The new Coin Hunter web app lets you check your change online, receiving handfuls of virtual change drawn from a pot of real coins. This creates a unique opportunity for users to build or complete their collections without even leaving the house.
This article goes behind the scenes to look at the processes required to create an online coin hunt where every virtual coin that you see is available as the real coin.
The real coins
The coin hunt is based on a pot of real £2, £1 and 50p coins. The April 2017 hunt comprises of 2500 £2 coins, 1500 £1 coins and 7000 50 pence pieces. 27 bags of coins weighing a little over 100kg (close to 16 stone) with a total value of £10,000. The coins are ordered from Barclays Bank, supplied by Vaultex cash centre who act on behalf of The Royal Mint.
Sorting and Counting
Every bag and the 25 small cash bags inside each are opened and sorted to record a count of each coin design found.
This manual process of checking 11000 coins takes some time to complete, with exact counts recorded for every coin design except the most common.
The pot of real coins: Boxes of common designs and stacks of the special commemorative coins.
Not for the pot
Banks supply bags of coins based on the weight and will not be checking every coin as we do at Coin Hunter.
You may see the odd foreign or fake looking coin in your change, so as you would expect, £10,000 of change does contain a few odd coins.
Coins not classed as legal tender in the UK, created for the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey, Gibraltar and even 1 St Helena coin.
Coins that look fake and badly damaged or defaced coins
All such coins are excluded from the real pot and not added to the virtual pot.
Creating the virtual pot
With the real pot of coins complete, the counts are simply entered into a database to create the virtual pot.
The coins in your virtual hand
The final step in the process is to create packs of change ready to drop into your virtual hand.
An application is run that randomly places all the coins into change packs of 10 coins each.
At the start of the hunt, every pack is available. When you click the “Get Change” button, 1 pack is randomly selected for you.
Now you know how the coin hunt is built, join the hunt to receive your free change packs today.