Unique Coins to Look Out for in Your Pocket Change

Coin collecting is a rewarding hobby. But did you know that many of the finest coin collections were started after a single coin was found in someone’s pocket change?

Believe it or not, there might be coins in your spare change that could be worth a small fortune. In this article, we’ll reveal the top five collectibles you should be looking for amongst your piggy bank’s treasures.

2011 United Kingdom 50p The Aquatics

Released in 2011 to commemorate the London 2012 Olympic games, 600 copies of the Aquatics 50p coin were issued with a “minting error” that was later modified and put back into circulation.

Jonathan Olliffe, the winner of a national design competition organised in collaboration with the London 2012 Olympic Games, was responsible for the initial design of the Aquatics 50p piece, which featured an image of a swimmer with the waves passing over his face. The plan, however, was subsequently altered and the waves were removed to make the coin look ‘clearer’.

The coin’s obverse features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Ian Rank-Broadley, a British sculptor well known for several British coinage designs.

How much is the 50p Aquatics worth?

One of the most recent rare 50p coins was sold on eBay in 2017 for the dizzying amount of £1,500.

2017 Falkland Islands 50p Falklands Penguins

Issued on behalf of The Falkland Islands in 2017, the Falklands Penguins Series are coloured, cupro nickel diamond 50-pence coins from the Pobjoy Mint signature collection.

The reverse side depicts the four sub-species of penguin, which are local to The Falkland Islands – The Southern Rockhopper, The King, The Magellanic and The Gentoo.

In 2017 the Northern Rockhopper, coin was released. 3,200 copies were printed and issued before it was found to contain a factual, rather than printing, error, making it the most valuable of the set. 

The obverse side of each coin features the exclusive Pobjoy Mint design of HM Queen Elizabeth II, positioning the coin as an outstanding piece in every numismatic collection.

Following the success of the 2017 Falklands Penguins collection, in 2018 Pobjoy Mint released another round of those stunning, cupro-nickel diamond coins featuring five penguins, available to purchase here.

How much is the Northern Rockhopper Penguin worth?

The rare Northern Rockhopper Penguin coin, released as an error in 2017, can found on online auctions selling for as much as £65,000.

1943 United States 1 Cent Lincoln Head

Many coin collectors swear by this scarce copper penny coin produced in 1943 during World War II.

The coin features a portrait of Abraham Lincoln’s plaque by Victor D. Brenner, a Litvak-American sculptor, engraver and medallist, known mostly for portrait medallions and bas-reliefs.

The 1943 copper-alloy cent is one of the most idealised and potentially one of the most sought-after items in American numismatics. This error coin was manufactured as a result of a mistake by the U.S mint after they accidentally used the wrong kind of planchet metal (bronze rather than zinc-coated steel) when striking the coin. In 2018, only 40 copies are known to remain in existence.

How much is the Lincoln Cent worth?

Bob R. Simpson, co-chairman of the Texas Rangers baseball club, purchased the finest known 1943-S Lincoln bronze planchet in September 2012 for, in excess of, $1,000,000.

1999 Gibraltar £2 Hercules Coins

This unique, limited-edition coins minted at Pobjoy Mint are continuously on the radar of many coin enthusiasts in and outside the UK looking for a rare addition to their commemorative coins collections.

The £2 coin come from Gibraltar – the British Overseas Territory surrounded by Southern Spain and was released between 1997 and 2000. The coin depicted the mythological 12 Labours of Hercules and was designed by Ian Rank-Broadley, using Bi-metallic Copper-nickel in the centre and a Nickel-brass as a ring.

How much is the Gibraltar £2 worth?

The best-preserved ones can be found on online auctions selling for as much as £400.

2009 United Kingdom 50p Kew Gardens

Officially released in 2009, the Kew Gardens 50p is the rarest coin of any denomination currently in circulation.

The Kew Gardens 50p coin, released to commemorate the ‘250th anniversary of the foundation of the Royal Botanic Gardens and its contributions to horticulture, science and garden design’ was designed by Christopher Le Brun, one of the most influential British artists today.

The coin’s design features an image of the iconic Chinese Pagoda surrounded by a pattern of intertwining plants. The Pagoda was completed in 1762 as a gift for Princess Augusta and is now one of Kew Garden’s landmark buildings.

How much is the Kew Gardens 50p coin worth?

The coin was made of cupro-nickel with a limited mintage of 210,000. The Kew Gardens 50p can be frequently found on online auctions, and the price often reaches up to £175.

1955 United States Doubled Die Penny

The Doubled Die Penny was produced in 1955 as a result of an error made using a coin hub. During one of these impressions, a minor misalignment occurred causing the die with Lincoln’s portrait to have a repetition of the numbers and letters.

Mint employees discovered the double error after about 40,000 pieces were produced, and since about 24,000 of them were already mixed with regular cents, it was decided that these would be released as well.

How much is the Double Die penny worth?

This elusive 1955 Doubled Die Lincoln Penny Cent is worth up to $2,000, depending on how well the coin is preserved.

1983 United Kingdom 2p New Pence

One of the most valuable coins to look for in your piggy bank is the New Pence 2p coin. A rare batch of the error 2p copper pieces was released in 1983 with the words “New Pence” on them.

The New Pence 2p coins were in production continuously from 1971 do 1982, and to avoid confusion between the old and new coinages, all coins had the word “NEW” incorporated into the reverse design. This was subsequently removed in 1982 and replaced with “TWO”.

How much is the 2p New Pence worth?

In 1983 a mistake led to a group of 2ps being released with the old wording of “New Pence” on them, which effectively made them highly collectable pieces. At the moment, “New Pence” 2p coins are worth hundreds of pounds, and could fetch thousands in the future.


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