Here are ten of our favourite coin facts that we have compiled just for fun!
- Space Invaders ate our coins
The Space Invaders game was so popular when it was released in Japan in 1978 that it caused a national coin shortage!
Japan suffered a nationwide shortage of 100-yen coins and had to increase coin production to keep up with demand.
Space Invaders arrived in the United States in 1980 and by mid-1981, $1 billion of quarters had been gobbled up by the game.
- The disappearing 50p coins
The London 2012 50p collection from The Royal Mint was so popular with the public that more than 70% are estimated to have been collected from circulation…in fact they are now very hard to find.
50p collectors can be found everywhere, from The Royal Mint Facebook page to Twitter where they use the hashtag #50pcollector.
- The most collected coin ever
The most successful coin collecting scheme by any Mint in the world was the 50 State Quarters program in the United States. It was started to support a new generation of coin collectors, and became the most successful numismatic program in history. Roughly half the population of the United States are estimated to have collected at least part of the series!
- The world’s most expensive coin
The most expensive coin ever sold was a flowing hair silver dollar, quite possibly the first struck by the United States Mint. It sold for over $10 million including commission.
- A very rare penny
One of the rarest British coins is the 1933 penny. There was no demand to strike British pennies in 1933 as there were plenty already in circulation.
However, due to a tradition to bury coins in the foundation stones of important new buildings, three were struck for buildings erected that year.
The Royal Mint Museum and The British Museum were also given coins to keep. It is estimated that no more than six or seven were struck in total!
- The fastest coin stacker
Coin stacking is a popular competitive activity and you can even compete live for the title of ‘World Champion Coin Stacker’ on the official Guinness World Records website! The officially recognised record for most coins stacked into a tower in 30 seconds is 51, achieved by Stephen Kish in Southsea, Portsmouth, UK, on 18 September 2012.See more at the Guinness World Records website
- This coin weighs a tonne…literally
The Perth Mint made the world’s biggest gold coin…weighing an incredible ONE TONNE! Cast from 99.99% pure gold, this coin was issued as Australian legal tender…but I don’t think you will find one in your change.
- Trillion dollar coin
The highest denomination coin imagined to date is the $1 trillion platinum coin that was all over the internet in January of 2013. A legal loophole in the United States gives the Treasury Secretary apparently unlimited authority to mint platinum coins. The suggestion was made that minting a $1 trillion coin to deposit at the National Reserve would enable the United States Government to continue to pay its bills even if other financial reserves ran out. Eventually, the idea was dismissed…
- The rarest 50p
The rarest London 2012 Olympic 50p is an Aquatics coin. The London 2012 Aquatics coin you are likely to have seen features a swimmer in cap and goggles gliding through the water. The water passes above and beneath the athlete’s head, leaving the Olympian’s face clear.However, this is not the only version of the design. A small amount of coins were issued which show waves of water passing directly over the swimmer’s face as in the image above. The withdrawal of these coins makes them the rarest of the London 2012 50p pieces.
- Lost down the back of the sofa
A survey that ran in 2010 amongst 2,000 families found that people lose on average £1.43 in loose change every year. That means that all the adults in the UK collectively lose £57 million a year!
Let us know your favourite coin facts in the comments!
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