LOOKING BACK ON 2020
Now is the perfect time to reflect on the coin issues from the year gone by, and what a year 2020 shaped up to be, writes Change Checker’s Alex Siddons
The start of a new year marks an exciting time in the numismatic calendar, as we look forward to the new coins to be released. However, it’s also the perfect time to reflect back on the incredible coin issues from the year gone by, and what a year 2020 shaped up to be, writes Change Checker’s Rachel Hooper
Despite lockdowns and a worldwide pandemic, we saw an incredible twelve 50ps released, four £2 coins and fifteen £5 coins to add to our ever growing collections. Of all the wonderful coins released last year, here are some of our highlights and the stories behind them…
On the 31 January 2020, the United Kingdom left the European Union – over three and half years after the vote. As one of the most historically significant events to happen in modern history, it was only fitting that the occasion should be marked with the release of a brand new United Kingdom coin.
The 2020 UK Brexit 50p was released on Brexit Day and proved to be one of the most popular releases of the year, with the Silver Proof version completely selling out at The Royal Mint. But the best news for collectors is that the Brexit 50p has been released into circulation and is available to collect from your change! So next time you receive a 50p when you’re out and about, make sure you check the design, because it could be a 2020 Brexit 50p.
2020 Peter Rabbit 50p
The delightful Peter Rabbit first hopped onto a UK coin in 2016, with the release of the first ever series of Beatrix Potter 50ps. Inspiring a whole new generation of collectors to take up the hobby and find these wonderful coins in their change, it’s fair to say that the Beatrix Potter coins have established themselves as a favourite among many a collector.
But of all the characters to feature on a UK 50p, Peter Rabbit is the only one to feature more than once. In fact, this mischievous bunny has featured on no less than five UK 50p coins, with the latest release in 2020 marking his last appearance.
But not only is this the last ever UK Peter Rabbit 50p, this coin was released during the midst of lockdown, despite all odds. So if ever there was a coin to put a smile on our faces last year, it really had to be the 2020 Peter Rabbit 50p.
Music Legends £5 series
Next up we have not just one, but three £5 coins which have been released throughout the year in a brand new series celebrating some of Britain’s most iconic Music Legends.
Starting the series with a £5 which rocked the nation, Queen became the first band to ever feature on a UK coin! Band members Brian May and Roger Taylor officially approved the design which proved a real hit with collectors.
This was followed by a coin celebrating the remarkable musical talent that is Sir Elton John. The coin features the iconic hat, sunglasses and bowtie which are synonymous with the star.
And finally, at the end of 2020 the Starman himself, David Bowie featured on the third Music Legend £5 coin. A dynamic lightning bolt motif from the Aladdin Sane era sits behind a powerful portrait of Bowie himself. Read the news story about the coin going into space and back in this issue.
I’m sure you’ll agree these coins are a wonderful tribute to Britain’s musical talent and make for a stunning collection.
Dinosauria 50p collection
An exciting new 50p series shook the coin collecting world in 2020. Excitingly for collectors, these were the UK’s very first dinosaur coins and were issued in collaboration with the Natural History Museum. Each coin proved to be a roaring success and features a detailed design from Paleo artist Robert Nicholls to bring these terrifying prehistoric
giants to life. Discover the Megalosaurus, Iguanodon and Hylaeosaurus with this incredible series of 50ps, issued in 2020 to celebrate the discovery of dinosaurs.
Winnie the Pooh 50p
Britain’s most loveable bear, Winnie the Pooh, was celebrated in 2020 with a brand new and official United Kingdom 50p coin series. This wonderfully nostalgic collection of coins brings to life everyone’s favourite ‘silly old bear’ and his friends, inspired by the classic stories of A.A. Milne and the charming illustrations of E.H. Shepard.
They certainly created a real buzz with collectors, as we saw Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin and Piglet brought to life on UK 50p coins for the first time ever.
Each reverse design has been created by The Walt Disney Company and features an original illustration from the Winnie the Pooh storybooks.
But the best news is that the series doesn’t stop there, as a total of nine Winnie the Pooh 50ps will be released over a three year period – meaning we have six more characters to look forward to.
In all my years as a collector, I’ve never seen The Royal Mint release a coin on a Saturday, but in October 2020, a surprise Saturday coin release broke tradition as a new 50p coin was issued to celebrate diversity across the whole of Britain and how this has helped to shape our rich history and heritage.
Designed by Dominque Evans, the new 50p features the words ‘DIVERSITY BUILT BRITAIN’ against a network of interconnected triangles, symbolizing the importance of connections between communities, and the strength of these connections across the country.
This coin marks the first in a new series set to pay tribute to the contribution people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities have made to the country.
What’s more, this coin entered circulation last year, meaning you have the chance to find one in your change! Best of luck hunting down this exciting 2020 coin release for your collection!
Overall I think it’s fair to say that 2020 was an incredible year for coins, and during a time when the world has been faced with so many challenges, it’s been the small things which have brought us well deserved and unexpected joy.
If you want to get ahead of the crowd and secure every new UK 50p, £2 and £5 coin issue on the day of release at the initial release price, then you can do so with Change Checker’s UK CERTIFIED BU Subscription Service! Find out more: www.changechecker.org/2020Subscriptions