All eyes are on the brand new £5 note released this week and they have every reason to be, now made with polymer, the note is much more durable than the old fiver and even able to withstand a spin in your washing machine.
The note now features iconic Prime Minister Winston Churchill instead of prison reformer Elizabeth Fry and the other denominations are set to follow suit, with a new polymer £10 note featuring Jane Austen due to be released in a year’s time and a £20 note, featuring the artist Turner, to be launched by 2020.
However, there’s much more than what meets the eye with a number of English coins as well, including some which might even turn up in your change.
There are many coins which can fetch the owner more than their face value but the holy grail is the coveted silver 2p coin, of which only 2 have been found and with the latest discovery selling at auction for almost £1,500.
With an estimated 6,557,000,000 2ps in circulation, the odds are pretty staggeringly against you looking for one so we’re going to look at some of the more common errors and rarities that you’re more likely to stumble across.
Slightly easier to find but still rare are 50ps which feature the Kew Gardens Pagoda, there are 210,000 currently in circulation and they can fetch up to £50. However, it’s status as the most scarce 50p coin has been well publicised in recent years, and as a result, many are hoarded by collectors.
Other well-known rare coins include undated 20ps from 2008 and buyers could be willing to pay more than £100 for one especially as the number of coins with the error is unknown.
All 2p coins minted before 1982 should say ‘new pence’ and all those minted after this date should say ‘two pence’ but an error in 1983 means there are a small number of 2p coins from that year which incorrectly say ‘new pence’. A very subtle difference as you can see below but one which could be worth £500.
The latest coin to be released that is already worth more than it’s face value is the Peter Rabbit 50p coin that was released earlier this year to commemorate 150 years since Beatrix Potter’s birth.
The coin which was initially was only given to four attractions and National Trust properties has been available since easter and can now be worth up to 40 times it’s face value with some going for £20 online.
The record for a British coin is a 1937 Edward VIII sovereign which sold for £516,000, the coins were produced before his famous abdication and never made it into circulation so they are very rare. The sovereign also caused controversy as Edward refused to face the opposite direction to his predecessor, going against a long-standing tradition.