Photograph of the complete set of coins arranged on a woven background

After months of hoarding (and I'm not the only one), I've finally collected each of the new UK coin designs. The set was complete one evening at the pub where the elusive 5 pence piece was slotted into the center of the arrangement... to my disappointment there was no magical flash of light and I was not endowed with super powers.

I don't normally get excited by coins and I wouldn't normally collect them, however the unique and original puzzle-like design of these really caught my interest. UK coin designs aren't particularly exciting, bar the special-edition 50p's you see around, so the boldness of this design is a refreshing break from the mold.

Join the coins ...kinda

The coins arranged against the background of the shield on a £1 coin

The circular nature of coins don't make for a particularly intuitive jigsaw-puzzle, you can't make every piece touch it's neighbours.

When arranging the coins by eye you naturally rest the Two and Ten on the One and Twenty below (as I have done in the main photograph) - lining up the coins relative to the original shield design results in the Two and Ten floating slightly above. This irritates the obsessive compulsive within me.

Scalable design

A special edition of the £1 coin has the entire shield design on it's back. I've used this to line up the other coins; doing so reveals subtle changes made to both the small £1 shield and the individual portions on each coin. The £1 features a simplified design with bolder features as you would find in icon design.

Each of the coin designs compared with what they would have looked like had the shield been reproduced exactly as it is on the £1 coin

One Penny

Smoothed transition from straight to curve for the edge of the shield

Two Pence

Lion's legs extend below the edge of the coin

Five Pence

Harp and Lion's head are repositioned slightly to show more detail

Ten Pence

Lion's legs are repositioned to fit to the edge of the coin better, while the thrid lion's head is omitted

Twenty Pence

As with the One Pence, the curve has been smoothed

Fifty Pence

The edges of the shield form more of a point, allowing the curve to track the edge of the harp closer


Anon says

11 January 2012 - 9:37pm

This is what i'm trying to do. Are they worth anything to collectors? I'm trying to collect all the old coins too.