You may have read in the news recently about a small number of Royal Navy £2 coins which were issued to HMS Belfast and its visitor facilities – 100 of them to be precise. The story was widely covered, with the BBC amongst others confirming this new £2 coin as the rarest in circulation. Naturally plenty of excitement ensued amongst collectors, many of whom flocked to HMS Belfast in the hope of finding one.
The distinguishing feature of these 100 coins is that they all carry the current portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank Broadley FRBS whereas those issued for general circulation later in the year will feature the Queen’s new portrait (announced 2nd March).
A typical mintage of several million later this year will put these 100 Royal Navy £2 coins in an extraordinarily exclusive category of circulation coins.
But unfortunately it is not quite that simple.
The Brilliant Uncirculated Royal Navy £2 packs which have been available since last year also feature Ian Rank-Broadley’s current effigy of the Queen, and there is nothing fundamentally different between these and the 100 issued to HMS Belfast.
Inevitably, scammers have already capitalised on these blurred lines and an increasing number of coins purporting to be from HMS Belfast have started cropping up on eBay for extortionate amounts. Whilst we can’t prove or disprove the legitimacy of these listings it is nonsensical to bid on a coin which can in no way be authenticated as one of the 100 rare issues.
At the time of writing, some Royal Navy £2 coins have received bids running in to the hundreds of pounds. It is very reminiscent of this time last year when the Kew Gardens 50p was being sold for astronomical prices.
Our message is the same as it was then – be aware of sellers trying to make a quick profit and don’t shell out a lot of money for a coin without knowing its real worth.
If you would like to own a Brilliant Uncirculated Royal Navy £2 Coin Pack, they are now available for just £9 from the Westminster Collection.
Click here to order