Poll

Which is your favourite format for UK commemorative coins?

The heptagonal 50 pence
5 (62.5%)
The bimetallic 2 pound coin
2 (25%)
The crown-sized 5 pound coin
1 (12.5%)
I have no preference
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 8

Voting closed: July 20, 2021, 10:43:49 PM

Author Topic: Which is your favourite format for UK commemorative coins?  (Read 455 times)

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Offline <k>

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Which is your favourite format for UK commemorative coins?
« on: July 05, 2021, 10:43:49 PM »
Our forum member Deeman has mentioned that he sees an increased emphasis on the issue of commemorative collector 5 pound coins. Is this true, and if so why? The 5 pound coin, with a diameter of 38.6 mm, strikes me as rather a bulky item in these modern times, though it does not of course circulate. Do you agree, or do you like its large format? Of the three common commemorative formats, which do you prefer?
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Offline brandm24

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Re: Which is your favourite format for UK commemorative coins?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2021, 12:17:34 AM »
The 5 pound coin is bulky but since it's non-circulating it's not a negative for me. I've always had a soft spot for large impressive coins like the old English cartwheels and 2d "hockey pucks." Some of the US early silver dollars fit in that category too.

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Offline <k>

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Re: Which is your favourite format for UK commemorative coins?
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2021, 01:28:56 AM »
For me, the 5 pound coin is too bulky. The maximum diameter I like to see on a coin is 32 mm.

I'm a big fan of the heptagons and have voted accordingly.
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Offline agoodall

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Re: Which is your favourite format for UK commemorative coins?
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2021, 03:53:53 AM »
I would prefer it if most of the commemorative coins were either 50ps or £2s, with crown sized £5s being reserved for special royal events, like jubilees. The vast increase in the number of £5 coins being issued has really put me off collecting modern British coins. I want to collect with the aim of completing series but the increase in new issues over the last decade has forced me to scale back to just the uncirculated base metal issues. Now the number of new £5s plus the mint’s new enthusiasm for coloured versions has made even this a burden. I made the mistake of including the £5s once they started including them in the annual year sets, which was okay when it was just one or two a year but now!

If £5 coins must be issued I would prefer them to be smaller, maybe half crown sized. Then occasional £10 crown sized coins could be issued for the sort of occasion that 5/-, 25p and £5 coins were for the first five decades of the Queen’s reign. That wouldn’t help with affordability but I would like the coins more.

I’d also like to see the 10 pence coin used more for special issues, particularly if they were also issued for circulation. I thought the 10p alphabet series were a disaster but the recent wildlife 10ps issued by Guernsey show what could be done. The US State and America the Beautiful series are another good example of what can be done with a lower value circulating coin.

These days the mint seems more preoccupied with producing large numbers of low mintage high value coins for wealthy collectors than with maintaining a sensible and logical coinage. I know they’re far from alone in this! I wonder how many collectors of £5 coins are buying them solely with the aim of completion rather than out of a love of the coins. In my case I will be stopping with the 2022 year set, which I hope will include a Platinum Jubilee £5. Once enough collectors tire of buying the £5 coins the mint will thrash around looking for another cash cow. The day can’t be too far off when new collectors will face such an unaffordable backlog of coins to collect that coin collecting itself will die out, especially as cashless payment methods take over and coins are encountered less. That seems like something that couldn’t happen but how many people collect or even use stamps now? The only times I receive commemorative stamps on mail these days is when buying coins or tokens on eBay and they’re usually at least thirty years old, from collections sold at under face value at auctions.

