/ Money

Do you own a rare coin?


The hunt for rare coins and notes has sent the country into pandemonium. Have you found a coin worth more than its face value?

When Willy Wonka decided to hide five golden tickets in five of his famous chocolate bars, it sent Charlie Bucket’s world into a frenzy, with chocolate-lovers excitedly check their Wonka bars for these limited-edition tickets.

Back in the real world and we appear to be witnessing similar excitement in the hunt for rare coins and notes…


When we published our guide to the UK’s rarest 50p coins earlier this week, it quickly became the most popular Which? Facebook posts of all time – over 40,000 people have shared and commented on the post.

What was surprising though was finding out just how many people have a growing collection of rare and valuable 50p coins, like Jillian:

Well Jillian, the value of the coin is determined by the number in circulation, so scarcity, and how desirable they are to coin collectors. Change Checker is an online coin valuation site, it values coins based on how easy it is to find a certain design in circulation, how many were minted, and how often the coin is traded between collectors.

So have you checked your change for rare designs?

Something for nothing

I understand the appeal of finding a coin that is magically worth more than you paid for it.

It’s the thrill of getting something for nothing. The same tiny burst of delight as finding a fiver on the floor, or a small win on a scratch card. It’s nice to know the gods of fortune are smiling down on you.

Still, rather than spending time familiarising yourself with the exact designs that’ll help you strike it slightly richer, it might be more fruitful take other financial action to guarantee you some returns. For instance, our 50 ways to make money guide is packed with ideas, and last week we also created a step-by-step guide to shaving £1,300+ off your annual spending.

Of course, if you’re a budding currency collector, our guides to the UK’s rarest coins can help you track down everything you always wanted.

And don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted…

What are your thoughts on the hype surrounding uncommon coins and notes? Have you ever found a coin worth more than its face value? Are collectors bonkers for paying through the nose for these rare designs?


I only check my change when there is an announcement of a rare coin, and have seen none so far. I do have some gold sovereigns that my mother kept for a rainy day but survived because it was just a shower. I’ve never checked their value, which I expect will depend on their condition. I put them somewhere safe, which is fatal. 🙁

I don’t think the old pre-decimal currency coins in a Maxwell House jar will ever become valuable. I might give the pennies to a museum that gives visitors an old penny with their admission ticket and then takes it back at a later stage.

This Convo is relates to making money but my approach is to find ways of spending less.

Sorry, not for me. Life is too busy.

Think I need to crack open my money bunny (like a piggy bank, but a rabbit).

That would be cruelty to bunnies even if it did produce a few bucks (keeping to the topic of course) 🐰

Contrived humour. Doe. 🐰

ben miller says:
7 March 2019

money bunny i like it

Haha thanks Ben!

Hi My daughter spotted a £2 coin she said was rare. So sold it on eBay for £30. Better return than my ISA !

On e bay there is a lot of people already selling coins that are “rare ” thats found in change. Its difficult to ask a price as e everybody asking various prices. Iv got a “abolition of slave” £2.oo coin. I dont know what to ask for it? Any idea’s members?

I collect £2, £1 and 50p coins with the different faces. It’s fun to find on in your change. It is a fun thing to do just like the odd scratch card but I will not be able to retire on it.

I nearly bought a £2 coin on ebay for £13. My finger was hovering over the ‘buy’ button but I decided that that was the road to ruin – to buy the ones that my collection is missing. So I now have a policy. I or my friends or family have to receive the ‘rare’ coin in their change. No purchasing of said coins.

What is fun is to go into a bank and change a £10 into 50p pieces. My wife an I then flick through the coins looking for rare ones. We usually find a few.

It is all just for fun. When you compare the gain from a coin next to my daily wage it is a pointless exercise.

The dark side of coin investment. https://www.which.co.uk/news/2017/12/revealed-the-dark-side-of-the-coin-investment-craze/

Does anyone collect coins?

Most people have probably seen a TV ad offering a free commemorative coin for the cost of postage.

I looked one up and it is a company calling themselves The London Mint Office (in Wales) who have absolutely nothing to do with the Royal Mint.

The word scam seems to come up a lot. If you get one of their ‘free’ coins they seem to keep sending you more coins on approval that are impossible to cancel then demand money for them Their other trick is to deny they receive returned coins so demand to be paid for them.

They have been advertising on TV for over 10 years now and one wonders why Trading Standards or whoever, let them get away with their dodgy enterprise.

Which? also needs to be careful with its descriptions: In the linked News item, “Which? Money Weekly” also isn’t exactly what it says on the tin!

There is also a comment in the item that says “A version of this story first appeared in the January edition of Which?” – Is that a better version, a shorter version, a longer version, or what?

The News item – which concerns the ‘proof’ of coinage – also has a number of typographical errors; better proof reading required!

Thanks, John. I’ll pass this on to the digital team in regards to errors.

Hi I have 2017 issac Newton 50p 2x battle of Hastings 1 of which has glares and several other rare 50ps £1 £2 coins. I’ve tried to contact several numarists etc be email since last September to last week but phone was not working well please can someone help to sell or buy the 20+ rare coins with errors and glares which I will be selling. Thanks San

Selling rare things like coins is not as easy as people suppose and it is not unusual to get no response from numismatists. You might need to take them into a coin dealer for examination and see what they offer.

Most cities and large towns have a specialist who buys and sells rare or unusual coins, bank notes, medals, stamps, etc, but the lack of competition might mean disappointing valuations. Sometimes firms have ‘valuation days’ in other towns and places to which you can take articles for purchase, but again the prices offered might be less than you are expecting.

The market for buying such objects controls the value and for many items the market is not strong – most serious collectors already have the easy pickings and are looking for exceptional rarities or mint condition. It does not seem that you have a great amount in face value, and even if you could secure 50% above face value that would hardly make much expense in trading your coins worth while. You could try an on-line website or use a specialist magazine perhaps, but it might be best just to let the coins float back into general circulation. At least you can realise their face value.

I tried selling my two pounds and 50p coins on ebay. And after a month nobody was interested. so i decided to keep them.

I have the Olympic swimming 50p coin . I believe there was only 600 made .

This comment was removed at the request of the user

13 June 2021

I have 2 1066 coins how much r they worth