Top 25 Rare British Coins worth MORE than their face value
21st July 2017

Polymer five pound notes have been auctioned for high sums of money, purely for their unique serial numbers. They’re not the only bits of cash that will make you even more cash though, certain British coins are worth looking for too.

Now, before you get overly excited about discovering a coin that may have value, just make sure you do your research beforehand. Ebay prices are misleading.

Currently, I’d say the safest and most professional option to shift your rare coins would be with Exclusive Coins Limited. Their experts will help you get the best deal for your collectible change, so if you’re serious about it, definitely get in touch with them!

This coin masters’ guide lists 25 of Britain’s rarest coins that are most certainly worth keeping your eye out for, as they can land you from just a small but reasonable profit boost all the way through to a larger and more worthwhile cash bonus.

“Cardiff Capital” £1 Coin (2011) – £3

Back in 2010 a series of 4 pound coins were revealed to celebrate the capital cities of the UK. One of the later two of these coins to be put into circulation represented Cardiff, which was done so a year after the first 2 in 2011.

Collectors seem to be keen to snatch this coin for roughly £3, which technically is a 200% turn around…

“Suffragette” 50p Coin (2003) – £3

2003 saw the 100th Anniversary for the formation of the Women’s Social and Political Union. The royal mint introduced a 50p coin to commemorate this which collector’s may be willing to take off your hands for the £3 mark.

If you’re desperate for cash this could be a good turn around if done in bulk, but as time passes this value may even increase so it could be worth clinging on to.

“DNA” £2 Coin (2003) – £3

This coin was issued to celebrate 50 years since the discovery of DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid back in 1953.

Not the best profit at £3, but collector’s find it quite difficult to get hold of so it could be another coin to hold onto just for now.

“Offside London Olympics” 50p Coin (2012) – £3

One of the 29 coins issued as part of the 2012 London Olympics collection of 50ps, this specific coin is a little harder to come by than the rest.

Collectors that are desperate to complete their set will be willing to part with up to £3 to get their hands on it. If you’re very lucky, you could fetch even more for it.

“Triathlon London Olympics” 50p Coin (2012) – £3

As part of the London Olympics 50p coin set, this one will also fetch for a similar price to the Offside 50p coin on its own.

“London Capital” £1 Coin (2010) – £4

One of the 4 coins issued in the capital cities £1 coin set.

This coin was the first to be issued by the royal mint, with collectors quite happy to spend up to £4 to secure it in their collection.

“Edinburgh Capital” £1 Coin (2011) – £5

The Edinburgh capital £1 coin was issued in 2011 with the Cardiff £1 coin and is considered the rarest of the set.

Because of this it is the coin that will fetch you the most money out of the four in the set, selling for around £5.

“500th Anniversary Mary Rose” £2 Coin (2011) – £6

To celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the maiden voyage of the Mary Rose the royal mint introduced this pretty £2 coin.

On its own it could fetch you up to £6, but if paired with a King James Bible £2 coin you could be looking at a £10 sale!

“Trinity House” £2 Coin (2014) – £6

For 500 years Trinity House has served the mariner, dedicated to the safety of seafarers. To honour the 500th anniversary of this respected organisation, the Royal Mint introduced this coin.

You can no longer buy them directly from the Mint, but if you happen to receive one then you could be looking to sell it on to collectors for up to £6.

“Eire” 5p Coin (1993) – £6

Eire 5p, 1993

(Image: Coinquest

The Eire 5p is quite an unusual looking Irish coin that you may or may not have seen before.

Any that are dated with 1993 are apparently considered rare as they were never properly put into circulation, and if you’re lucky you could shift one for up to £6. I’ll be honest here though, the chances of this turning up in your change is next to none.

“Guy Fawkes Pemember” £2 Coin (2005) – £16

Guy Fawkes Pemember £2 Coin, 2005

(Image: The Sun)

In good old Royal Mint fashion, the 400 year anniversary £2 coin for the gunpowder plot came with a slight design error. The “R” on “Remember” appears to read as “Pemember”, but the Mint has explained “that the down-stroke of the R coincides with the milling around the edge, and as the coin has worn over time, the letter has become less defined”.

Quite the let down for collectors as it isn’t really a Mint error after all, but some are still willing to pay up to £16 to get their hands on one.

“Peter Rabbit” 50p Coin (2016) – £20

Easter weekend 2016 saw the release of the Peter Rabbit 50p coin to commemorate 150 years since the birth of much-loved children’s author, Beatrix Potter.

Since the coins were a one off, collectors have gone out of their way to pay up to £20 for it on auctioning sites such as eBay. Some may still be willing to do so.

“Commonwealth N. Ireland” £2 Coin (2002) – £20

Commonwealth N. Ireland £2 Coin, 2002

(Image: 24carat)

Out of the four commonwealth £2 coins put into circulation to celebrate the 2002 commonwealth games, the Northern Ireland coin is considered the rarest. In fact, it’s probably the rarest £2 coin in circulation with only 485,500 minted.

When put next to 417 million £2 coins in circulation, this makes it quite difficult to find. Collectors are willing to pay up to £20 for the coin alone, and will pay up to £35-£40 for a full set.

“EC Commemorative” 50p coin (1992/93) – £20

ec commemorative 50p coin

(Image: Royal Mint)

1992 and 1993 saw circulation of the EC commemorative 50p coin, which was to celebrate the British presidency of the council of Europe. Only 109,000 were ever issued, and since the 50p coin size was changed in 1997, they can obviously no longer be used.

If you’re lucky enough to have one of these still lying around in a piggy bank, it could earn you a nice £20. If you get one in your change, then you need to shout at whoever gave it to you, but also thank them.

The Royal Mint’s 1st £20 Coin (2013) – £35

£20 coin

(Image: 24Carat)

2013 saw a £20 coin to commemorate the Queen as the longest reigning monarch. The first every £20 coin that the Royal Mint released is avidly sought by collectors.

Obviously you wouldn’t be given one with your loose change, but they have known to sell for up to £35. Good news if you currently own one.

“London Olympic” 50p Coins Set (2012) – £35

London Olympic 50p Coins Set, 2012

(Image: eBay)

Despite their individual prices, an entire collection of the 29 50p coins minted for the London Olympics could fetch you at least £35 from any lazy or impatient collectors out there.

“Kew Gardens” 50p Coin (2009) – £50

The Kew Gardens 50p can fetch you a price of about £50. An estimated 300 people likely have one in their casual possession right now.

However, they are expected to disappear from circulation. Private collectors are snapping them up while they can ever since the Royal Mint declared them as the rarest coin in general circulation.

Dateless 20p Coin – £100

Dateless 20p Coin

(Image: KL Forum)

In 2008 the Royal Mint decided to redesign the 20p coin, taking the date from the back to the front. Something went wrong though, and the designs were mismatched. Somewhere between 50,000 and 200,000 20p’s went into circulation with no date present.

Be sure to look carefully for these ones as it would be very easy to miss. If you happen to come across one, it could earn you a massive £100.

“WWF” 50p Coin (2011) – £100

To commemorate 50 years of the World Wildlife Fund, The WWF coin was minted and is quite favoured among collectors, known to sell for reasonably high prices. It’s recognisable with its iconic panda in the centre, surrounded with many other animals.

If you’re lucky enough, you could end up selling this coin for up to £100, possibly £200 at a push.

The Royal Mint’s 1st £100 Coin (2015) – £150

The Royal Mint made their first ever £100 coin available in 2015, representing Big Ben on the front.

You could buy them online directly from the Mint, but stocks have run out since. Any collectors that missed their chance are willing to pay up to £150 to get their hands on one.

“New Pence” 2p Coin (1983) – £650

New Pence 2p Coin, 1983

(Image: CYC)

When the British currency went decimal in 1971, all 2p coins were printed with “New Pence”. It was then changed to “Two Pence” in 1982. The Mint managed to mess up in 1983, producing a small number that still had the old inscription.

A lot of them now lie with collectors, but there could still be a few going around in circulation waiting to be noticed.

They’re definitely checking for since they can be shifted for up to £650. One hell of a profit considering its face value.

“Silver” 2p Coin – £1,400

Silver 2p Coin

(Image: Mirror)

After being discovered in a poppy tin in 2015, a “silver” 20 coin was nearly thrown out after being assumed a fake coin. However, after thorough inspection it turns out this 2p coin was in fact very real but had somehow been made from nickel-plated steel as if it was a 10p.

The Mint has no official explanation for how it came to be. The lucky owner managed to flog the coin for roughly £1,400!

It isn’t the only “silver” 2p coin to be discovered either. Make sure you keep hold of any coins that you may think are “fakes”.

“Swimmer Olympic” 50p Coin (2012) – £3,000

Swimmer Olympic 50p Coin, 2012

Original coin to the left, new design on the right. (Image: CC)

Of all the 29 coins in the set, the best 50p to look out for is the original aquatic coin. Itt was redesigned to have clearer face.

Only 600 were ever released before it was changed, making it valuable enough to be sold for up £3,000. However, with such a small number made into circulation it is extremely unlikely you’ll receive one with your change anymore.

Keep your eyes peeled though, as you may just come into possession of one.

Irish 20p Coin (1985) – £8,000

Irish 20p Coin, 1985

(Image: ATG)

It’s believed that only 10 coins of this kind actually exist to this day. Auctioned at Dix Noonan Webb’s auction in December 2016, it was estimated to be valued around £7000 to £8000.

It’s not likely, but if you have one of these lying around then now is the time to unleash it. It could have some real value behind it.

1933 Penny (1933) – £72,000

1933 Penny, 1933

(Image: BBC)

This year saw one of the only four 1933 pennies in existence to sell at a world record price of £72,000.

Now, obviously this won’t be coming your way from a cash register any time soon… or ever. But, seeing how much it sold for must make the owners of the others interested to shift it. Surely?!

So, there you have it.

Be sure to check your change as often as possible. One of these gems just might pop up and give you a financial helping hand!

Sources: The Royal Mint, eBay


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