Is your H.G. Wells £2 coin worth thousands? How to spot if you’ve got an ‘error’ coin!

Every keen collector knows that it is worthwhile paying close attention to the small details of your coins – it’s the only way you can ever hope to spot an error. 

From edge inscription mix ups to inverted effigies, there are a few stories that crop up more often than not. However, recently, a couple of ‘error’ stories have cropped up, that Change Checker really think you should pay attention to – involving an H.G. Wells £2 and the Technology £2…

Stay tuned as we take a closer look at these ‘errors’ and help you determine if your £2 coin is a genuine rarity!

H.G. Wells £2 – Blank ‘Error’

H.G. Wells £2 Blank ‘Error’. Source: The SUN.

This £2 coin was issued as part of the 2021 UK Commemorative Coin set and it marks the 75th anniversary of the death of science fiction novelist, H. G. Wells.

With the clue in the name, this bi-metallic coin is made up of a combination of a silver coloured cupro-nickel disc and an outer yellow nickel-brass ring.

In the case of this H.G. Wells £2 coin however, it appears that the blank used has a thicker yellow ring, much wider than what we’d see on normal £2 coins.

H.G. Wells £2 Blank ‘Error’ comparison. Source: The SUN.

When striking £2 coins, the first step is to punch a hole through a blank planchet to create the outer section. The inner core is taken from a different metal, sized to fit inside the outer ring.

There have already been estimations that if this coin was to be sold at auction, it could fetch over £1,000! We’re going to be eagerly awaiting confirmation from The Royal Mint whether this error is genuine or not. Nonetheless, it certainly makes for interesting collecting!

This coin is yet to be individually issued, so any ‘error’ versions will have come exclusively from the 2021 UK Annual Set. It’ll certainly be interesting to see if any other stories crop up after the coin’s individual issue….

Whilst there are no identical examples to compare the H.G. Wells £2 ‘error’ to, there have been previous instances of the inner and outer sections of £2 coins not quite matching up:

Clipped Planchet

In the above image, the inner core was punched out from the end of the sheet of metal used for blanks, forming a straight or ragged edge clip.

Whilst this also occurs with monometallic coins, the pairing with an outer ring exposes a large gap which is much more noticeable.

The Royal Mint strike millions of coins each year so it is inevitable that variances will occur during the striking process and can’t always be picked up during quality control, despite the fact that this particular coin would weigh less than the standard 12g £2 coin.

Off Centre Inner Core

The inner core of this coin hasn’t been united properly prior to being struck, resulting in an off centre inner core.

Due to the way the inner and outer core are struck together with the two metals being lined up and then fused together during striking, a misalignment will mean that the inner core spills into the outer ring, as seen in the image above. There might also be a gap between the two metals on the opposing join.

Faulty Outer Ring

This particular mis-strike, shows a faulty planchet or outer ring, where the inner core is exposed.

In the image above, you can actually see the specific engineering design features where the inner core is grooved to help the metal flow bond to the outer ring and fuse during striking.

Similar to the first mis-strike we looked at, this could be caused by a clipped planchet, this time created when the outer ring was punched, however coins like this may also be caused by tampering post striking, for example by fakers trying to replace the inner core of a £2 with another coin to pass off as a rare error.

Bronze £2 Error

2010 ‘Bronze’ Technology £2. Send to Change Checker by Amin.

The ‘Monometallic’ £2 is described as the Holy Grail of bimetallic ‘errors’ and is the result of the nickel-brass £2 blank not having the inner core section punched out before being struck.

This means that the £2 coin is made from one full piece of nickel-brass, completely contrasting the very idea of a bimetallic coin.

A 2007 monometallic £2 was verified by The Royal Mint and in the email confirming the mis-strike it was mentioned that they had only seen 4-5 similar coins before.

However, in 2021, Change Checker was contacted by a collector called Amin who informed us that he had found this exact error coin but with a 2010 date.

After sending details of his coin to The Royal Mint for further information, it was confirmed to be genuine error as a result of the minting process.

Letter sent to the collector from The Royal Mint confirming it’s genuinity.

This rare striking error is highly sought-after and coins have achieved extraordinary prices in private sales and auctions.

Whilst information of this coin’s sale has remained private, it’s certainly a very interesting story and we imagine the collector can expect to see a very impressive return on this coin…


We look forward to the individual release of the HG Wells £2 later this year and will certainly be keeping our eyes peeled for any unusual looking variations!

Have you ever come across any of these £2 error coins in your collection?

We’d love to know! Comment below.


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2020 Change Checker Awards NOW OPEN!

We’re delighted to announce the 2020 Change Checker Awards in association with All About Coins, where we’ll be celebrating the very best of the change collecting world from 2020!