Offline quaziright

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Re: Which is your favourite format for UK commemorative coins?
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2021, 04:37:07 AM »
I would prefer the half crown size too for commems. However with the ridiculous number of commemorative coins issued for silly themes, I stopped focusing on British coins. I’ll take them whenever I can find one at face value or at a decent price, but British new coins were among first I dropped when I decided to start setting cut of dates after which I don’t collect new issues

Canada stopped issuing circulation 25c commemorative coins a couple years ago. Recently its mostly twoonies, though loonies have been making a comeback. This year, there are 3 themes, but with the coloured Coins, it actually means 7 distinct coins. I’m still unsure about one of the 10c blue nose coins

Offline <k>

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Re: Which is your favourite format for UK commemorative coins?
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2021, 12:26:12 PM »
Except it's about the UK, not Canada, quazi. Canada has its own board. Since you mention it, I will say that Canada was the first major country to adopt an Isle of Man approach to commemoratives, producing more coin issues in a year than the annual stamp issues of many countries. Eventually, the Royal Mint, RAM and others were obliged to compete, and that's when the rot set in.  >:(
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Offline <k>

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Re: Which is your favourite format for UK commemorative coins?
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2021, 12:54:44 PM »
I want to collect with the aim of completing series but the increase in new issues over the last decade has forced me to scale back to just the uncirculated base metal issues.

I have never really understood the 'completists'. Collect only the coins you like. There is no need to collect every coin.


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Now the number of new £5s plus the mint’s new enthusiasm for coloured versions has made even this a burden.

Coloured coins are an aesthetic atrocity and should be outlawed by the United Nations.  >:(

 
Quote
If £5 coins must be issued I would prefer them to be smaller, maybe half crown sized.

Agreed. But I suppose the point is that there will be a market for whatever kind of coin is issued. Plenty of people have plenty of money. The extra money from quantitative easing finds its way into the stock markets, and new digital currencies spring up almost monthly and soar in value. Consumerism is still rampant, and in coin collecting too, but of course our rampant productivism is behind global warming, and sadly I think it's too late to rewind the tape.

Quote
I’d also like to see the 10 pence coin used more for special issues, particularly if they were also issued for circulation. I thought the 10p alphabet series were a disaster but the recent wildlife 10ps issued by Guernsey show what could be done.

There is no point unless you can get these issues into circulation in mass numbers. I wasn't impressed by the design of the UK 10 pence commemoratives. I usually like wildlife designs, but I find the Guernsey designs rather underwhelming.
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Offline Deeman

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Re: Which is your favourite format for UK commemorative coins?
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2021, 01:43:57 PM »
Heptagons for me. Agree with member agoodall - retain crown-size coins for royalty issues.

Prefer a reduction in heraldic focus and a big reduction in nonsense issues. Greater emphasis on history, flora & fauna, and architecture would be appreciated.

Getting rid of Royal shield ‘picture-puzzle’ would be a big priority for me.

Does anybody know what is in the melting pot on the diversity front?

Offline quaziright

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Re: Which is your favourite format for UK commemorative coins?
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2021, 01:47:48 PM »
Except it's about the UK, not Canada, quazi. Canada has its own board. Since you mention it, I will say that Canada was the first major country to adopt an Isle of Man approach to commemoratives, producing more coin issues in a year than the annual stamp issues of many countries. Eventually, the Royal Mint, RAM and others were obliged to compete, and that's when the rot set in.  >:(

Hmm, did you not read my post where I talk about my preference for the half crown size? As regards the RCM, yes it does issue a diarrhoea of NON CIRCULATING commemorative coins which come in special packaging and a high list price. So they have the decency to let you know that coin X is circulating while coin Y is not. Coin X can easily be found in circulation . Not so with the nasty RM as we’ve seen with the 10p alphabets series and so many of the £2 commemorative coins. They deliberately make it seem the coin is meant for circulation, but end up issuing so few (or even none at all) so as to feed on collectors FOMO. Unlike the RCM and RAM, RM is in a league of its own in cynics marketing

Offline agoodall

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Re: Which is your favourite format for UK commemorative coins?
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2021, 04:13:19 PM »
K: I have never really understood the 'completists'. Collect only the coins you like. There is no need to collect every coin.

