Could you have a valuable coin in your collection that contains a minting error?
WITH the new £1 coin coming into circulation this March, Brits have been urged to check their spare change for valuable £1 coins before they spend them.
But other rare and valuable coins could be in your collection – ones that contain small and subtle minting errors.
Now, we’re lifting the lid on the rarest and most valuable coins that contain hard-to-spot errors.
These minor faults means the coins are more sought-after by collectors, pushing up their “black market” value.
The most collectable coins are usually sold at auction or by specialist coin firms.
But, collectors often lurk on eBay and at car boot sales looking for the coins they need to complete their collections.
Here we reveal the the rarest and most valuable coins that have errors on them – and how to spot them.
1. The Olympic 50p worth more than £1,000
To celebrate the 2012 London Olympics, The Royal Mint released a 50p piece with 29 difference designs.
A full set of coins could fetch around £35 at auction, or if you own a football, wheelchair rugby, wrestling and tennis piece you could be looking at £3 to £4.
But one London Olympics coin is worth far more if you have it – the original aquatic coin, which shows water passing directly over the swimmer’s face.
The Aquatics 50p was modified to remove the waves passing over the swimmer’s face.
But, a small number of the original design were produced before being withdrawn, and these coins can fetch a pretty penny.
According to Change Checker, the 50p coins could fetch up to £1,000 – and when we looked on eBay we found a sold listing for £1,092.
2. The 1983 ‘New Pence’ 2p coin that’s worth £400
Up until 1981, all 2p coins had the words “New Pence” inscribed on the reverse, but a year later The Royal Mint decided to change it to say “Two Pence.”
But, in 1983 The Royal Mint accidentally released a small number of coins which had the old inscription of “New Pence” on them.
A lot of the coins were snapped up by collectors, but if you happen to have one in a penny jar, it could be worth upwards of £400.
3. Navy £2 that’s worth £20
Last year, Change Checker speculated that two different design variations of the 2015 Navy £2 coin were released into circulation.
The original Navy £2 design shows the coin without any markings on the top right of the mast, while the other appears to have a flying flag.
But The Royal Mint – which strikes up to five billion coins a year – said that from time to time debris can get caught between the die and the coin whilst striking.
It just so happens that this bit of debris caused the markings on the £2 Navy coins to look like a flying flag on the ship.
Nonetheless, sellers can still fetch around £20 on eBay if they have a coin with the “flag”.
How can you sell a rare coin if you find one?
For specialist coins, or ones that are much older and have a higher value, speak to an expert. Try a valuation service like Chards.co.uk or ValuemyStuff.co.uk. They will help you work out if it’s worth taking it to auction.
For the more modern coins, like the 50p Kew Garden coin or £2 Mule Britannia, then selling on eBay is a good bet.
Check the auction site to see how much the coin is going for. It’s easy for someone to list a coin for thousands of pounds but the “completed” listings will give you a more realistic idea of the selling price.
Remember to factor in listing fees before deciding whether to sell the coin.
4. 2014 ‘Year of the mule’ that’s worth £175
A “mule” is a coin where one of the sides has been struck with the wrong die.
This happened to a bunch of 2014 Year of the Horse and Britannia £2 coins.
The Royal Mint acknowledged the error, which resulted in around 17,000 Britannia coins being struck with the non-denticled Year of the Horse obverse and 38,000 Year of the Horse coins having the denticled Britannia version as their obverse.
The highly sought-after coins will fetch around £175 on eBay.
5. Guy Fawkes £2 coin that’s worth £15
Often the Royal Mint will change the design of the £2 coin for commemorative purposes and in 2005, they released the Guy Fawkes coin in aid of the 400th anniversary of the gun powder plot.
Unfortunately, some of the coins were released with a typo on the inscription which read: “Pemember, Pemember the Fifth of November” instead of “Remember, Remember” – now they fetch up to £15 on eBay.
6. ‘Inverted effigy’ £2 coin worth up to £115
Confirmed as genuine by The Royal Mint, a “handful” of 2015 Britannia £2 coins showing the Queen’s head upside down are in circulation, and they could be worth a small fortune.
Just 1 in around 200 of the coins show the Queen’s head rotated clockwise by around 150 degrees, making it very rare.
The Royal Mint said the misalignment was “almost certainly the result of one of the dies working loose and rotating during the striking process”.
A spokesperson for Change Checker said that “recent experience suggests [the 2015 Britannia £2 coins] could command a substantial premium.”
A quick look on eBay shows that inverted effigy £2 coins are selling for £115.
7. The undated 20p coin that’s worth £200
The undated 20p is known as the “Holy Grail of change collecting”, with collectors searching far and wide for the valuable coin ever since it entered circulation in 2008.
Back then, The Royal Mint decided to change the positioning of the date on every 20p piece, moving it from the back to the front.
But in an accidental error, a batch of between 50,000 – 250,000 coins were released without any date at all.
These undated 20p coins – which became the first coins in more than 300 years to enter circulation without a date – are highly collectable, fetching more than £200 on eBay.
According to blog Change Checker, the coins typically sell for around £50 – around a third less than the value of the rarest coin in circulation, the Kew Gardens 50p – but some coins in mint condition will sell for a staggering £200.
8. The battle of Britain 50p worth was worth £100 – now just £2
In 2015, a 50p coin was issued to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
It was the first UK commemorative coin to be issued with three different designs; one featuring a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clarke without the 50 pence lettering, one featuring Ian Rank-Broadley’s portrait of the Queen without the 50 pence lettering, and one featuring Jody Clarke’s portrait of the Queen but WITH the 50 pence denomination written on it.
This variation in design was quickly noted and the coins were seen to be error coins, with those without the 50 pence denomination fetching almost £100 online.
The silver 2p coin that’s worth over £1,350
LAST year, a silver 2p was dropped into a Royal British Legion collection tin in Wiltshire.
Poppy collectors found the silver coloured 2 pence piece and thought it was fake, but after sending it off to The Royal Mint to be checked, it was confirmed to be the result of a minting error. Somehow a 10p “blank” had found its way into the presses and a 2p was accidentally struck onto it, they said. The coin was snapped up by the collectable coin company The Westminster Collection for a whopping £1,350. It might not be a coin you can find in your spare change but that’s pretty impressive!