We’re looking for the 2020 Change Checker of the Year and the 2020 Junior Change Checker of the year and we need your help!

Do you know somebody who deserves to be crowned ‘Change Checker of the year’? If so, we’d love to hear why.

Has someone you know completed an epic collection? Do you know somebody who’s gone above and beyond to help other Change Checkers complete their collections? Or have you been introduced to the world of change collecting by another Change Checker?

If you know someone who has been the perfect Change Checker, we want to hear from you.

Send an email outlining why your family or friend[s] deserve to win this coveted award to Awards@changechecker.org.

Alternatively, you can submit your entry using the sign-up form at the bottom of this blog. 

Finally, you can leave a comment on any of our social media pages but be sure to use the hashtag #CCAwards2020.

To qualify for Junior Change Checker of the year the application must be aged 16 or younger. The closing date for entries is 5pm on Friday 4th December.

vector silhouette boy girl white background 47382423 - 2017 Change Checker Awards

All entries will be judged by our panel and the results announced on Wednesday 9th December. Please see terms and conditions.

The victorious Change Checker and Junior Change Checker of the year will each win an exclusive Change Checker trophy and a bundle of goodies worth more than £50, including a year’s subscription to Coin Collector magazine!

Categories

The other categories that make up the Change Checker Awards are:

  • Coin Story of the Year 2020 – chosen by our panel.
  • Top 3 Pieces of 2020 Coin Art – judged by our panel and chosen from your email submissions and social media posts. To submit your coin art, please email awards@changechecker.org
Example of Change Checker Coin Art
  • UK Coin Design of the Year 2020 – judged by you!

UK Coin Design of the Year 2020

Votes for the Top UK Coin Design of the Year has now closed.


The winners for all Change Checker Award categories will be announced on the 9th December.

Good Luck!

Submissions for the 2020 Change Checker of the Year nomination have now closed. Tune in on the 9th December to find out the winners.


Terms and Conditions

  • The winners will receive an exclusive Change Checker trophy and a bundle of goodies, as well as a year’s subscription to Coin Collector magazine. There is no cash alternative.
  • Participants agree to meet reasonable requests to assist publicity.
  • The Change Checker Awards 2020 are promoted by The Westminster Collection / Change Checker, trading divisions of 288 Group Ltd.
  • Employees of 288 Group and their families are not eligible to enter.
  • The judges’ decision will be final and no explanation, correspondence or discussion will be offered or entered into before or following the judges’ decision.

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

2018 Change Checker Awards

Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app

Your guide to the Pre-1997 £2 Coins

In 1986, a brand new UK denomination was introduced in the form of a £2 coin.

These original £2 coins were never commonly found in circulation, as they were mainly struck for collectors. This made them much rarer than their successor, the bi-metallic £2 coin, as their mintage figures were much lower.

The pre-1997 £2 coins are still legal tender but they’re not used in circulation and banks/shops can refuse to accept them. Despite this, they still remain incredibly popular amongst collectors!

So, in this blog, we’ve put together a guide to the pre-1997 £2 coins, including everything you need to know about these collectable commemoratives.

What are old specification £2 coins?

The £2 coin has changed in its appearance since it’s first introduction in 1986…

The familiar, fully circulating bi-metallic £2 coin, was only introduced in 1998 and we’ve seen already seen over 50 different designs in total!

But prior to this, single-coloured, nickel-brass £2 coins were issued, purely to mark special occasions.

Between 1986 and 1996, there were seven different designs of the single-coloured £2 coins.

The Pre-1997 UK £2 Coins

Spot the difference…

Pre-1997 (old specification)1997 onwards (new specification)
Weight15.976g12g
Diameter28.4mm28.4mm
MetalNickel-brassOuter Nickel-Brass
Inner Cupro-Nickel
Obverse Effigy1969-1985 – 2nd Portrait, Arnold Machin
1985-1997 – 3rd Portrait, Raphael Maklouf
1997-2015 – 4th Portrait, Ian Rank-Broadley
2015-onwards – 5th Portrait, Jody Clark

As you can see, although the diameter of the £2 coin stayed the same, the weight was significantly heavier in the pre-1997 £2 coins!

The metal composition also changed so that the new bi-metallic coin could be distinguishable from the other coins in circulation.

So, how many of these coins were issued? Let’s take a look at our Pre-1997 £2 Mintage Chart and see..

Pre-1997 £2 Coin Mintage Chart

You might have spotted the top coin in our chart has a mintage of JUST 381,400! Let’s take a look at each of these coins in closer detail to get the full story…

1986 Commonwealth Games

Fact file:

  • Year of issue: 1986
  • Obverse designer: Arnold Machin
  • Reverse designer: Norman Sillman
  • Mintage: 8,212,184
1986 Commonwealth Games £2

The 1986 Commonwealth Games £2 coin changed the face of UK commemorative coins, being the first of its denomination to be struck and the first British coin being issued to commemorate a sporting event.

The thirteenth Commonwealth Games were held in Edinburgh in 1986, and are well remembered for being boycotted by 32 of the 59 eligible countries who did not agree with Britain’s sporting connections to South Africa during the Apartheid era.

The reverse design features a thistle encircled by a laurel wreath over the cross of St Andrew.

1996 Football

Fact file:

  • Year of issue: 1996
  • Obverse designer: Raphael Maklouf
  • Reverse designer: John Mills
  • Mintage: 5,141,350
1996 Football £2

In 1996, England hosted the 10th European football championship and a commemorative £2 coin was struck in celebration of football.

The reverse design resembles a football, and is accentuated by the unusual concave surface of the coin. The year of 1996 is prominent on the design and the sixteen small rings represent the sixteen teams competing in the tournament.

The eventual winners of the competition were Germany who knocked out hosts England in the semi-finals.

1995 Peace

Fact file:

  • Year of issue: 1995
  • Obverse designer: Raphael Maklouf
  • Reverse designer: John Mills
  • Mintage: 4,394,566
1995 Peace £2

This commemorative £2 was issued in 1995 to mark 50 years since the end of World War II.

Victory in Europe Day, or VE Day, is the 8th May 1945 when armed forces formally accepted the surrender of Nazi Germany. Upon the news, jubilant crowds sang and danced in the streets of London, New York, Paris and Moscow.

The reverse design by John Mills features a dove as “a symbol of aspiring peace; a calm, bountiful and optimistic image”.

1989 Bill of Right

Fact file:

  • Year of issue: 1989
  • Obverse designer: Raphael Maklouf
  • Reverse designer: John Lobban
  • Mintage: 4,392,825
1989 Bill of Rights

In 1689, Prince William and Mary accepted the Declaration of Rights prior to being offered the throne. This effectively shifted the balance of power from the Crown to Parliament and changed the course of British political history.

This £2 coin was issued in 1989 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of this landmark Act. There were 2 versions of the coin issued – English and Scottish.

This coin is the English reverse design , which features the Crown of St. Edward and the inscription ‘Tercentenary of the Bill of Rights’

1995 United Nations

Fact file:

  • Year of issue: 1995
  • Obverse designer: Raphael Maklouf
  • Reverse designer: Michael Rizzello
  • Mintage: 1,668,575
1995 United Nations

The United Nations was established in the aftermath of World War II with the aim of maintaining world peace and to work for social progress.

Since its creation in 1945, the UN has sought to resolve potential conflicts peacefully and fight against poverty, hunger and disease across the world.

This commemorative £2 coin issued in 1995 marks 50 years since the inception of the UN, and features flags of nations accompanying the 50th anniversary symbol.

1994 Bank of England

Fact file:

  • Year of issue: 1994
  • Obverse designer: Raphael Maklouf
  • Reverse designer: Leslie Durbin
  • Mintage: 1,668,575
1994 Bank of England

When William and Mary came to the throne, public finances were weak and the system of money and credit were in disarray.

The Bank of England was founded in 1694 to act as the Government’s banker and debt manager, and its position as the centre of the UK’s financial system is maintained to this day.

This commemorative £2 was issued in 1994 to mark its 300th anniversary. The reverse design features the original Corporate Seal of the Bank of England and distinctive Cypher of William and Mary.

1989 Claim of Right

Fact file:

  • Year of issue: 1989
  • Obverse designer: Raphael Maklouf
  • Reverse designer: John Lobban
  • Mintage: 381,400
1989 Claim of Right

This is the second coin to be issued in 1989 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Prince William and Mary accepting the Declaration of Rights.

This Scottish reverse design features the Crown of Scotland and the inscription ‘Tercentenary of the Claim of Right’.

The mintage for this £2 however, is much lower. With just 381,400 issued, this technically makes it the rarest £2 coin ever! In comparison, the UK’s current rarest circulating £2 coin, the 2002 Commonwealth Games – Ireland, has a mintage of 485,500!


So hopefully our guide to the Pre-1997 £2 coins will help you along the way to expanding your collection!

What’s most exciting about all seven of these coins is that despite still being legal tender, they’re not used in circulation anymore and banks/shops can refuse to accept them. This makes these coins particularly sought-after by collectors!

Do you have any of these coins in your collection already? Let us know in the comments below!


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1986 Commonwealth Games £2

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