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 is currently selling for an average of £80 on eBay – that’s 160 times face value (*correct as of June 2018).
Before deciding whether to sell or save, you should first take a run 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. View our latest index here >>
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 valuation, 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 prices achieved on eBay for 10 of the UK’s most popular coins and banknotes. This gives the median price achieved (rounded to the nearest 50p).
*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 Commonwealth Games £2) which are very hard to find in good condition and yet they still sell 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 to see if you can find anything that stands out or any exciting facts about the coin.
A prime example are the 2008 20p mules which were accidentally struck without a date. These coins are now regarded as the Holy Grail of change collecting even though there are as many as 250,000 coins in circulation.
And as every keen collector knows, 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. However, it’s also important to know when you have a genuine rarity as the mass production minting process is never completely exempt from human error, so remember to always check your change carefully. Mistakes happen, and when it comes to coins, these mistakes can often be worth a lot money to sharp-eyed collectors. Make sure you’re aware of the most popular coin mis-strikes and myths in UK coinage.
If you do need extra clarification on your coin, The Royal Mint offer an authentication service starting from £10 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
Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app