Rare Trial Pieces including Kew Gardens 50p to be Auctioned for the First Time Ever!

Have you heard the news that for the first time in its history, The Royal Mint plan to auction rare sample coins for collectors?

Trial pieces are some of the very first samples of a new coin to be struck. They are used to set the standard for each coin issued and are carefully inspected by coin makers to ensure they meet the correct standards before striking of the new design begins.

Trial Coins Put Up For Auction

Rebecca Morgan, director of collector services at the Royal Mint, said: “This month we are delighted to offer a sample of our trial pieces at auction for the first time. Each of the trial pieces has played an integral role in creating the final coin, and offer collectors the chance to own a part of numismatic history.”

The Royal Mint have announced that collectors will have the chance to get their hands on a number of trail pieces at auction on Sunday 26th September.

Included in the auction are the coveted Kew Gardens 50p (the UK’s rarest circulation coin) and the Three Graces (a collection that sold out in 25 minutes last December).

Rare Kew Gardens 50p

2009 Kew Gardens 50p

Considered the ‘holy grail’ of change collecting, the Kew Gardens 50p tops the Change Checker Scarcity Index time and again. In fact, this coin is so sought-after that collectors are willing to pay well over face value to get their hands on one, with our latest eBay Tracker revealing the coin currently selling for £157 on the secondary market!

However, we always urge buyer caution when purchasing a Kew Gardens 50p, as there are a number of fakes out there to be aware of. Find out how you can spot the fake Kew Gardens 50ps here.

1994 Mayflower £2 Trail Piece

1994 Mayflower Trial £2

Rare trial pieces have been seen before, often becoming very sought-after amongst collectors…

In 1994, ahead of the introduction of the UK’s first bi-metallic coin – the £2 – The Royal Mint created a trial piece. This was used by The Royal Mint to test the minting process of the new coin and to help the automatic vending industry re-calibrate their machines in preparation.

The trialled reverse design features a three-masted sailing ship. Although the ship is not named, it is likely to be the Mayflower, which set sail from Plymouth to America to establish the first permanent New-England colony. The outer ring bears the inscription Royal Mint Trial with the date, 1994.

There were just over 4,500 packs of this trial £2 issued and as the coin design was never released into circulation, it has become an incredibly rare example of a bi-metallic £2 coin.

If you own one of these £2 trial pieces you can consider yourself very lucky!

But with the upcoming auction set for the 26th September, we’re sure collectors will be excited at the chance of getting their hands on the trial piece coins offered by The Royal Mint, including that sought-after Kew Gardens 50p which we’re sure will be incredibly popular.

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  1. Frank on September 17, 2021 at 3:57 am

    Auction date: 26 September 2021 at 12:00 PM GMT+1

    People are already bidding, so don’t leave it to the last minute or you may miss out (you have to open a separate account with the Royal Mint for instance).

    • Tony Phillips on October 9, 2021 at 4:12 pm

      Hi Emma, I would also be interested in buying one of your many Kew Gardens 50p’s if they are the original 2009 issue and not the later version.

      Please let me know your asking price and send pictures. thanks To y

  2. Emma on September 16, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    How do I find out what my coins are worth please, I’ve quite a few of the Kew Gardens amongst many others but I’ve no interest in them and I’ve many of the original £2 coins

    • Rachel Hooper on September 17, 2021 at 9:13 am

      Hi Emma, we’ve put together a guide to help you determine how much your coins might be worth: https://www.changechecker.org/2018/08/02/could-i-be-minted-the-6-point-guide-to-valuing-your-coin/

    • Frank on September 18, 2021 at 3:28 am

      Hi Emma,

      I don’t have a Kew Gardens and would be interested if you were getting rid of them.

      Kind regards,


    • Melvyn Morgan on October 9, 2021 at 1:23 pm

      Have you still got any of the Kew Garden 50p I am very interested in purchasing one may be two depending how much you are asking for them Thank you

    • Su Smith on October 9, 2021 at 6:12 pm

      Hi Emma, i would be very interested ? in one of your Kew Gardens coin

    • Tony on October 9, 2021 at 10:45 pm

      Hi Emma,

      I’ve just come across this comment you posted a while ago.
      My son and I have been collecting coins for some years and have quite a good joint collection. We are missing a genuine Kew Gardens so if ever you consider selling any from your collection, we would be interested

  3. Les kent on September 16, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Rachel
    I do consider my self very lucky in deed, I have two of the trial sets the reason being is that I collect the £2 coins both with the edge inscription the right way up and up side down and that is why I have two sets one for each collection.
    It might interest those looking to bid, that the the set contains 5 pieces and the two full coins one the finished coin and the other not completed has been put together BUT not stamped (but has been stamped with its edge with its inscription )
    Good luck to all those bidding.

  4. Bill Murray on September 14, 2021 at 7:11 am

    How do I get to the auction please

  5. Linda davy on September 13, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    How do you register for the auction

  6. MARTIN CLEMENTS on September 13, 2021 at 6:12 pm

    How do I sign up for this auction?

  7. Tony on September 13, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    Who’s doing the auction ,I would like a bid on both

    • Rachel Hooper on September 14, 2021 at 10:05 am

      Hi Tony, The Royal Mint is hosting the auction.

  8. paul phillips on September 13, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    cant wait for auction let me know how to register please

  9. Clive Morris on September 13, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    A bit pointless for most of us as we will be completely unable to win one of these auctions.

  10. Angela Dexter on September 13, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    It would help if the coin places didn’t sell more than 2 to one person this is why there’s a shortage everywhere and people are putting prices up for selling which are ridiculous prices

  11. philip yates on September 13, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    How do we get involved, do we get in touch via the Royal Mint !!!

  12. James Bayfield on September 13, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    Any idea who is auctioning them if?

    • Rachel Hooper on September 14, 2021 at 10:03 am

      The Royal Mint are auctioning the trial coins.

  13. Rebecca Moore on September 13, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Rachel. Thank you for sharing this lovely news with us. I’ve never been to an auction before. Looking forward to seeing what happens. How everyone at Change Checker is well and has a great week. Take care.