Found an unusual coin in your pocket change?

11th November 2016

Over the past few months we have been receiving a large number of calls from members of the public who have been finding unusual coins in their pocket change. A range of coins has been mentioned from the 2011 £2 King James Bible to the 2013 50p Benjamin Britten.  

As an example, a member of the public I spoke to recently had read in a newspaper that the 2011 WWF 50p was worth significantly more that its face value. The lady had found the said coin in her purse and was asking me how much it was worth.

What the newspaper didn’t mention was that there were 3,400,000 of these coins struck and in circulation. The old adage of ‘the more of something there is, the less it is worth’ unfortunately rings true in this case. The perhaps disappointing answer to the lady’s question was that we would value her coin at its face value of 50p.

The confusion in the media tends to stem from the varying mintage rates of the coins. It is important to remember that just because the 2015 £2 Magna Carta with 1,495,000 produced has a lesser mintage rate than the 2014 £2 WWI Outbreak with 5,720,000 produced, this does not mean that it is scarce. There are after all, almost a million and half of the 2015 £2 in circulation, which means a million and a half chances for coin collectors to get their hands on them.

As a result of the media’s interest, there has been a significant increase in the amount of these coins listed on websites such as eBay. It is important to remember however that anyone can list something on eBay at whatever price they wish. Whether they will actually sell for these prices is another matter.

The moral of the tale is perhaps if you are considering buying one or more of these coins, be careful of what you read in the papers.     

By Jill Smith

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