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.

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.

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.

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.


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Good news for Change Checkers as the UK says NO to a cashless society

In a week when the brand new UK £10 bank note was been released, there has been much discussion about the future relevance of coins and notes in our society.

Does cash have a future in our society?

The vast majority of people living in the UK regularly make payments on their credit or debit cards and the number of people paying using technology on their phones is increasing rapidly.

At the same time, banks and major retailers are pushing for a move towards a cashless society, mainly due to the fact that payments made by ‘tap and go’ cards and mobile phones is significantly cheaper for them than handling cash.

According to The UK Cards Association, there are 108 million contactless cards in the UK and in April of 2017 there were 416 million transactions using contactless totaling £3.9 billion. That was a 147% increase from the previous year – the growth is staggering!

However, we are actually some way behind some countries in the EU. Take Sweden for example, last year only 20% of all in store transactions were made using cash.

In fact, in the country a number of retailers have banned cash payments all together.

In terms of overall value, payments using notes or coins in Sweden equated to just 1%.

Is this the end for coins and notes in the UK?

No, well not yet anyway. Retail analysts Mintel have revealed that the people of the UK are not in such a rush to get rid of their cash.

In a survey, Mintel found that only 28% of Women and 38% of Men would prefer a cashless society.

In particular, the older generation, aged 55 and above, are strongly opposed to the idea of losing cash as a means of payment. Just 20% said that they would be happy to move away from coins and notes.

So why the reluctance to change?

Firstly, there’s the issue surrounding security of card and phone payments; ‘tap and pay’ cards do not need a pin number. Instead, they have a tiny antenna that links with a till terminal through near-field communication, or NFC.

The technology means that a payment is taken if the card is placed on or hovered over the till terminal. However, consumer group Which? warned that a scanner held nearby can intercept this NFC data. It can read the card number and expiry date from the card, it said.

Its researchers tested ten cards – six debit and four credit – and found all of them had the security flaw.

It has also been reported that thieves can continue to use a ‘tap and go’ card for many months, even after it has been reported as stolen.

Secondly, there is likely a degree of scepticism within the older generation leading to a lack of trust towards new technology.

Is everybody in the UK opposed to a cashless society?

Interestingly, it is the younger generation, aged between 25-34, who are less worried about the idea of a cashless society.

Nearly half of those asked said they would embrace the shift towards more modern payment methods.

Could this be due to their increased exposure to technology compared to the older generation? Anybody under the age of 35 has grown up using mobile phones and has seen rapid developments in payment technology.

What does the future hold?

Some experts have suggested that the UK could move away from coins and notes within 10 years.

However, Patrick Ross, a senior financial services analyst for Mintel, suggests that this is greatly exaggerated.

“Many people still prefer using coins, while others simply like to have some cash with them just in case. Although card payments are almost universally accepted in urban areas, cash continues to play an important role in everyday life.” 

At Change Checker we’re great advocates of cash, especially the many great commemorative coins that are released each year.

We’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on a cashless society. Let us know by taking part in our poll below.

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STOP: the five £1 coins you must NOT cash in!

There is only one month left until the Round £1 coins are demonetised and the public, now more than ever, are being encouraged to spend or return their coins to the banks.

However, there’s a few coins you definitely shouldn’t be cashing in. Here are the ones to look out for:

Scotland: Edinburgh City

The Edinburgh City £1 Coin

The Edinburgh City £1 coin was released in 2011 with a mintage of just 935,000, making it the lowest Round Pound by 680,000!

Taking this into account, there’s no real surprise that this coin sits top of our Scarcity Index with a perfect score of 100.

Such is the rarity, only 17% of Change Checker users list having this coin in their collection.

This coin currently sells for between £12-£16.

 

Wales: Cardiff City

The Cardiff City £1 Coin

Another of the capital cities series, the Cardiff City £1 coin is definitely one to keep.

Released in 2011, this coin has a mintage of just 1,615,000 and is in 2nd position in our Scarcity Index with a very high score of 88.

This coin depicts the circular Coat of Arms of Cardiff as the principal focus to represent Wales.

This coin is worth between £11-£15.

England: London City

The London City £1 Coin

The 3rd coin from the capital cities series that you should hold on to is the London City £1 coin. Interestingly, the Belfast City coin does not make our list.

Released in 2010, this coin has a mintage of 2,635,000, much higher than Edinburgh and Cardiff but low in comparison to other £1 coins.

London City scores an impressive 77/100 in our Scarcity Index.

This coin can sell for between £5-£8.

Scotland: Thistle and Bluebell

The Scotland: Thistle and Bluebell £1 Coin

The Thistle and Bluebell £1 coin was released in 2014 as part of the floral emblems series.

It has a mintage figure of 5,185,000 and scores a 55 on our Scarcity Index, coming in 4th place.

This coin features a thistle alongside a bluebell to represent Scotland.

This is worth between £3-£5.

 UK: Crowned Shield

The UK: Crowned Shield £1 Coin

The UK Crowned Shield £1 coin was released way back in 1988, only 5 years after the Round £1 came into circulation.

Although it has a relatively low mintage figure of 7,118,825, this coin makes the list due to some interesting Change Checker App data.

It scores a 51 in our Scarcity Index but less than 1/4 of Change Checker users list having this coin in their collection and swap requests outnumber swap listings by 6 to 1!

This coin will sell for between £3-£5.50.

 

It’s worth noting that our valuations are based on coins that have recently sold on auction sites. The value of a coin depends on a number of factors including the coin’s condition.

Posted in £1 coins, Blog Home, Coin News | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments