Posts Tagged ‘Error Coin’

The truly unique ‘Bronze 20p’ error coin


We love to hear when Change Checkers make a great coin discovery. We’re often contacted about mis-strikes which are interesting oddities but what really excites us are ‘error’ coins.

Genuine ‘error’ coins, especially those verified by The Royal Mint, are VERY rare and finding one is a goal for many change collectors.

So imagine our excitement when somebody contacted us after finding one of the rarest ‘error’ coins yet!

The ‘Bronze 20p’

Earlier this year, we were contacted by a collector named David Crosier who informed us he’d found a very rare ‘error’ coin.

A collector for over 50 years, David told us how he’d often look out for mis-strikes and ‘mules’ but there was something special about this particular coin. Initially he presumed the coin was plated but decided to send it to The Royal Mint to be certain.

Bronze 20p Error Coin with 20p and 1p - The truly unique ‘Bronze 20p’ error coin

The ‘Bronze 20p’ flanked by a 20p and 1p coin from the same year

After examination by x-ray fluorescence spectrometry, the coin was confirmed by The Royal Mint as an extremely sought-after minting ‘error’.

Somehow a 1p ‘blank’ found its way into the presses and a 20p was accidentally struck onto it.

Bronze 20p thickness - The truly unique ‘Bronze 20p’ error coin

The ‘Bronze 20p’ is significantly thinner than he standard 20p coin

Errors like this are extremely rare, in fact so rare we’ve never heard of another ‘Bronze 20p’, but The Royal Mint verified the authenticity of the coin with a letter and so here at Change Checker we knew this was an opportunity not to be missed.

Bronze 20p Error Coin The Royal Mint Confirmation Letter - The truly unique ‘Bronze 20p’ error coin

Chris Barker, Assistant Curator for The Royal Mint Museum, confirmed the ‘Bronze 20p’ as a genuine ‘error’ coin

Now the great news… we want to give away the amazing ‘Bronze 20p’ to one lucky Change Checker!

And what’s more, you won’t just win the ‘Bronze 20p’, the coin is set in a specially designed presentation box alongside a Brilliant Uncirculated 1p and a Brilliant Uncirculated 20p coin from the same year, beautifully highlighting the minting error.

Bronze 20p Error Coin Set in Display Case 1 - The truly unique ‘Bronze 20p’ error coin

The ‘Bronze 20p’ is housed in a specially designed presentation box alongside a Brilliant Uncirculated 20p and 1p coin from the same year.

Your chance to win the coin

We’ll be selecting a lucky Change Checker to win this coin.  If you’re already registered then we’ll automatically include you in the draw.

To register your free account, all you need to do is enter your email address and choose a password.


Full Terms and Conditions can be found below.

Good luck!

Terms & Conditions

  1. All registered members of at midnight on 7th December 2017 will be automatically entered into the prize draw. No purchase is necessary to register.
  2. The draw will take place on 11th December 2017 and the winner will be notified on that day by email to their registered email address.
  3. The winner will receive the “Bronze 20p”. There is no cash alternative.
  4. Participants agree to meet reasonable requests to assist publicity.
  5. The prize draw is promoted by The Westminster Collection / Change Checker, trading divisions of 288 Group Ltd.
  6. Employees of 288 Group and their families are not eligible to enter.

Why the latest Royal Mint “error” is the hardest to find yet. Plus what it might be worth…

Following reports by Change Checker and in the national press that a die mix up at The Royal Mint has resulted in a number of new £1 coins being struck with dual-dates, we now know that The Royal Mint has officially confirmed the error.

However, what is already clear is that this is one of the hardest errors ever to spot. That’s because even with 20/20 eyesight you will struggle to see the incorrect date on the coin’s reverse because it’s micro-engraved as part of the coin’s ultra-secure finish.

nations of the crown mule 2 amends - Why the latest Royal Mint “error” is the hardest to find yet. Plus what it might be worth…

The error is so small, it cannot be seen with the naked eye.

What do I need to look for?

Firstly, although both 2016 and 2017 obverse-dated £1 coins entered circulation in April this year, the die-error mix up appears to have only occurred on a limited number of coins with a 2016 date on the Queen’s head side.

So it’s worth checking any 2016 coins. You’ll need to look just inside the rim of the design-side of the coin, where you will see some tiny writing. You’ll almost certainly need a Microscope or Phonescope to properly see the writing, which should reveal the date.

You’re looking for a 2016 obverse-dated coin with 2017 micro-engraving on the reverse.

phonescope - Why the latest Royal Mint “error” is the hardest to find yet. Plus what it might be worth…

The Phonescope allows you to see tiny details on coins

What if I can’t read the micro-engraving?

With over 1.5 billion new £1 coins being struck not all coins are finished perfectly. Unfortunately, a poorly struck example where you cannot read the micro-engraving is not of great interest to collectors.

What about other £1 mis-strikes and errors?

We believe this is the only known £1 error. Due to the huge number of coins that have entered circulation, there are a number of interesting mis-strikes, which, although numismatically interesting, have relatively limited collectibility or value.

