The Great British Coin Hunt began during the London 2012 Olympic games, when collecting coins from change became a sport in itself. In total, 29 50p coins – each representing an Olympic sport – were issued in 2011 and 2012 to mark the home games. These coins were collected in their millions and unlocked a world of coin collecting for people of all ages, right across the country. People everywhere stopped spending and started collecting the coins in their change. But the Coin Hunt didn’t stop there. In fact, the 29 50p designs issued to mark the games joined around 60 different designs already in circulation on 50p, £1 and £2 coins.
In the last four years the Coin Hunt has continued to grow, with new UK coins released each year. Today you’ll find no fewer than 103 different designs in circulation and that’s before you include the 2016 coins, which you’ll find in your change later this year. 2016 is a bumper year for UK coins and, by the end of the year, the Coin Hunt will grow to 115 designs! So just where do you keep all these coins? Well, in 2012 a collector album was released along with the 29 50p coins to give collectors a means to catalog and store their new collection. As the Coin Hunt has grown, so has the range of albums, and today there are 10 albums and several ways to collect UK coins from change.
The collector albums are a handy way to organise and store your coins. But with 10 albums in the range, I’m sure you’re wondering; ‘where do I begin?‘ and ‘which album is right for me?‘. Well, let’s have a look at the albums.
The ‘original’ Coin Hunt collector albums
The ‘original’ Coin Hunt albums include spaces to collect every coin design in circulation, excluding the 29 London 2012 50p coins. They are labeled and include images of the coin designs so that you can keep track of your collection. The albums have recently been extended to include spaces for the 2016 and 2017 coins and, to make room for these new coins, the albums are now tri-fold.
The ‘collector’s edition’ Coin Hunt collector albums
The ‘collector’s edition’ albums are very similar to the Coin Hunt collector albums, with the noticeable difference being their design. They include slots to collect one of every coin design in circulation, again excluding the 29 London 2012 50p coins, and also include space for the 2016 and 2017 coins. The £1 ‘collector’s edition’ album has an additional space to collect the 2016 £1, the last of the round pound, which will not be entering circulation and will only be available to purchase on royalmint.com.
The extended Coin Hunt collector albums
Do you want control of your Coin Hunt? Well that’s exactly what these ‘extended’ collector albums do – they give you control. There are no predetermined dates or designs printed on the sleeves that fit in these albums, allowing you to organise your collection in your own way! The 50p album has 48 spaces (enough space to collect the 29 London 2012 50p coin designs alongside all the other 50p designs in circulation), the £1 album also has 48 spaces, while the £2 album has 60 spaces.
The ‘definitive’ Coin Hunt album
A new addition to the range, the ‘definitive’ Coin Hunt album is designed to collect the definitive coins (the coins that are issued every year). You may already recognise the 1p to £1 coin designs as ‘the shield’. These coins were designed in 2008 by Matthew Dent and have been produced every year since. The definitive £2 coin changed in 2015, which is why there is space for two £2 coins in the album. The ‘technology £2’ – first issued in 1997 and produced every year since – was replaced by a new definitive £2, the ‘Britannia £2’, which will continue to be produced every year.
So, which albums will you choose? If you’re a proud Coin Hunt collector, or if you’re just starting out, we’d love to hear from you. Share your collection with us on Facebook and Twitter and keep us updated with your new finds using #CoinHunt!