Posts Tagged ‘how much is my coin worth’

How much is your coin really worth? Debunking eBay coin price myths…

When it comes to coin collecting, whilst the thrill is in the find, it really is the icing on the cake when you manage to find a particularly rare coin which is worth more than its face value. However, all too often we are bombarded by press articles citing eBay listings of ‘rare’ or ‘error’ coins  and, naturally, our interest is piqued when we hear about the coin we’ve just come across in our change ‘selling for thousands’.

Unfortunately though, these articles can often sensationalise the actual value of the coin and when taken out of context we can forget that anyone can list anything they like on eBay, for whatever price they choose, regardless of whether or not the item is genuinely worth it.

So to help you avoid the pitfalls of buying coins eBay, we’ve created our top 5 eBay buying tips at the bottom of this blog.

 

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Press articles citing coins listed for high prices on ebay

When a coin is listed for excessive amounts it draws attention to itself and all it takes is for the press to pick up on it for more people to start believing that the coin really is valuable and so the story grows. But in reality, these coins are not usually worth the price they are listed for and are very unlikely to actually sell. Even if the coin does sell at that price, there is no guarantee that the sale will actually go through.

How much is my Benjamin Britten 50p worth?

We’ve seen this time and again, particularly for the 2013 Benjamin Britten 50p. In fact one of the most regular questions we get at Change Checker is: “I have a Benjamin Britten 50p – how much is it worth?“.

There’s no doubt that the Benjamin Britten 50p was somewhat overlooked when it was first released and it is amongst the slightly more scarce coins in circulation, but ask yourself this… would you pay £800 for one?

Whilst a brilliant uncirculated quality Benjamin Britten 50p might sell for around £10, you’re likely to come across a circulation quality coin in your change, as this 50p has a mintage figure of 5,300,000 and is ranked as common on our scarcity index.

Read our blog ‘So i thought my coin was worth £800…’ for more information.

 

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eBay listings for Benjamin Britten 50p. Credit: eBay

But it’s not just Benjamin Britten – there are others… including the 2005 Gunpowder Plot ‘Pemember’ £2 and the 2012 Charles Dickens ‘error coin’, as well as the new coin releases such as the leaked Paddington 50p

Gunpowder Plot £2 ‘error’

The 2005 Gunpowder Plot £2 commemorates the 400th anniversary of Guy Fawkes’ failed assassination attempt on King James I, but the coin is more familiar to collectors for having a spelling mistake in the edge inscription. The timeless quote “Remember, remember the fifth of November” has been found with various combinations of Pemember, Pemembep, Novemebep and so on. The common factor here is the ‘R’ which appears as a ‘P’.

Sadly for collectors this is apparently not a striking error. The explanation from the Royal Mint is that the down-stroke of the R coincides with the milling around the edge, and as the coin has worn over time, the letter has become less defined. This categorical statement from the Mint means that any mark-up in price for a supposed ‘error’ is completely unjustified, and although it makes the coin more interesting, it is not the mistake which it is often perceived to be.

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Gunpowder plot ‘error’ coin listed on eBay for £999. Credit: eBay

Charles Dickens £2 ‘error’

The Charles Dickens £2 coin was issued by The Royal Mint in 2012 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of one of Britain’s most famous and beloved writers. The design features Dickens’ recognisable profile crafted from the titles of his most famous works and is a favourite amongst collectors.

But recently, a number of stories have been popping up regarding the ‘errors’ people have noticed, such as fading dots around the centre part, upside down edge lettering and misspelling of the edge inscription. Unfortunately these aren’t errors, but are simply caused by the mass production process, the way obverses and reverses are struck and how the coin has worn down in circulation.

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Charles Dickens ‘error’ coin listed on eBay for £3,500. Credit: eBay

Paddington 50p leaked coins

The Paddington 50p coins were issued by The Royal Mint to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Michael Bond’s novel, “A Bear Called Paddington” and were some of the most sought-after coins of 2018, which is why collectors were particularly excited when some of the coins were discovered a few days before the official release…

The coins quickly made their way onto collectors’ forums and eBay, with one attracting a “sold price” of £16,000 – prompting interest from a number of national newspapers.

It’s highly unlikely that the transaction actually went through, and as the official launch date was just a few days later, we urged collectors to wait to be able to purchase the coin for just £3.99 instead.

 

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Paddington coin listed on eBay for £16,100. Credit: eBay

We would always suggest caution and user discretion when buying and selling on eBay. To get a more realistic idea of what your coin could potentially sell for, view the ‘sold listings’ on eBay to see the actual prices buyers have been willing to pay, although again there is still no guarantee that these sales have all actually gone through.

Remember – even the rarest of all circulating 50p coins – 1992/93 EU Presidency – was sold by Change Checker for just £20.

So to help you get the most out of your money, we’ve created 5 eBay buying tips:

 

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Tip 1) Check recently sold prices

Whilst coins can be listed on eBay for incredibly high prices, it doesn’t mean they will actually sell at this price. Make sure you search for ‘sold listings’ when researching how much buyers are currently willing to pay to check that your coin is in line with this.

Tip 2) Check if it can still be bought from official Royal Mint distributors

Take a look online at The Royal Mint’s website and on our site to see if the coin can still be bought from an official distributor, as this will affect the price of the coin on the secondary market. Buyers will be willing to pay more for a coin on the secondary market if it is no longer on sale at The Royal Mint.

Tip 3) Check if the coin is real or fake

The only way to know for certain that a coin is real is for it to be x-rayed, however there are some simple checks you can make yourself such as making sure the edge inscription and date matches the design and that the coin condition reflects the amount of time it’s been in circulation. For example, the Kew Gardens 50p has been in circulation for nearly 10 years, so a shiny Kew for sale on eBay is likely to be a fake unless it’s in the original packaging.

Tip 4) Check the coins rarity

Use our mintage charts and Scarcity Index to see how scarce the coin is and check our blogs to see if it has an interesting story that makes the coin more sought-after. Make sure you check for any errors that could add to the coins value, such as the wrong date or metal being used.

Tip 5) Check the coins condition

If the coin is in Brilliant Uncirculated quality it will most likely sell for more than a circulated coin which is more worn. Typically, the more worn the coin is, the less a buyer is likely to be willing to pay.

Remember you can also use our 6 point guide to valuing your coins to help you determine how much your coin might realistically be worth.

Best of luck buying and selling your coins!


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

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

 

Could I be minted? The 6 point guide to valuing your coin!

So, you’ve been hunting down that coin for what feels like a lifetime and now it’s finally turned up in your change! But after the excitement and thrill of finding that elusive coin, you find yourself asking the question, “What do I do next?”…

There are a number of options for deciding what to do with your coin and whilst many collectors enjoy holding onto them to build their collection, pass down to children, or potentially see their value change, lots of people look to sell these coins on auction sites, through dealers or on eBay.

The rarest coins out there can sell for far more than their face value, for example the Kew Gardens 50p is currently selling for an average of £80 on eBay – that’s 160 times face value (*correct as of June 2018).

Before deciding whether to sell or save, you should first take a run through our 6 point guide to make sure you’re getting the most out of your coin:

 

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1) How does your coin rate on the Scarcity Index?

The Change Checker Scarcity Index tracks which coins are the most scarce and collectable using a unique combination of mintage, collecting and swap data to give the most up-to-date picture of the collecting market. View our latest index here >>

The higher the Scarcity Index score for your coin, the more sought-after it will be to collectors.

 

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The Change Checker Scarcity Index enables you to find out how scarce your coins are and is updated quarterly.

 

2) How much is your coin worth?

It can be difficult to work out an exact valuation, as this depends on so many variants, however once you have completed point 1 you will have a better understanding of how collectable your coin might be. The next step is to check previously sold items on auction sites such as eBay to see how much potential buyers are willing to pay. Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you and have put together our eBay Tracker which takes the last 9 sold prices achieved on eBay for 10 of the UK’s most popular coins and banknotes. This gives the median price achieved (rounded to the nearest 50p).

*Note: It is very important to check ‘Sold listings’ rather than active listings, as the price a coin is listed for may not be the actual price it sells at.

 

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Make sure to check ‘Sold listings’ rather than active listings when trying to find out what your coin is worth on eBay

 

3) How easy is it to buy your coin?

If your coin can still be purchased in Brilliant Uncirculated quality from an official Royal Mint distributor, it is unlikely that a collector would pay the same price for a circulation quality coin which might have imperfections.

 

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Change Checker is an official distributor of Royal Mint products. We have a range of 50p, £2 and £5 coins that are specially struck and encapsulated in Change Checker packaging to preserve their pristine condition and our prices start as little as £3.99.

 

4) What condition is your coin in?

Understandably, collectors are likely to pay a little extra for a coin in pristine condition, rather than a coin showing signs of wear and tear. However, there are some rare
coins (such as the Commonwealth Games £2) which are very hard to find in good condition and yet they still sell way above face value.

 

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5) Does your coin have a story?

It’s often true that the coins with an interesting story behind them are the hardest to get hold of and so it’s worth researching your coin to see if you can find anything that stands out or any exciting facts about the coin.

A prime example are the 2008 20p mules which were accidentally struck without a date. These coins are now regarded as the Holy Grail of change collecting even though there are as many as 250,000 coins in circulation.

And as every keen collector knows, it’s worthwhile paying close attention to the small details of your coins as it’s the only way you can ever hope to spot an error or mis-strike like the undated 20p or inverted effigy Britannia £2. However, it’s also important to know when you have a genuine rarity as the mass production minting process is never completely exempt from human error, so remember to always check your change carefully. Mistakes happen, and when it comes to coins, these mistakes can often be worth a lot money to sharp-eyed collectors. Make sure you’re aware of the most popular coin mis-strikes and myths in UK coinage.

If you do need extra clarification on your coin, The Royal Mint offer an authentication service starting from £10 and will provide you with a letter to confirm the coin’s authenticity.

 

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The Undated 20p is regarded as the holy grail of change collecting

 

6) Where can you sell your coin?

Now that you have a better idea of how much you could sell your coin for and why, it’s time to find a seller that’s willing to pay! Coin dealers, auction sites, Facebook coin groups and eBay are your best bets.

You can contact a member of the British Numismatics Trade Association who will advise you on auctioning your coin, although they do charge for this service. If you’re selling on eBay, be sure to set a minimum price equal to or higher than face value and be mindful that if your coin ‘sells’ at a high price, the sale may not actually go through.

 

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Remember, your coin is legal tender and therefore will always be worth at least face value.

Whether or not you decide to sell your coin, I think you can agree that the buzz of finding rare coins in your change is second to none and one of the best hobbies to have!


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

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