Valuable £1 Coins {Worth Up To £12}

From a journey of currency evolution to the way a mintage can control resale value, here are  the most valuable £1 coins that were once in British circulation.

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Valuable £1 Coins

To hit the wallet running and understand the reasons for pound values, we’re going to go  through a brief history of the £1 coin.  

Before decimalisation, the British pound coin did not exist.

The previous system used pounds, shillings and pennies and although they were slightly different and the pound was only ever in note form.

And, while decimalisation began in 1971, it wasn’t until 1983 (a whole 12 years  later!) that the £1 coin was introduced.  

Interestingly, the first of these coins isn’t the most valuable of £1 coins on the market. In fact, it’s not even close.

With a design of the Royal Coat of Arms and a mintage of 443,053,510, it’s  a pretty common coin to have found in circulation (at least, until the great change change of 2016 with the introduction of the 12-sided coin).  

Since then, the value of the £1 coin – at least those that have been in circulation and not part  of a collection – hasn’t changed that much.

The biggest value-driver of £1 coins has largely  been down to the total design mintage.

So, aside from collector preferences causing supply  and demand change, the most valuable £1 coins have also been rare £1 coins.

10 Valuable £1 Coins

With that, we’re sharing the top ten valuable £1 coins using eBay as the most up-to-date pound coin value checker for the prices these coins are actually fetching.

The 1988 Royal Shield

The 1988 Royal Shield

Design: The Royal Crown atop the Royal Coat of Arms 

Inscription: DECUS ET TUTAMEN (An ornament and a safeguard) 

Nation Representation: United Kingdom 

Mintage: 7,118,825 

Current Auction Value: £4 

Sporting 400% its original face value, the 1988 Royal Shield pound was designed by  Derek Gorringe.

He was the deputy chief engraver for the Royal Mint at the time and paid tribute to the first Royal Arms of England given to King Richard I.

While the  original 1988 mint production was in nickel-brass, the Royal Mint also issued 50,000  silver proof copies of the coin and a further 10,000 Piedfort silver proof collection  copies worth significantly more.  

The 2010 Belfast Pound

The 2010 Belfast Pound

Design: The four capital cities coat of arms with a spotlight on Belfast 

Inscription: PRO TANTO QUID RETRIBUAMUS (For so much, what shall we give in return?) Nation Representation: Northern Ireland

Mintage: 6,205,000 

Current Auction Value: £3 

The first of a set of four due to release over the course of two years, the Belfast pound  paid tribute to one of the four capital cities in the United Kingdom.

With that, the coin  held a focus on Belfast City, capital of Northern Ireland, where engraver Stuart Devlin featured the Welsh Coat of Arms.

This shield design includes a ship upon waves, a  pattern representing fur and a silver bell in the top-left corner.

While only £3 on online  auction sites such as eBay, it makes for a 300% increase on its face value.

The 2014 Northern Ireland Pound

The 2014 Northern Ireland Pound

Design: A shamrock and a flax plant 

Inscription: DECUS ET TUTAMEN (An ornament and a safeguard) 

Nation Representation: Northern Ireland 

Mintage: 5,780,000 

Current Auction Value: £3 

Sharing the 300% face value increase as the 2010 Belfast pound, the Northern Ireland  pound represents the flora of the country with the flax and the shamrock.

Designed  by scrivener, Timothy Noad, the original coin was produced for circulation in the  traditional nickel-brass combination.

However, the coin was also minted in a proof set  of valuable £1 coins in silver. 

The 2013 Wales Pound

The 2013 Wales Pound

Design: A leek and a daffodil flower 

Inscription: PLEIDIOL WYF I’M GWLAD (True am I to my country) 

Nation Representation: Wales 

Mintage: 5,270,000 

Current Auction Value: £2 Where the humble leek was the original national growing plant of Wales, the daffodil  was elected to replace it in the 19th century. Both plants symbolize nature’s optimism  in the Spring and have joined on this 2013 Wales pound as an ode to the country. 

Designed as part of the four-piece set by Timothy Noad, this coin has only reached  200% its face value, making it one of the lesser valuable £1 coins despite it being one  of the more rare £1 coins above the Royal Shield, Belfast Pound, or Northern Ireland  pound.

The 2013 England Pound

The 2013 England Pound

Design: An oak branch and a rose 

Inscription: DECUS ET TUTAMEN (An ornament and a safeguard) 

Nation Representation: England 

Mintage: 5,270,000

Current Auction Value: £4 

The 2013 England pound was actually the first of this four-piece floral dedication set  for the capital cities.

