The Kew Gardens 50p, Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland £2 and ANY of the A-Z 10ps are likely to be on your collecting wish-list, but have you ever considered that some of the 5p coins in your change might be worth holding on to?
The smallest of our UK coinage – weighing in at just 3.25g, with a diameter of only 18mm – is often overlooked when it comes to collecting. But what if I told you some of them have been known to sell for over £60 on the secondary market?!
What are the rarest 5p coins?
Unlike the Kew Gardens 50p (which has a mintage of just 210,000), 5p coins are often minted in the tens of millions, or even billions! However, the 1977 5p is the rarest with a mintage figure of 24,308,000. Compare this to the 1990 5p which had a circulating mintage of 1,634,976,005 and you’ll see why it’s pretty rare!
2008 First 5p with the shield design
In 2008, 40 years after the first decimal coins appeared in circulation, our UK definitive coins had a face lift, with brand new designs being released.
A competition was held, with people submitting their designs for the six key coin denominations, leaving out the £2 coin. Over 4,000 designs were submitted, but graphic designer Matthew Dent won the competition with his heraldic design of six coins, with the 1p-50p coins aligning to form the Royal Shield – shown as a complete design on the £1 coin.
As the first year definitive coins were issued with the shield design, 2008 dated 5ps are somewhat coveted by collectors. Although you’re unlikely to see the 2008 or 1977 5p coins fetch above face value, they are certainly interesting ones to collect.
But the real interest comes if you’re lucky enough to find the error 5p coins…
Spot These 5p Error Coins
Inverted effigy 2008 5p
Another reason to keep an eye out for a 2008 dated 5p coins is that an unknown number were released into circulation featuring the Queen’s head on the obverse upside down. These error coins are extremely rare and some have been listed on the secondary market for more than £60!
‘Struck twice’ 1979 5p ‘Error’
On this larger specification ‘New Five Pence’ which is no longer in circulation, but a suspected error was found, where it appeared to have been struck twice on the same side in error. This would mean both the Queen’s head from the obverse and the design on the obverse would be merged together on the same side of the coin.
This ‘error’ hasn’t been confirmed as genuine by The Royal Mint and with closer inspection, it looks as though the reverse design is from a 2p coin – suggesting it might have been tampered with after it was struck.
However one collector sold theirs for £73 on eBay, meaning it always worth looking out for any unusual coins you might have lying around! Just remember, you should always get your error coins confirmed by the mint to prove they are genuine.
The 5p Coins Not Intended for Circulation
From time to time, coins that were never intended for circulation find their way into our change.
They might have been issued in collector sets, broken open and accidentally spent before finding their way into your pocket!
There are two dates to look out for when it comes to 5p coin that shouldn’t be in your change – 1993 and 2018.
Prior to 1990, the 5p coins were issued in the larger specification and so these ones should also no longer be found in your change.
Have you come across any rare or error 5p coins in your change? Let us know in the comments below!
Complete the shield with the Royal Arms Shield Collector Card!
Designed to fit neatly into your Change Checker Album, this Collector’s card allows you to assemble the Royal Arms Shield by simply using your loose change.