Well, a completist is collecting what he/she likes! I don’t, of course, mean really complete - you’d need to be a billionaire to keep up a complete collection of UK coins now and the end result wouldn’t be that pleasing to me anyway. What I meant was that I would like to have as complete a collection of the base metal issues of Elizabeth II as possible (there will always be unintentional errors or variants that remain out of reach for most collectors). I think that’s quite a modest ambition and until the 2010s was an easy task and meant there was money left for other coins I like. Any collection is going to be confined by taste and budget. The torrent of fivers is making it less enjoyable to pursue and means diverting increasing amounts from other areas of interest. For that reason my completist collection will be coming to a close with the year set due next January.

K: Coloured coins are an aesthetic atrocity and should be outlawed by the United Nations.  >:(

Agree totally!

K: …I suppose the point is that there will be a market for whatever kind of coin is issued. Plenty of people have plenty of money. The extra money from quantitative easing finds its way into the stock markets, and new digital currencies spring up almost monthly and soar in value. Consumerism is still rampant, and in coin collecting too, but of course our rampant productivism is behind global warming, and sadly I think it's too late to rewind the tape.

Just because plenty of people have plenty of money now is no guarantee that will always be the case. There have been booms and busts in coin collecting before. At one time mintages of UK commemorative coins and sets were in the tens or hundreds of thousands. Now the RM is taking a scattergun approach with lots of low or very low mintages and ridiculous themes. At some point a recession (or worse) will come along and shake out the frivolous buyers and speculators and they may find there aren’t that many genuine collectors left.

k: There is no point unless you can get these issues into circulation in mass numbers. I wasn't impressed by the design of the UK 10 pence commemoratives. I usually like wildlife designs, but I find the Guernsey designs rather underwhelming.

I agree on both points. I received the two Guernsey sets yesterday and I was disappointed with the quality but I still like the idea. There are plenty of other areas that could be pursued - fauna, flora, buildings, landmarks, historical figures or events, kings and queens of England, Scotland, GB. If the mint could get low value coins like 10ps and 50ps into mass circulation, that would attract new collectors who might then go on to want the proof or precious metal versions too. It looks to me like they did that with the Olympic 50p coins and once they had a real collector base for the 50ps thought job done and started ratcheting up the number of issues and now face values. The US has been successful with its’ circulating quarters programs and I don’t see why the UK can’t do the same.

Deeman: I agree with all your points! I don’t think we’re going to see the end of the shield designs until there’s a new reign, sadly.

These are the changes I would like to see to UK coinage: ignore the tabloid press and drop the 1p and 2p coins, make the 5p copper coloured, restrict the majority of commemoratives to the 50p and £2 denominations, restore the rotating designs for the four UK nations on the £1 coins and possibly use the 10p as a mass circulation vehicle for special designs to attract new collectors, stop issuing definitive coins in years where commemoratives of the same denomination are being issued. On top of that, ditch the shield designs and ban cartoons on coins. I expect none of this to happen in the near term!

Offline andyg

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Re: Which is your favourite format for UK commemorative coins?
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2021, 09:54:31 PM »
I used to collect £5 coins - when they were one each year and available for face value from post offices.
I gave up back in 2010 with the olympic ones - too many and priced above face.
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

Online Alan71

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Re: Which is your favourite format for UK commemorative coins?
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2021, 09:16:54 AM »
Same here.  Apart from the ones in the annual sets (which I’d happily do without, but they’re in there so can’t avoid) I don’t bother with £5 coins.  Far too many and being issued for increasingly trivial reasons.  However, I’m happy for them to be used in that way as it means I don’t have to buy them!

The £2 seems to be being used less often (in the UK at least) than it once was.  Again, I welcome that.  There are enough in the annual sets anyway.

I voted for the 50p because it’s much more affordable, but I’d like to see fewer commemoratives there as well.  I don’t think there’s much chance of that though!

Less is more… when there were fewer commemoratives, it seemed like much more of an event when they were issued.  Far more significant.

Offline Offa

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Re: Which is your favourite format for UK commemorative coins?
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2021, 05:12:46 PM »
I preface the heptagonal coins as they are a perfect vehicle for commemorative issues, I do not collec £5 coins only the ones I get in my yearly proof sets.
All coins are equal but some are more equal than others