The national floral representations of England on the reverse,  Timothy Noad captures history and dedication.

With this, and with being one of the  rare £1 coins on this list featuring a smaller mintage of the 2013 Wales pound, it has  a larger rise on the face value; 400%, in fact.

The 2014 Scotland Pound

Design: A thistle plant and a bluebell 

Inscription: NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT (No one attacks me with impunity) Nation Representation: Scotland 

Mintage: 5,185,000 

Current Auction Value: £2 

This coin, again, features the national flowers of the country in the UK it highlights:  the thistle and bluebell of Scotland.

Despite having the lowest mintage of the four piece set, the 2014 Scotland pound has only gained a 200% increase in its face value. 

That said, it’s not always best to wait until the full set is complete before selling for a  profit.

Collectors generally have one or two pieces and will pay more to finish their  set. The full set of four will only bring you around £10; but, individually, the valuable  £1 coins can net £11.

The 2008 Royal Coat of Arms

Design: The ornamental royal arms with lion and unicorn 

Inscription: DECUS ET TUTAMEN (An ornament and a safeguard) 

Nation Representation: United Kingdom 

Mintage: 3,910,000 

Current Auction Value: £2 

This particular coin is the last to have featured the Royal Coat of Arms in ode to the  first pound coin entering British circulation in 1983.

It featured the same design  created by former Chief Engraver of the Royal Mint, Eric Sewell.

The design was approved by the Duke of Edinburgh and passed to Queen Elizabeth II.

However, the  coin has only improved in value by 200%. That said, this coin was also released as a  proof copy for collection in Silver (valued at £40) and in gold (valued at £1050).

The 2010 London Pound

Design: The four capital cities coat of arms with a spotlight on London Inscription: DOMINE DIRIGE NOS (Lord, guide us) 

Nation Representation: England 

Mintage: 2,635,000 

Current Auction Value: £4

In the same year the 2010 Belfast pound was released, the London coin entered  circulation with nearly 1/6 of the mintage.

With this, it has a higher growth in resale  value than the Belfast pound.

The coin features the Coat of Arms of the City of London with the England flag dominating the shield and an upright battle sword pictured in  the top-left quadrant.

In addition, the remaining three city coat of arms for the UK are  represented beneath.

The 2011 Cardiff Pound

Design: The four capital cities coat of arms with a spotlight on Cardiff Inscription: Y DDRAIG GOCH DDYRY CYCHWYN (The red dragon will give the lead) Nation Representation: Wales 

Mintage: 1,615,000 

Current Auction Value: £6 

As we continue with the set, 2011 saw the third instalment of the city dedications.  Stuart Devlin designed this commemorative pound coin with the Cardiff badge.

This  features the Welsh dragon in rear planting a flag with three chevrons that represent  the last Prince of Glamorgan. Then, from the ground sprouts the welsh national flora: 

the humble leek. That said, this is the second of the most valuable £1 coins in this list  with a 600% increase on its face value. So, if you find it, sell it!

The 2011 Edinburgh Pound

Design: The four capital cities coat of arms with a spotlight on Edinburgh Inscription: NISI DOMINUS FRUSTRA (In vain without the Lord) 

Nation Representation: Scotland 

Mintage: 935,000 

Current Auction Value: £12 

Finally, we have the British pound coin with the lowest mintage in history so far; the  2011 Edinburgh Pound.

Released as the final instalment of this four-piece-set, Stuart  Devlin featured the Edinburgh Coat of Arms showing the “Castle of Maidens” as  Edinburgh castle would shield princesses in wartimes.

Notably, this coin is the most minimalist of the set.

Unsurprisingly, it was also released with a silver proof and a gold  proof copy, popular among collectors. Today, these coins are worth £1,150 and £35,  respectively with the original coin seeing a 1200% face value increase!

Error £1 Coins

As a bonus, we have a final entry in the valuable £1 coins to find and sell in the UK.  This is the error coin. While not an actual coin you can find, it refers to any pound coin  that has some form of error. For example, the new 12-sided coin may be found in all gold, all-silver, blank, with a mis-stamp or even with fried-egg syndrome (where the

inner silver coin is misshapen and can resemble a fried egg). There was even a £1 coin  that sold on eBay for £112 in 2020 for having this famed fried-egg syndrome. 

When it comes to the error pound coin, you’ll need to use a pound coin value checker  to determine the true authenticity and value of each coin, however.

With every error pound being of the most rare £1 coins with unique features, there’s never any  knowing just how valuable it could be.

So, keep your eyes open any time you’re given  change at the local shop!

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