How much is my coin worth? It’s a question I’m asked multiple times each day, and with some coins selling for many times their face value, I understand why you’d be keen to know.
The truth is, it’s very hard to tell you exactly what your coin is worth as it depends on so many variants. Coins are no different to any other kind of collectible in many ways; there are certain criteria which you should always look out for, which can help you to determine how collectible or valuable your coin is.
Often it’s a very difficult question to answer but with a little bit of detective work you should be able to work out an accurate value for your coin. I’ve put together some useful tips, in our 5 point guide below, to get you started:
1. Change Checker Scarcity Index
The first place to start is our Change Checker Scarcity Index. I believe this to be the single most accurate way of determining how scarce your coins are. Whilst it doesn’t give you an actual value we know that the value of a coin is directly linked to scarcity.
Historically, when trying to determine the scarcity of a coin, the mintage figure was considered the most accurate indicator. Whilst the mintage figures are undoubtedly important, our Scarcity Index also takes into consideration some very useful data from our Change Checker web app.
We combine the mintage information with two other key pieces of information:
- How many of each design are listed as “collected” by Change Checkers, indicating the relative ease of finding a particular coin.
- The number of times a design has been requested as a swap over the previous 3 months, showing the current level of collector demand.
It’s very simple to work out how scarce your coin is, each coin is given a score out of 100, the higher the score the more scarce that coin is.
2. eBay is best
Once you’ve determined the scarcity of your coin the next step would be to take a look at what has recently sold on eBay. It’s very important that you make sure you look at ‘recently sold’ coins and not just those that have been listed. Essentially, anybody can list a coin on eBay and charge whatever amount they wish.
By checking the recently sold items (and I’d suggest you look at the previous 3-5 coins sold) you will get an accurate indication of what people are willing to pay for a particular coin.
Also, if you are looking to sell any coins in your collection, I’d definitely recommend eBay as the easiest, and importantly, the most secure platform to do this.
3. Are your coins still available to buy in BU quality?
Next, it’s worth checking if the coin in your collection is still available to purchase in superior Brilliant Uncirculated quality from an official Royal Mint distributor. If it is still for sale, it’s unlikely that people would purchase a circulation quality coin for the same price.
If there are no longer any BU coins available to buy, this will work in your favour as collectors will then look for circulation quality coins to add to their collections.
4. Coin condition
It’s definitely worth checking the condition of your coin as this will, almost always, have an effect on the value. It’s no surprise that collectors favour the more pristine coins to those that are showing signs of wear and tear due to circulation.
However, your coin’s condition is not the be all and end all; it’s very rare to find a circulation 2002 Commonwealth Games £2 coin in good condition yet these sell for many times their face value.
5. Is there a story?
This can often tie-in with rarity, as the coins with a good story behind them tend to be the ones which are difficult to get your hands on! The “undated 20p” is a recent example of a such a coin. It is known as a ‘mule’ – a coin with a mismatched obverse and reverse (heads and tails). The name derives from a mule being the hybrid offspring of a horse and donkey.
In 2008 when the reverse of the 20p coin changed to the new Royal Shield design, approximately 100,000 coins were accidentally struck with the previous obverse die and therefore there was no date on the coin.
In a similar way to the Kew Gardens story, some of the prices being quoted as a result of media coverage were extraordinary. Mules are highly sought after by collectors, and an undated 20p will certainly be worth more than its face value in years to come.
The good news…
It’s always good to remember that if your coin is legal tender, it will always be worth at least its face value.
That’s why I think change collecting is the best hobby you could have!
I am contacted many times each day by Change Checkers asking, “How much is my coin worth?”.
In truth, the value of a coin is simply what a collector is willing to pay. However, I cannot deny that certain coins do regularly command many times more than face value when sold on auction sites.
There is a lot of misinformation reported in the press regarding coin valuations. News outlets regularly report common coins being worth many thousands of pounds, simply because somebody has listed it for an extortionate amount of money.
In reality, nobody is ever going to pay thousands of pounds for a circulation Benjamin Britten 50p (despite it being a lovely coin!).
To help determine a realistic price for some of the most sought after UK circulation coins, I’m delighted to introduce the Change Checker eBay Tracker, which compares the median price paid for recent completed eBay sales for 10 of the UK’s most popular coins and banknotes.
As you may expect, with the high levels of press coverage surrounding circulating coins and banknotes, prices have generally increased over the period.
The Kew Gardens 50p will now set you back £82, £10 more than 6 months ago. The Jemima Puddle-Duck 50p has more than doubled in its selling price and the Olympic Football 50p is now regularly purchased for over £10.
