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Pocket Change: Could you be sitting on a small fortune?

Blog post   •   May 05, 2017 09:00 BST


It is time to check your piggy banks, empty your change jars and look in your wallets

Over the past few weeks we have shared stories of amazing discoveries with you, everything from finding rare coins in toy boxes to digging up hordes of roman treasure in a field. But you also may be carrying something rare without even knowing it. Here are 5 coins that may be in your pocket right now that could brighten your day:

1. The Kew Gardens 50 pence piece.  Struck in 2012, the Kew Gardens 50p is one of the lowest minted of its kind in history.  Totaling a minuscule 200,000 (compared to the average 2 million!) the Kew Gardens 50p was only discovered to be rare in 2015, when collectors cottoned on to its remarkably low mintage. Now high grade examples of this piece can reach highs of up to £50 per coin – 100 times their face value.

2. The ‘undated’ 20 pence piece.  In 2009, 200,000 ‘undated’ 20 pence pieces accidentally entered circulation due to an error.  The date had changed sides of the coin, and coins were accidentally produced using two dies of which neither bore a date.  These coins are famous and popular and can command prices upwards of £100 in good condition.

3.  The ‘silver’ two pence piece is not silver at all.  In actual fact, a small number of two pence pieces were struck in the copper-nickel alloy of the 50p, 20p, 10p and 5p.  This happened by mistake at the Royal Mint.  Only a handful is known.  One sold at auction in 2016 for over £1350.        

                         

4. The early decimal coins (half penny, penny and two pence) of Great Britain featured the word ‘New’ before their denomination – e.g. Two New Pence. All 2p pieces struck before 1982 feature this title.  However, in 1983, a few were minted with the title ‘New Pence’ rather than ‘Two Pence’.  It is not certain how many of these were struck, but they are known to reach highs of over £500 at auction.


5. The 2009 Olympic 50 pence has recently entered the news with reports of this coin being more rare than the Kew Gardens 50 pence coin. The design of this coin  was by Florence Jackson the 9 year old winner of the Blue Peter Competition. Do you have this coin in your collection?


6. The Upside down Queen on the Britannia £2 coin. It has been confirmed that a small handful of these are in circulation, caused by an issue during the striking of the coin. The Britannia is already considered a rare coin as only 650,000 were originally put into circulation with some going for £300+ on various auction sites. Although no offers have been made public, for anyone who possess's the upside down queen it will no doubt bring great interest along with a bigger price tag.- Watch this space!

7. The Jane Austen £5 note. In late 2016, artist and micro-engraver Graham Short engraved a miniature portrait of Jane Austen onto the transparent section of the new Churchill £5 note. It was to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of her death in 2017. Four of these notes have been entered into circulation. It is claimed that each is worth upwards of £50,000. Two have been discovered to date, one of which was given in a Christmas card.

To see if you have a £50,000 fiver - Check the transparent section of the note, with the £ sign!

So what are you waiting for? Go take a look! 


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