Following reports by Change Checker and in the national press that a die mix up at The Royal Mint has resulted in a number of 12 sided £1 coins being struck with dual-dates, we now know that The Royal Mint has officially confirmed the error.
However, what is already clear is that this is one of the hardest errors ever to spot. That’s because even with 20/20 eyesight you will struggle to see the incorrect date on the coin’s reverse because it’s micro-engraved as part of the coin’s ultra-secure finish.
What do I need to look for?
Firstly, although both 2016 and 2017 obverse-dated £1 coins entered circulation in April this year, the die-error mix up appears to have only occurred on a limited number of coins with a 2016 date on the Queen’s head side.
So it’s worth checking any 2016 coins. You’ll need to look just inside the rim of the design-side of the coin, where you will see some tiny writing. You’ll almost certainly need a Microscope or Phonescope to properly see the writing, which should reveal the date.
You’re looking for a 2016 obverse-dated coin with 2017 micro-engraving on the reverse.
What if I can’t read the micro-engraving?
With over 1.5 billion new £1 coins being struck not all coins are finished perfectly. Unfortunately, a poorly struck example where you cannot read the micro-engraving is not of great interest to collectors.
What about other £1 mis-strikes and errors?
We believe this is the only known £1 error. Due to the huge number of coins that have entered circulation, there are a number of interesting mis-strikes, which, although numismatically interesting, have relatively limited collectibility or value.
More worryingly, there are a number of altered with £1 coins for sale, claiming to have misaligned heads or similar unusual errors. However, both these are likely to have transgressed the Coinage Act by tampering with the coin and are clear minting impossibilities. STEER WELL CLEAR is our advice. Similarly beware of photographs that purport to show a genuine Dual-dated £1 coin – you need to be confident you’re not simply looking at two different coins.
So what is the Dual-dated £1 Coin worth?
This remains the most difficult question but let’s take a look at the available information.
- How many were struck?
The Royal Mint has given no indication of how many Dual-dated £1 Coins ever went into circulation – and it’s quite likely they do not even know. We have not seen any examples amongst our stock. Equally, 1,500,000,000 2016 £1 coins were struck and rates of 1,800 coins per minute were achieved at the height of production.
The key number seems to be how many coins The Royal Mint strike before they replace a die. Given the nature of the “error” it seems likely that it was only corrected when the die was replaced. Understandably, the number of coins The Royal Mint strikes with each blank is not something the Mint chooses to share for commercial reasons.
- What are the comparables?
The key to any valuation is what comparable coins sell for. The most obvious comparable is the 2008 undated 20p, which was caused by a similar die mix up. That sells online for between £50 and £80.
Other interesting UK errors include “Silver” 2p coins, which have sold in recent years for as much as £1,400 but these are considerably rarer relying on a few old 10p blanks being left over when a blank barrel has been filled with new 2p blanks. Another 2 pence error, when some DATE 2p pieces were struck using the old decimalisation dies with the word “NEW” in front of “PENCE”, currently sells for around £60.
When Change Checker recently offered a limited number of misaligned £2 coins by ballot for £35 each, they were oversubscribed by 300 collectors per coin, indicating the price of £35 was well below market expectations. They now regularly sell for around £120.
- So what is the new Dual-dated £1 Coin worth?
We understand that at least one example was sold for £2,500 to a buyer in Spain in 2017, which probably marks the likely ceiling for value.
Probably more Dual-dated £1 coins have been struck than the 20p coins. However, the error is particularly difficult to spot due to the size of the micro-engraving. It’s also worth noting that interest in £1 coins is still very high and, of course, because they are relatively new in circulation, the chances of finding an all-important good quality version is high.
Bearing all that in mind, our best value estimate for a Dual-dated £1 Coin in excellent condition is currently £300 – £500.
Finding the coin in your change
In October 2018, we heard from a very lucky Change Checker who sent in a video of their dual dated £1 coin.
Since hearing about the £1 error in 2017, he has been checking every £1 coin he comes across. Finally, after saving up his change over a period of months, he then went through and checked all the coins at once and, to his delight, came across this incredibly rare error coin. His next steps are to have the coin verified by The Royal Mint who will be able to conform the error.
The challenge of finding a dual dated £1 coin sparked this Change Checker’s interest in collecting coins and I’m sure will encourage more collectors out there to look more closely at their £1 coins.
If you’ve come across an interesting coin in your change, be sure to get in touch with us. We’d love to hear about the rare coins you’ve found.
Help find the Dual-dated £1 Coin with the Change Checker Phonescope
The Phonescope works by clipping onto a mobile device, and magnifying the camera, allowing you to take incredible close-up photos and videos.