So, you’ve been hunting down that coin for what feels like a lifetime and now it’s finally turned up in your change! But after the excitement and thrill of finding that elusive coin, you find yourself asking the question, “What do I do next?”…
There are a number of options for deciding what to do with your coin and whilst many collectors enjoy holding onto them to build their collection, pass down to children, or potentially see their value change, lots of people look to sell these coins on auction sites, through dealers or on eBay.
The rarest coins out there can sell for far more than their face value, for example the Kew Gardens 50p has been known to sell up to £185 on eBay – that’s 370 times face value (*Correct as of September 2023).
Before deciding whether to sell or save, you should first take a look through our 6 point guide to make sure you’re getting the most out of your coin:
1) How does your coin rate on the Scarcity Index?
The Change Checker Scarcity Index tracks which coins are the most scarce and collectable using a unique combination of mintage, collecting and swap data to give the most up-to-date picture of the collecting market.
The higher the Scarcity Index score for your coin, the more sought-after it will be to collectors.
2) How much is your coin worth?
It can be difficult to work out an exact value of a coin, as this depends on so many variants. However, once you have completed point 1, you will have a better understanding of how collectable your coin might be.
The next step is to check previously sold items on auction sites such as eBay to see how much potential buyers are willing to pay. Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you and have put together our eBay Tracker which takes the last 9 sold listings* on eBay for 10 of the UK’s most popular coins and banknotes and works out the median selling price.
*Note: It is very important to check ‘Sold listings’ rather than active listings, as the price a coin is listed for may not be the actual price it sells at.
3) How easy is it to buy your coin?
If your coin can still be purchased in Brilliant Uncirculated quality from an official Royal Mint distributor, it is unlikely that a collector would pay the same price for a circulation quality coin which might have imperfections.
4) What condition is your coin in?
Understandably, collectors are likely to pay a little extra for a coin in pristine condition, rather than a coin showing signs of wear and tear.
However, there are some rare coins (such as the 2002 Commonwealth Games Norther Ireland £2) which are very hard to find in good condition and yet they still fetch way above face value.
5) Does your coin have a story?
It’s often true that the coins with an interesting story behind them are the hardest to get hold of and so it’s worth researching your coin on our Web App to see if you can find anything that stands out or any exciting facts about the coin.
It’s also important to brush up on your knowledge of errors and mis-strikes which can occur on coins in our change. Keen collectors will know that it’s worthwhile paying close attention to the small details of your coins as it’s the only way you can ever hope to spot an error or mis-strike like the undated 20p or inverted effigy Britannia £2.
Mistakes happen, and when it comes to coins, these mistakes can often be worth a lot money to eagle-eyed collectors.
If you do need extra clarification on your coin, The Royal Mint offer an authentication service starting from £20 and will provide you with a letter to confirm the coin’s authenticity.
6) Where can you sell your coin?
Now that you have a better idea of how much you could sell your coin for and why, it’s time to find a seller that’s willing to pay! Coin dealers, auction sites, Facebook coin groups and eBay are your best bets.
You can contact a member of the British Numismatics Trade Association who will advise you on auctioning your coin, although they do charge for this service. If you’re selling on eBay, be sure to set a minimum price equal to or higher than face value and be mindful that if your coin ‘sells’ at a high price, the sale may not actually go through.
Remember, your coin is legal tender and therefore will always be worth at least face value.
Whether or not you decide to sell your coin, I think you can agree that the buzz of finding rare coins in your change is second to none and one of the best hobbies to have!
If you’re interested in coin collecting, our Change Checker Web App is completely free to use and allows users to:
– Find and identify the coins in their pocket
– Collect and track the coins they have
– Swap their spare coins with other Change Checkers