The AA01 serial numbered polymer £10 banknotes are selling for £21 and it’ll be very interesting to see if this level on interest continues during the next 6 months.
How does the eBay Tracker work?
The Change Checker eBay Tracker takes the last 9 sold prices achieved on eBay and gives the median price achieved (rounded to the nearest 50p). By taking the median, rather than an average, we avoid skewing created by one or two excessive prices achieved.
Please note that the Change Checker eBay Tracker is only ever designed to be a guide as to prices achieved on eBay. Prices may vary depending on collector demand and the quality of the coin being sold. It does not provide any guarantee as to future values of coins.
Change Checker eBay Tracker updates
The next update will be released in June 2018, so if you’d like to be kept informed with any Change Checker eBay Tracker news, just fill in your details in the form below.
The Royal Mint have released many commemorative coins in the past few years and one recurring theme is prominent literary figures.
Tonight is Burns Night, a night when many people around the world will remember one of the world’s most famous poets, Robert Burns.
So naturally, I thought this was a great opportunity to take a look back at some of the recent circulation coins that have celebrated some of Britain’s best loved literary heroes.
Robert Burns (1759 – 1796)
Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist who is widely regarded as one of the great literary figures in British history.
Burns night is celebrated each year with a traditional Haggis supper on his birthday, 25th January, and is more widely observed in Scotland than the official national day, St Andrew’s Day.
The reverse design of this £2 coin features an extract from Auld Lang Syne, Burns’ most famous work.
William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)
William Shakespeare is the most influential literary figure in British history and his works are an important part of Britain’s cultural heritage.
This coin is one of three that celebrate William Shakespeare’s life work and commemorates the 400th anniversary since his death. This coin takes inspiration from Shakespeare’s famous tragedies and features a skull and a rose and was designed by John Bergdahl.
The other two coins in the series celebrate Shakespeare’s most famous ‘Comedies’ and ‘Histories’, taking inspiration from ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ and ‘Macbeth’, respectively.
Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882)
Charles Darwin was a British scientist who laid the foundations of the theory of evolution and transformed the way we think about the natural world.
His book On the Origin of the Species was extremely controversial as it made it seem possible that humans evolved from apes, and contradicted the widely held Orthodox Church theory of creation at the time.
The reverse design by Suzie Zamit features a profile portrait of Darwin facing a chimpanzee and is a favourite amongst collectors.
Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870)
Charles Dickens is much loved for his great contribution to classic English literature.
His enchanting stories, vivid characters and depiction of Victorian life are widely acknowledged across the world by critics and scholars alike and his novels and short stories continue to be widely popular.
The reverse design of this £2 coin by Matthew Dent features Dickens’ recognisable profile crafted from the titles of his most famous works.
Beatrix Potter (1866 – 1943)
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter, The Royal Mint released this 50p to celebrate Beatrix herself.
Designed by Emma Noble, the coin includes elements that celebrate Beatrix as the artist behind some of the best-loved characters in children’s literature along with the nostalgic font used for the inscription.
Along with this 50p The Mint have also released a further 7 Beatrix Potter coins, featuring many of our favourite characters from her beloved stories, including Peter Rabbit, Tom Kitten and Jemima Puddle-Duck.
The popularity of both the 2016 and 2017 Beatrix Potter 50p series has been astounding and introduced many thousands more people to the world of change collecting.
Jane Austen (1775 – 1817)
Jane Austen is one of the best-loved English novelists from the 19th century. Her novels were revolutionary and from her first novel, ‘Sense and Sensibility’, readers began a love affair with her fiction that has lasted two centuries.
Designed by Dominique Evans, a portrait of Jane Austen features on this £2 coin, released in 2017, to mark 200 years since her death.
Interestingly, with the introduction of both this coin and the new polymer £10 note, Jane Austen became the first person ever, aside from the reigning monarch, to feature on both a UK coin and UK banknote at the same time.
Mary Shelley (1797 – 1851)
This £2 coin was issued by The Royal Mint to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s famous novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.
Whilst on holiday in Geneva Mary Shelley and her poet friends, including Lord Byron and future Husband Percy Shelley, decided to have a competition to see who could write the best horror story. Out of this Mary Shelley created Frankenstein, a story about a scientist’s scary act at playing God and creating life. It went on to become one of the best loved gothic novels.
The reverse of this gothic coin was designed by Thomas Doherty and features the words ‘Frankenstein’ in an electric gothic font