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I'm Steph, mum of three! 👋
Here, I share practical insights on making (and saving!) money. With a knack for budgeting and a passion for financial freedom, I've picked up lots of tips & tricks along the way. And I can't wait to share them with you here!
Think you’ve got a rare UK coin? Let’s explore some of the most valuable coins you can find in the UK, many of which hold a worth significantly greater than their face value.
Valuable UK Coins
Ready to jump into the mesmerising world of coin collecting (and selling!), specifically the rare and valuable coins that have been minted in the United Kingdom? Let’s do it :)
Coin collecting (or numismatics) is more than just a hobby. It’s a window into the history of the UK’s culture as a nation and for some, particularly if you happen to discover you have one, a very lucrative hobby.
The UK, with its rich and diverse history has produced a mass of coins, some of which are extremely rare and highly sought after by collectors.
From the 2009 Kew Gardens 50p coin, of which only 210,000 were minted, to the 1983 New Pence 2p coin, mistakenly minted with the old wording New Pence, these coins are treasures waiting to be discovered.
In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the fascinating journey of identifying and understanding the value of these coins. We’ll look at what makes a coin valuable, how to keep your coins in the best possible condition and what to do if you think you’ve found a rare coin.
So, get ready to embark on a coin adventure that could lead you to discover a small fortune in your small change!
What Makes A Coin Rare?
Rare coins in the UK can be worth a lot of money. There are the older (and far rarer) collectable coins that fetch in the 10’s of thousands of pounds at auction, but there are also much newer, more common coins that are valuable.
The rarity of a coin really depends on its mintage. This essentially means the number of specific coins minted. The fewer coins minted, the rarer the coin becomes.
However, there are other reasons a coin can be rare, and therefore usually valuable. If there is a mistake during the coins production that the Royal Mint then go onto rectify, this makes the coins mistakenly made, valuable as there’s not many of them.
Mistakes made during the minting process can be some of the most valuable.
Rare Coins Wanted By Collectors
With nearly 30 Billion coins circulating in the UK, there are some that collectors are always on the lookout for.
While most collectors are always on the lookout for rare coins, they’re not always out of circulation and laying undiscovered in forgotten collections.
There are a surprising number of rare coins floating about in our bags and purses, behind the sofa and in kids money boxes throughout the UK!
Following a post I wrote on rare and valuable 50p coins, I wanted to get this post published listing some of the other coins you just might have that are worth a small fortune.
Some of these coins include:
- London 2012 Olympics Aquatics 50p first design – worth up to £1,500
- 1983 New Pence 2p coin – worth up to £1,250
- Silver 2p (1971 to 1992) – worth over £1,000
- Zinc £2 coin – worth between £800 and £1,300
- Silver 2p (1992 to 2018) – worth up to £600
- Kew Gardens 50p – worth up to £160
These are a few of the more valuable coins, but there are many more that are not only collectable but fetch many times their face value at auction.
The Most Wanted Coins By Collectors
Certain coins are highly prized by collectors due to their rarity, historical significance or minting errors. In the UK, the 2009 Kew Gardens 50p coin tops the list, coveted for its limited mintage.
The 1983 New Pence 2p coin, with its minting error, is another favourite among collectors. The 1933 Penny and the 1926 Farthing are also among the most sought-after coins in the UK.
These coins, often worth significantly more than their face value, embody the thrill of the hunt for collectors, making them the most wanted coins in the UK.
Many people believe this coin to be the very first silver coin to be minted and issued by the US Federal government. If you happen to stumble across one, hang onto it, it’s worth an estimated cool $10,000,000. That’d do nicely :)
Do You Check Your Change For Rare UK Coins?
Lots of us have some loose change hanging around in all sorts of places. From the bottom of our bags to the back of the sofa, coins seem to find their way into all sorts of places.
If you don’t check your coins from time to time though, you could be missing out on a small (and sometimes large) fortune.
Some rare UK coins that are currently in circulation can be worth up to £1500….make sure you know what to look out for before you hand them over to someone else!
Rare UK Coins To Look Out For
There’s a few rare UK coins to look out for.
I’ll make it clear now that I sadly didn’t find any of these coins.
Some of them are exceptionally rare and won’t be in your bag. Others are still in circulation and your chances of finding one are still decent :)
Either way, I always check my change now, just in case! Keep your eyes open for any of these and you could take a chunk off of your debts without much effort. Nice :)
Value Of Old Pennies And Halfpennies
Wondering what the value of an old penny or half penny is?
If you’re looking for the value of a penny, well most pennies are worth just that, a penny. There are however, some that are worth way more.
Keep reading for the most valuable UK penny.
George V Sovereign (1917)
A 1917 George V Sovereign coin was minted in London and is one of the most popular collectable coins of all time. This coin was minted during the First World War but held in reserve rather than being issued, until the war had ended. It had a mintage of just over 1 million.
This coin has a current value of just over £10,000.
George V penny 1933
If you’re looking for rare UK pennies, they don’t get much rarer than this rare UK coin. Although never supposed to be Minted, it’s believed 10 of these coins were and one The George V penny sold in 2016 for £72,000.
