Rare coins UK – A guide to the UKs most valuable coins

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.

rare coins uk

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.

Do you check your change for rare UK coins?

If you don’t, you could be missing out on a 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!

✅  Rarest coins UK

Rare British coins are valuable.

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.

rare uk coins

✅  UK Rare coins

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 your debts without much effort. Nice :)

✅ Value of old pennies and halfpennies

Wondering what the value of an old penny or half penny is?

rare coins uk

Introduced in 1971 and remaining in circulation until 1984, these half penny coins, even though they’re not that rare, can be worth up to £100. They’re the most recent half penny coins the UK has had in circulation, and now of course, we no longer use half pennies. 

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

rarest coins uk

The 1917 George V Sovereign coin was minted in London and is one of the most popular collectable coins of all time. This George V 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 (source: Bullion)

George V penny 1933

rare uk coins

If you’re looking for rare UK pennies, they don’t get much rarer than this rare UK coin. The George V penny was minted yet never meant to be issued into public circulation.

It’s widely believed that under 10 were issued into circulation, one of which sold in 2016 for £72,000. One of the most valuable coins in the UK, it’s incredibly rare. Got one of these? Your likely to be out of debt in one quick sale if you’ve got one of these hidden away :)

Edward VIII Brass threepence 1937

valuable uk coins

It was during the reign of Edward VIII that the idea of the new brass coin was conceived. Trial pieces having various thicknesses were minted for evaluation. Since these coins had 12 sides, they needed to be tested with vendors and other parties. A small number were given out for testing and some were inevitably not returned, finding their way eventually into circulation. Today, they’re worth up to £45,000.

European Economic Entry 1973

uk coins worth money

The 1973 50p piece was the very first commemorative coin since decimalisation.

It was introduced to celebrate the UK’s accession to the European Economic Community.

The exciting thing about this coin is that although it’s not worth a huge amount now (under £10), 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

valuable coins

This 2p looks and feels like any other we use everyday today….but it’s not.

Look a little closer…….notice anything? This coin was issued in 1983 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 saying NEW pence and not TWO pence. Errors are valuable at the Royal Mint and these coins are now worth £500.

It’s not known how many of these there are in circulation.

Swimmer Olympic 50p 2012

valuable coins uk

One of these 2012 Swimmer olympic 50p’s is worth £1500.

Any idea why?

Look carefully and you’ll notice the swimmer on the right has water covering their face, and that’s where the money is!

This isn’t an error by the Mint, it’s actually the original design and was issued until it was pointed out that you couldn’t clearly see the swimmers face.

They changed the design to the one of the left, sending the price of the originals soaring.

Queen Elizabeth II dateless 20p 2008

whats the rarest uk coin

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, coins are printed in much bigger numbers than they used to be, meaning it’s a lot harder to find a rare coin.

It’s the rarity of a coin that pushed the price up, which is why the George V penny 1933 is worth so much.

Buying commemorative coins is probably better viewed as a memento rather than an investment, but like the EU 50p above, if it goes up in value, it’s 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 Fairs

Coin shows are full of collectors looking for valuable UK coins and so these fairs provide a great place to sell your coins. If you’ve got an ‘in demand’ coin, 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 and you’ll be able to get many expert valuations in one place.

However, these fairs are not held often and so you might have to wait for some months to get to one.

You can find a list of UK coins fairs held annually here.

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 consistant price before you decide to sell your valuable coins.

Read the incredible story of the guy turning over £70k annually selling rare UK coins on eBay. Learn how you can get started selling the most valuable UK coins, and what to do if you come across a rare coin!

Online auction sites

Online auction sites can be a great place to sell UK rare coins but they can also mean you don’t get the best price.

Have an idea of the price you want for your coin before you sell, and always take into account fees and postage costs.

If you’re looking on eBay to a similar site to get an idea of prices, make sure you look at the ‘sold’ items rather than the ‘for sale’ items’.

Coins are only worth what someone will pay for them and 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?

If you think the only way to make money from rare UK coins is to either invest and wait, or be lucky enough to find one, think again!

Have a read of 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 :)

Related posts

✅ Which coins are worth a lot of money?

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

✅ What is the rarest coin of all?

George V penny 1933. If you’re looking for rare UK pennies, they don’t get much rarer than this rare UK coin. The George V penny was minted yet never meant to be issued into public circulation.

✅ What’s the rarest coin in UK?

George V penny 1933. If you’re looking for rare UK pennies, they don’t get much rarer than this rare UK coin. The George V penny was minted yet never meant to be issued into public circulation.

3 thoughts on “Rare Coins UK- The UK’s Most Valuable Coins”

  1. Dear sir madam
    I have collected some very rare and old coins I would like to sell. If you are interested in buying them off me would appreciate if you can give me a value and your opinion on these coins. Much appreciated

  2. I have 3 50p coins 1 has Benjamin Bunny and 2 have Paddington Bear are they worth anything. Thanks

  3. Pingback: The most valuable rare 50p coins - Debt Free Family

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