In a world of contactless cards, you might think that there’s no longer any need to carry around cold hard cash. But don’t give up on coins just yet – the spare change rustling around in your pocket could be worth a few bob.
Now, we’re not saying that the dusty coppers at the bottom of your wallet are going to make you a millionaire. But if you’re lucky enough to pick up a rare coin, you could make a nice return for yourself if you find the right buyer.
To make sure you don’t let a valuable coin slip through your fingers, we’re going to take you through what to look out for.
London Olympic 50p
With the Rio Olympics coming to a close this weekend, it’s time to cast your mind back to the last games. To celebrate the 2012 Olympic Games in London, 29 designs of special 50p coins were released.
The designs included illustrations of badminton, basketball and archery. A full set can normally be sold for around £35, but the real jewel to look out for is the original aquatic coin. Only 600 of these coins were released and the coin (to the right) shows a swimmer’s face.
An original coin was listed on eBay for £3,000 – not bad for a humble 50 pence piece!
In 2008, the 20p piece was redesigned. The Royal Mint decided to switch the date from the back of the coin to the front. This ended up in a mix up when the coins were sent to be made and around 50,000 and 200,000 coins were produced with no date on at all (on the reverse of the coin to the right).
Simply look out for a new style 20p piece that looks exactly like the rest only without a date on the back – it could fetch you as much as £100.
Kew Gardens 50p
To mark the 250th anniversary of the Royal Botanical Gardens in 2011, the Royal Mint manufactured 210,000 special 50p coins.
It’s currently estimated that around one in 300 people have the coin. You need to be quick to spot one though, as they could be lost forever in private collections now that the Royal Mint has declared it the rarest in general circulation.
Some are changing hands for £50 and could even be valued for as much as £120 – so keep a look out!
The 1983 New Pence 2p
All 2p coins made between 1971 and 1981 had the words ‘New Pence’ on the reverse. From 1982 onwards the words were replaced with the phrase ‘Two Pence’ but there was still a small number produced with the old wording ‘New Pence’.
One of the coins displaying this mistake could be worth up to £650.
Guy Fawkes £2 coin
The Royal Mint released a Guy Fawkes £2 coin in 2005 to mark the 400th anniversary of the gun powder plot. Some of the coins released featured a mistake in the wording. Instead of the well-known phrase “Remember, Remember the Fifth of November” the inscription read “Pemember, Pemember”.
These coins were released into circulation and usually sell for around £16 on eBay - so keep hold of yours if you have one.
Lucky enough to find one of the coins? Here’s how to get the best return on what you sell on eBay.