We're coin experts – you could make £1,400 by spotting four exact dates and errors in rare 20ps in your spare change | The Sun

LOOKING closely at your change could really pay off if you spot specific dates or details on rare coins.

A coin with a minting error or odd date could be worth a small fortune because very few actually make it into circulation.

These types of coins are very attractive to collectors who are sometimes willing to pay large sums for one.

You can make money from these rare coins by selling them at auction, either online or in person, or through a dealer.

The price of a coin varies based on things like demand at the time and how common it is.

It's important to remember that you aren't guaranteed to fetch huge amounts if you do choose to sell your change.


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Anyone can list a coin on eBay and charge whatever amount they wish, but it's only ever worth what someone is willing to pay.

By checking the recently sold items you will get a more accurate indication of what people are willing to pay for a specific coin.

Coin experts at Change Checker Kate Morgan and Rachel Barnes have commented on the rarest 20p coins that could fetch you as much at £1, 400.

Here are the exact details to spot on rare 20p coins.

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'Holy grail' 20p

The undated 20p entered circulation in 2008Credit: Alamy

One of the most rare 20ps is an error coin with no date at all.

Collectors have been known to search far and wide for the valuable 20p ever since it entered circulation in 2008.

Back then, The Royal Mint decided to change the positioning of the date on every 20p piece, moving it from the back to the front.

But in an accidental error, a batch of between 50,000 and 250,000 coins was released without any date at all.

Kate Morgan from Change Checker told The Sun: said: "The undated 20p became the first coin in 300 years to enter circulation without a date, making it highly sought after by collectors."

The Royal Mint's website says the undated 20p coin remains legal tender, so you can use it in shops.

That means one could very easily wind up in your spare change.

We checked eBay and found that one of these error coins sold for £69 on June 4.

Although in the past they've sold for as much as £90 on eBay.

So have a look at the 20ps in your wallet and if you notice the date is missing you could be quids in.

Bronze 20p

One of the most rare error coins is the valuable bronze 20p, of which a few have been discovered in recent years.

Kate said: "In 2017, a collector reported finding a 1987 20p coin which appeared to have a very different finish to the others you’d usually find in your change."

The collector had assumed that the coin had been plated, but decided to send it off to the Royal Mint to be absolutely sure.

Kate added: "After examining the coin by X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, the Royal Mint confirmed that the bronze 20p was the result of an extremely rare minting error.

"It was ascertained that a bronze blank, which would usually be used for the production of 1p pieces, had been mistakenly used to strike this 20p."

Since then, in 2018 another collector found a 1990 coin which he also had checked by the Royal Mint and was found to have the same bronze base.

These coins are extremely rare and we could not find any examples online of how much they could go for if their seller decided to list the find on the likes of eBay.

But a 2p error coin, on a silver plate, sold for £1,350 back in 2016 so a bronze 20p could go for just as much – if not more –  if the owner decided to sell it.

In the past a bronze 20p has also been valued for £750.

Blank face 20p

A one-off manufacturing mistake meant that this 20p sold for over 2,000 times it's value in 2021.

The error coin is missing the design on one of its faces – the Queen's head is still intact, but there is nothing on the reverse where the tails should be.

Rachel Barnes of Change Checker told The Sun: "The 20p missing a face is caused when two blanks are stacked up on the press and are struck at one time.

"This results in a pair of uni-face coins, where each only has once face (one an obverse, one reverse) and the other sides are blank. These can be centred or off-centred."

So somewhere out there there's another 20p with this coin's missing design on, twice.

Impressively, the listing started at a mere 99p, only taking seven days to rocket to the £430 final call.

Errors like this are extremely rare, so if you ever spot one with a missing design, it's probably best to hold on to it because it could be worth a fortune to a collector.

Rachel added: "We don’t often see them in our change, but if you are lucky enough to find one then it would be worth holding onto, as they are particularly sought-after by collectors – as shown by the high price this one sold for."

Back in 2020, a rare ‘double strike’ £1 coin sold on eBay for £282.

The coin, minted in 2018, has been struck twice so the writing around the outside has been doubled up, and the Queen's head is not aligned in the centre.

British territory 20ps

Another rare 20p coin has been recently sold for a whopping £1,400 at an auction.

The valuable gem minted in 1990 has sold at Tennants Auctioneers in Harrogate, North Yorks.

The historic coin was created for a British territory overseas – which was pulled out from circulation for its poor quality.

The blemished piece of change was struck in copper-plated steel blank and it was sold as part of a set.

Lucky Alun Barker picked up the "one-of-a-kind" item on Ebay for just £50 six years ago.

The coin collector was left astonished when the coin was confirmed as genuine by the Royal Mint a few months later, he was then given a letter of accreditation to prove its authenticity.

Experts from Tennants Auctioneers had initially expected the rare item to fetch at least £1,200 under the hammer.

However, the sale "exceeded" their expectations and the 20p coin finally sold for £1,400.

Rachel said: "The 1990 20p coin selling at auction for £1,400 is an amazing sum of money and just goes to show how truly rare errors – which have been genuinely confirmed by The Royal Mint – can cause bidding wars between collectors.

"The fact the coin had been authenticated by The Royal Mint and came with a letter of accreditation is really important, so if you do ever find a suspected error, make sure you have it checked by the mint."

Make sure to hold on to one if you find it, or spot it on eBay like this collector.

How to check if a coin is rare

In most cases, a coin is rare if it has a low mintage figure – which is set by the Royal Mint.

The mintage figure relates to how many of the coins were made, so the fewer there are of them, the rarer they are.

You can find out what coins are rare and how they look on the Royal Mint's website.

Your next step after this is to see if the same coin is still available to buy in superior Brilliant Uncirculated quality from an official Royal Mint distributor, according to Change Checker.

These coins have been specially made to a superior quality which differentiates them from other coins you might find in your pocket.

It's not just a coin's mintage that dictates whether it's rare though, as the bronze 20p shows.

Minting error pieces can sell for hundreds of times their face value too – because there are so few of them.

If you want to find out if your coin was made incorrectly, you can check out our list of rare coins here.

Meanwhile, you can use websites like changechecker.org which regularly posts about error coins.

How to sell a rare coin

If, after checking, you realise you've come across a rare coin, there are a number of ways you can sell it.

You can sell it on eBay, through Facebook, or in an auction – but be wary of the risks.

For example, there are a number of scams targeting sellers on Facebook.

Crooks will say they're planning to buy the item, and ask for money upfront for a courier they'll be sending around.

But it's all a ruse to get you to send free cash to them – and they never have any intention of picking your item up.

It's always best to meet in person when buying or selling on Facebook Marketplace.

Ensure it's a public meeting spot that's in a well-lit area, avoid payment links and log in directly through the payment method's website.

Most sellers prefer to deal with cash directly when meeting to ensure it's legitimate.

The safest way to sell a rare coin is more than likely at auction. You can organise this with The Royal Mint's Collectors Service.

It has a team of experts who can help you authenticate and value your coin.

You can get in touch via email and a member of the valuation team will get back to you.

You will be charged for the service though – the cost varies depending on the size of your collection.

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Meanwhile, here are the exact dates to spot on five rare error coins that reveal they’re worth over £1,000.

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