More worryingly, there are a number of altered with £1 coins for sale, claiming to have misaligned heads or similar unusual errors. However, both these are likely to have transgressed the Coinage Act by tampering with the coin and are clear minting impossibilities. STEAR WELL CLEAR is our advice. Similarly beware of photographs that purport to show a genuine Dual-dated £1 coin – you need to be confident you’re not simply looking at two different coins.

So what is the Dual-dated £1 Coin worth?

This remains the most difficult question but let’s take a look at the available information.

  1. How many were struck?

The Royal Mint has given no indication of how many Dual-dated £1 Coins ever went into circulation – and it’s quite likely they do not even know. We have not seen any examples amongst our stock. Equally, 1,500,000,000 2016 £1 coins were struck and rates of 1,800 coins per minute were achieved at the height of production.

The key number seems to be how many coins The Royal Mint strike before they take replace a die. Given the nature of the “error” it seems likely that it was only corrected when the die was replaced. Understandably, the number of coins The Royal Mint strikes with each blank is not something the Mint chooses to share for commercial reasons.

  1. What are the comparables?

The key to any valuation is what comparable coins sell for. The most obvious comparable is the 2008 undated 20p, which was caused by a similar die mix up. That sells online for between £50 and £80.

Other interesting UK errors include “Silver” 2p coins, which have sold in recent years for as much as £1,400 but these are considerably rarer relying on a few old 10p blanks being left over when a blank barrel has been filled with new 2p blanks. Another 2 pence error, when some DATE 2p pieces were struck using the old decimalisation dies with the word “NEW” in front of “PENCE”, currently sells for around £60.

st silver 2p error coin facebook banner - Why the latest Royal Mint “error” is the hardest to find yet. Plus what it might be worth…

The 2015 Rare ‘Silver’ 2p

When Change Checker recently offered a limited number of misaligned £2 coins by ballot for £35 each, they were oversubscribed by 300 collectors per coin, indicating the price of £35 was well below market expectations. They now regularly sell for around £120.

  1. So what is the new Dual-dated £1 Coin worth?

We understand that at least one example has sold for £2,500 to a buyer in Spain, which probably marks the likely ceiling for value.

Probably more Dual-dated £1 coins have been struck than the 20p coins. However, the error is particularly difficult to spot due to the size of the micro-engraving. It’s also worth noting that interest in £1 coins is still very high and, of course, because they are new into circulation, the chances of finding an all-important good quality version is high.

Bearing all that in mind, our best value estimate for a Dual-dated £1 Coin in excellent condition is currently £300 – £500.

phonescope 2 - Why the latest Royal Mint “error” is the hardest to find yet. Plus what it might be worth…

Help find the Dual-dated £1 Coin with the Change Checker Phonescope

The Phonescope works by clipping onto a mobile device, and magnifying the camera, allowing you to take incredible close-up photos and videos.



The story of the undated 20p

It’s regarded by many as the Holy Grail of change collecting, and back in 2008, the undated 20p saga encouraged an entire country to start carefully checking their coins. In fact plenty of collectors are still doing just that in the hope of finding one.

If you’re not familiar with the story of the undated 20p, this is it:

In 2008, the reverse of each denomination from 1p to £1 was redesigned by Matthew Dent to feature a different part of the Royal Arms Shield. The 20p had previously included the date on the reverse, but with the entire face of the coin now devoted to the new design, the Royal Mint produced a new die with the date on the obverse (Queen’s head) side.

However, when the new Royal Shield 20p coins were struck for circulation, the old die was accidentally used, meaning a batch was issued with no date on either side of the coin.

undated 20p 1 - The story of the undated 20p

The undated 20p was the first coin issued for circulation in over 300 years without a date on either side

Coins with mismatched sides like these are known in the collecting world as ‘mules’ – the name deriving from the hybrid offspring of a horse and a donkey. Mule coins are always highly coveted, but they rarely receive the kind of mainstream media attention afforded to the undated 20p.

The first for 300 years

The undated 20p became the first coin in over 300 years to enter circulation without a date, and when the story broke in the press, it caused a frenzy not just in the collecting world but amongst the general public who realised they stood just as good a chance as anyone of pulling one out of their change.

Estimates have varied over the years but The Royal Mint confirmed in a statement that no more than 250,000 coins made it into circulation.

telegraph story - The story of the undated 20p

Various stories in the media helped to fuel wild estimates of the value of an undated 20p

Stories from numerous media outlets fuelled rumours about the coin’s value. Estimates quickly spiralled out of control, and some began trading hands online for thousands of pounds.

Of course, a coin with such a high mintage could never really be worth that sort of figure, and in recent years the average selling price for an undated 20p has levelled off. Nowadays they normally sell for around the £50 mark which I’m sure you’ll agree is still not a bad return for a 20p coin!

In terms of rarity, you are approximately twice as likely to find an undated 20p as you are the famous Kew Gardens 50p. However, ordinarily an undated 20p will sell for more. But why?

The reason quite simply is that everyone loves a good story.

The fact that the coin only exists by way of a freak accident really adds to its appeal, and makes it a collector’s item in every sense of the term. So remember to have a good look at your 20p next time you’ve got one in your hand. A flip of your coin could be worth a lot more than you thought.