Rare 20p coins
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Looking for rare 20p coins? Most people don’t think of 20p coins as being rare, as the design has stayed almost identical to the first coins minted.
What Are 20p Coins Worth?
These are the most valuable 20p coins in the UK:
- The bronze 20p – minted in 1987 & worth up to £700
- The undated 20p coin – minted in 2008 & worth up to £200
- Isle of Man 20p – The Manx International Rally worth around £5
- Gibraltar 20p – Worth about £3 at online auction.
- Guernsey 20p coin – This Channel Island coins is worth £2.50
Having been introduced nearly 30 years ago, there have been a few coins to commemorate events (see below), the 20p isn’t one The Royal Mint have often used for this purpose.
There’s one 20p however, that’s especially rare and far more valuable than any other 20p.
There are in fact a number of 20p coins that have become valuable, with some of them still being passed around in loose change, however, the rarest of them all is the bronze 20p.
Ever heard of this coin? It reached £700 at auction. If you’ve got one of these, put it in a safe place fast!
Like many rare coins in the UK you need to know what you’re looking for and whilst 20p coins haven’t become quite as collectable as the 50p and 10p coins that have been minted in recent times, they can still fetch many many times their face value.
Where To Find Rare 20p’s
If you’re collecting rare 20p coins and need to find one for your collection and you’re just not getting it in your change, heres some places to look:
- Ebay – There’s often a chance you’ll find the coins you’re looking for on eBay. There are coins from specific batches and while they’re often on a ten-day auction, keep an eye on the bids, and mark the seller so you can see what they have in future. They may have a coin you want from a specific batch later on.
- Coin Collector Shops – Coin collectors don’t only have very old coins in their collection shops. They tend to stock a huge variety of coins from ones with errors, very old and rare coins, coins with an old inscription and coin dealers are more likely to have the real deal than some online sellers. They can also advise you on the condition of a piece if you have a coin you think is rare. You could sign-up for any newsletters they might have to get any fast info on new coins.
The design of the 20p has barely changed at all during the 30 odd years it’s been in circulation and legal tender.
As with most coins there are coins minted with a printing error (as well as old fashioned fakes!), as well as there being slightly different coins minted for The Channel Islands, but the design of these 20 pence coins has remained largely the same.
In 2009, the Royal Mint, in error issued some 200,000 20p coins with no year stamp. This was the first coin in nearly 300 years to be released for circulation without a date. The missing date on is on the side with the queen’s head side of the coin. What we call the back of the coin usually.
A Royal Mint spokesperson confirmed a small number of new design 20p coins were incorrectly struck using the obverse from the previous design, as a result these coins bear no date due to an old die being used. They are, luckily, still legal tender. Not that you want to be spending these ones. But these glaring errors are rare, making them valuable.
In 2008 The Royal Mint decided to put all dates on coins on the reverse side so the date is always on the ‘heads’ side. Coins were designed by Matthew Dent to feature a different part of the Royal Arms Shield.
When Was The 20p Coin Introduced?
Since the 20p coin was first introduced in June 1982, it’s barely changed at all.
Most of these 20p coins are still in circulation, although collectors have taken many of the out of circulation and into their collections. These coins are being passed around week in week out and unless you know what you’re looking for, you’ll have no idea you’ve got one.
So, do you have one in your purse? That the question, right?
What Are 20p Coins Made Of?
Since they were introduced, 20p coins have been made from Cupro-nickel, which for those who don’t know is an alloy of copper that contains nickel and other strengthening elements, such as iron and manganese.
Even though 20p coins have a high copper content, they’re silver in colour.
Valuable 20p coins
So, while the bronze 20p is by a long way the most valuable 20p coin, there are others worth money too.
The Bronze 20p
The bronze 20p, on first glance looks a little like it’s simply a dirty 20p, but it’s not. The bronze 20p was accidentally minted onto a 1p blank and an unknown amount of bronze 20p’s were put into circulation.
The only one in recent times that someone found and has been verified was a 1987 dated 20p. It sold at auction for slightly over £700.
Since no one knows how many were issued, this one’s very much worth keeping an eye out for.
Undated 20p Coin
In 2009, the Royal Mint accidentally issued 200,000 20p coins all minted without a date, making them the first coins minted in over 300 years without a date.
If you find one of these coins hang onto it, they’re worth about £225 each.
1982 20p coin
This is the year 20p coins were issued and there were 740,815,000 of the coins out into circulation. Mint 20p coins in very good condition can fetch up to £4-5 online, so they’re not super valuable, but that’s still a good return on a 20p!
Sometimes you come across someone claiming to have an ‘error’ 20p coin, known as a mule, and while The Royal Mint do make errors with coins and these errors can mean the coin is extremely valuable due to it’s uniqueness, it’s a good idea to get these verified by The Royal Mint, which you can do here.
Isle of Man 20p
The Manx International Rally has been running since 1979 and is an annual race racing competition. This 20p coin with a car on it was issued between 1997-1999 and features rally cars Subaru Impreza & Ford Cosworth.
Find one of these and they’r worth around £5. Not bad for a 20p!
This 20p coin from Gibraltar featuring The Keys of Gibraltar is collectable in part due to it’s low mintage.
Although not legal tender in the UK, this 20p does have the Queen on it’s head!
Worth about £3 at online auction.
Guernsey started issuing 20p coins in 1987, and then started issuing their own designs on 20p coins on 1982, and those designs are still minted to this day.
This Channel Islands 20p is currently worth about £2.50 online.
Castle Rushen Clock 20p
The Castle Rushen Clock 20p was issued in the Isle of Man. It is not legal tender in the United Kingdom, although they have still shown up here.
The Castle Rushen 20p sells for between £3-4 in online auction sites.
Queen of Gibraltar 20p
This Gibraltar 20p was issued between 2014-2016 and has the traditional Candy Tuft flower on it.
These Queen of Gibraltar 20p coins have also shown up in the UK, and are fetching around £3 online.
Our Lady of Europa 20p coin
Although not legal tender in the UK, this ‘Our Lady of Europa’ 20p , issued in 2003 in Gibraltar is quite collectible.
Issued in 2001, this coin can get anywhere between £5 – £15 at auction online.
How To Clean Old Silver Coins
Ok so these rare 20p coins are not really old, but they can still get super dirty and as the bronze 20p shows in the picture above, it can be hard to see exactly what you’ve got when the coins are really grubby!
The general rules are that you only clean coins yourself if they’re currently in circulation. Never clean a very old coin, and definitely never use an acid based cleaner or metal polish to clean your coins.
The best way to clean circulating 20p coins is with some warm water, washing up liquid and nothing else. You could use a babies toothbrush (or a very soft bristled brush) to gently work the cleaner into the coin, and then leave to air dry.
More Rare Coin Posts
The undated 20p coin is worth about £200.
The rarest 20p coin is the bronze 20p, accidentally struck onto a penny blank at The Royal Mint.