Being one of the most valuable coins in the UK, it’s incredibly rare. Got one of these? You’re likely to be out of debt in one quick sale if you’ve got one of these hidden away :)
Edward VIII Brass Threepence (1937)
The conception of the new brass coin occurred during Edward VIII’s reign.
The mint produced trial pieces with various thicknesses for evaluation. Because these coins had 12 sides, vendors and other parties needed to test them.
The Mint distributed a small number for testing, and inevitably, some did not return. They eventually found their way into circulation. Today, they’re worth up to £45,000.
European Economic Entry (1973)
The 1973 50p piece was the very first commemorative coin since decimalisation. It was introduced to celebrate the UK’s accession into the EEC.
Although it’s not worth a huge amount now (under £10), it might be soon. Once we’ve left the EU the value is likely to rise.
This one might be one to hold onto!
Queen Elizabeth II 2p Coin (1983)
This 2p looks and feels like any other we use everyday today….but it’s not.
Look a little closer…….notice anything? Issued in 1983, this coin went into general circulation. All 2p coins minted before 1982 should say ‘new pence’. Those minted after this date should say two pence.
An error at the Royal Mint in 1983 meant that a small batch of 2p’s made it into circulation. They wderen’t supposed to. Why? The were Minted with NEW pence and not TWO pence.
Errors are valuable at the Royal Mint and these coins are now worth £500. How many are in circulation? It’s unknown.
Swimmer Olympic 50p (2012)
One of these 2012 Swimmer olympic 50p’s is worth £1500. Any idea why?
Look carefully. You’ll notice the swimmer on the right has water covering their face, and that’s where the money is!
The mint issued this original design until someone pointed out the swimmer’s face wasn’t clearly visible. So, it’s not a minting error.
They changed the design to the one of the left, sending the price of the originals soaring.
Queen Elizabeth II Dateless 20p (2008)
This 2008 20p is another profitable mistake from the Royal Mint. During a change-over in design, a number of these were minted without any date at all.
Nearly 250,000 of this coins fell through the net so it’s worth checking your change as these are worth up to £250 each!
Are Commemorative Coins Worth It?
Today, Mints produce coins in much larger quantities than in the past. This makes the discovery of a rare coin significantly more challenging.
It’s the rarity of a coin that pushed the price up. This is why the George V penny 1933 is worth so much.
You should probably view buying commemorative coins more as acquiring a memento than making an investment. However, similar to the EU 50p, if its value increases, consider it a bonus. And if you spot a coin with an error, hold on to it tight!
3 Ways To Sell Rare UK Coins
Selling valuable UK coins is fairly straight forward as long as you follow some simple guidelines: never get ONE valuation. Always check the credentials of the valuer and never accept a first offer.
Here’s 3 ways to sell your coins and get the best price for them!
Coin shows are full of collectors looking for valuable UK coins. This means these fairs provide a great place to sell your coins. For in-demand coins, collectors can bid against each other and you end up with a great price.
Coin collectors travel the length of the country looking for coins. You’ll be able to get many expert valuations in one place.
UK Coin Dealers
This is a list of UK coin dealers.
If you cannot get to a fair (see above) try the dealers on this list. They will ask for high quality photos and as much info as you’ve got about the coin.
Never take the first dealers valuation as the one you go with. Make sure you’re getting a consistent price from several places before you decide to sell your valuable coins.
Online Auction Sites
Online auction sites can be a great place to sell UK rare coins. However this can also mean you don’t get the best price.
Have an idea of the price you want for your coin before you sell. Remember to always take into account fees and postage costs.
Looking on eBay to a similar site to get an idea of prices? Be sure to look at the ‘sold’ items rather than the ‘for sale’ items’.
Coins are only worth what someone will pay for them. Just because you’ve seen a coin for sale for £5,000, doesn’t mean one’s actually sold for that price!
Always send by recorded, tracked and signed for mail.
Think You Can’t Make Money From Coins?
Do you think the only way to make money from rare UK coins is to either invest or find one? Think again!
Have a read about this guy from Bristol who turns over £70k a year selling coins on eBay. I haven’t tried this and so cannot say one way or the other how successful you might be with this. But it gets you thinking, doesn’t it!
Do you have any of these coins or others you’ve sold for a good profit? I’d love to hear from you :)
Some of the most valuable coins in the UK are:
London 2012 Olympics Aquatics 50p first design – worth up to £1,500
1983 New Pence 2p coin – worth up to £1,250
Silver 2p (1971 to 1992) – worth over £1,000
Zinc £2 coin – worth between £800 and £1,300
Silver 2p (1992 to 2018) – worth up to £600
Kew Gardens 50p – worth up to £160
The 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle is considered the rarest and most valuable coin globally. Originally minted in the United States, only a handful are known to exist due to a recall and melting by the U.S. government.
Old English coins like the 1933 Penny, 1926 Farthing, 1983 New Pence 2p are highly valuable due to their rarity, historical significance, and minting errors.
Kew Gardens 2009 50p coin is considered the rarest coin found in the UK. With a limited mintage of just 210,000, it commemorates the 250th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Its scarcity and unique design make it highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike.