Coin collecting is an incredibly popular hobby – and one that could prove quite fruitful if you get some valuable pieces. Do you enjoy finding rare coins? Are you building a collection?
With the Royal Mint’s decision to release several new collections and its rise in popularity on social media, coin collecting has made its way into public consciousness more than ever before.
From 50p coins dedicated to Beatrix Potter characters, to 10 pence pieces celebrating everything from A-Z that’s archetypically British, and £2 coins commemorating the 2002 Commonwealth Games, there’s now a coin to mark many historical events and characters.
But how can you tell which ones are valuable, and which should you collect?
A coin’s mintage refers to the number of that particular coin that The Royal Mint released into circulation.
Revealed: the rare 50p coins worth more than £80
A low mintage means relatively few coins were ever made, instantly making the coin rarer than those where several million were produced.
Coins that are part of a set – such as the London 2012 Olympics or Beatrix Potter – are often more sought after, simply because coin collectors are looking to complete a full coin set.
Both the mintage and the collectability are taken into account in coin collecting site Changechecker’s scarcity index, which gives an indication of how valuable a coin might be.
Condition of the coin
Once coins have been in circulation for a long time, their appearance can deteriorate and – from a collector’s point of view – they can reduce in value.
If, for example, you have a pristine 20-year-old coin that has a high mintage, but very few are in good condition, the condition of your coin will make it rarer, and therefore it’s likely to be worth more.
So, if you have a rare coin that’s part of a collection, and it’s in good condition, it’s likely you’ll be able to sell it for more than its value.
With so many rare coins out there to find, collecting has become an increasing popular hobby.
We’ve been featuring some of our readers’ collections on our Which? Money Facebook page, and one of our readers told us about their experiences:
‘I’ve been collecting 50ps and £2 coins for approximately eight years now,’ she says. ‘When the Olympic 50p coins came out I was ready for a challenge and decided to collect them.’
I eventually got a full set within six months, mainly collected from the change given at my sandwich shop, and then odd ones I swapped with people I knew, who were also collectors.’
Our reader also found that coin collecting is on the rise: ‘I have noticed a lot more people now have the same hobby as me, including some customers I have shared my passion with.’
If you want to start collecting yourself, our reader has some tips:
‘The main tips I have are to just save one of each rare coin that you find. I have made the mistake of having multiple swaps of different coins, and I can’t let them go back into circulation. That makes it a very expensive hobby!’
It’s worth noting that coins are really only worth what someone is willing to pay for them. We’ve previously carried out an investigation on the dark side of the coin investment craze, so do keep your wits about you.
Would you consider collecting rare coins to be one of your hobbies? What’s the most enjoyable part about it?