly to a member of the Bank’s “Scottish Note Team”. Normally based at the Bank’s Gogarburn headquarters near Edinburgh, he was in the Highlands for a few days this month and I took the chance to bring up the “final issue” of pound notes I had heard about.

He was surprised by this but was able to reassure me that RBS has no plans to stop issuing pound notes. Additional notes will be issued whenever there is a demand for these. Apparently all customers need to do is ask at their branch for pound notes and they will be provided on request. Branches have a stock if these and the Bank will print more when they are needed.

Yes a batch of new pound notes will be distributed in September but there has been no decision that these should be the last but I’m going to play it safe and request a couple of hundred just in case because there is no way of knowing when the final batch will appear.

Of course I also took the chance to ask what is next in the pipeline for RBS notes but sadly all I learned was that the new polymer (plastic) five pound notes will appear later this year, in line with other Scottish banks and also the Bank of England and that this will be followed next year by the new plastic tenners.

So, no dramatic revelations but I was pleased to get a clear picture of future changes straight from the horse’s mouth.