UK 20p Undated Error Coins Commanding Huge Premiums

by CoinNews.net on July 2, 2009 · 24 comments

UK 20p coin, reverse sideNews of an error in UK’s Royal Mint 20 pence coin (20p) blasted through the media this week, creating an intensified fervor in collectors trying to find and buy the coins.

Prices for the coin, which have a face value of about 33 cents US, have shot up with auction bidding reaching as high as several hundred dollars. (See current eBay auctions.)

According to reports, the Mint issued tens of thousands "year-less" 20p coins toward the end of 2008.

 

"The Royal Mint can confirm that a small number of new design 20 pence coins have been incorrectly struck using the obverse from the previous design, resulting in these coins having no date, " a Royal Mint spokesperson was quoted on BBC News.

"The issue has now been resolved and the Royal Mint would like to reassure members of the public that these coins are legal tender."

 

The British Royal Mint last year launched several circulating coins with new reverse designs featuring the Shield of the Royal Arms. It was the first new design in 40 years.

During the design process, the year of issue for the 20p was moved from the reverse side to the obverse ("heads side") which features Queen Elizabeth II. However, some of the new coins were struck using the old die obverse, resulting in the missing dates.

For more, read the BBC News article Faulty 20p coins ‘worth £50 each’ or the AP article British Royal Mint issues rare coins.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

michelle July 2, 2009 at 4:54 am

Hi,
I was just wondering if anyone knew why these undated 20p coins are selling for so much money?
On Monday night one sold for £5,800 & then yesterday a whopping £921,000!!! The prices are soaring every day.
What could they be worth in the future I wonder?
25,000 have been taken out of circulation already.
Anyones thoughts appreciated, many thanks

Sandra Griffiths July 4, 2009 at 3:38 am

This guy is giving % of proceeds to charity
http://www.undated20p.blogspot.com/

good for him, i hope he gets a good price

Martin Fox July 5, 2009 at 9:11 am

I think these coins will be worth £6-10 in 6 months time when all of this mania dies down- a classic bubble situation. No knowledge + money + hype + stupid prices. There was, I think, a 2p error coin issued in 1986, something like 1000 were issued and I think one was auctioned for £600 last year. So 50,000-100,000 of the 20p coins make this not rare at all…

The London Mint (NOT The Royal Mint) are buying up these coins for £50 at the moment (time limited). They obviously want to create the impression of rarity. They have purchased at least 15,000. No doubt they will drip feed these in to the market place.

I wouldn’t touck these coins with a barge pole, but keep looking for them in my change!

I would rather put my money in gold sovereigns.

roger wing July 7, 2009 at 8:55 am

With over 200,000 of these 20p coins issued the value is not likely to exceed anymore than £5 – £7. A woman just called into my shop and offerred me one of these ‘fools gold’ coins for £1000 ! People who find one of these coins in their loose change think they have won the equivelent of the lottery, ther is not 200,000 + people around who would pay that sort of money for such a low value coin that was subject to a misprint.

Lawrence Chard July 11, 2009 at 12:39 pm

We have posted 3 pages on our website about these “rare” 20 pence error coins, containing information, opinion, and advice.
These pages should answer most questions about these coins, and correct most of the errors and misunderstandings about them.
We have even forecast future prices for them!

Derek warrington July 17, 2009 at 4:53 am

To the editor, i read an article in last weeks Sundaymail money news about undated 20 pence pieces,it allso mentioned 2pence pieces with new pence on the back instead of two pence,have they got a sale value.
I would like to hear your opinion.

Kris July 17, 2009 at 2:59 pm

I was in the UK a week ago and after hearing all the commotion of the 20p error, I checked my change and sure enough I am in possession of one. I would like to sell it, but I don’t know how much I could get ofr it. Any suggestins?

sherly October 19, 2009 at 9:05 am

rare coins are a bunch of gold lyng on the streets. l have a few 2p rare coins but l dont know where to trade them. Any suggestions people???

tango October 27, 2009 at 7:39 pm

right to clarify about the 2 new pence coin the only valueble one is the 1983 one cause it was made as a collection and yes these 20 p undated coins no one knows wot they will b worth but lets face it if u can drop on 1 for around 100 quid cause there are a couple on ebay for that price there worth takin the gamble cause u will always get ur money back at least from a collector ,,so if u get any profitt then its a bonus isnt it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

michael gregg. January 10, 2010 at 10:13 am

It appears the most negative of responses. Eminate from those who have not yet managed to obtain one of these very rare numismatic errors.After all who would have thought when Edward the V111 abdicated before his coronation in 1936. coins never circulated suposed to have been destroyed. except coins given to an elete few. are now in the hands of private collectors worth mega bucks. Such as his 1937 Sovereign 220K 1937 Bronze penny 50k. As I have three mint error mule 20p. I can’t lose out financialy. I will accept any for free towards my granies wooden leg fund. Thanks. Mike Gregg. Senior.

Jan February 12, 2010 at 2:33 am

I agree with Mike above. All the negativity comes from people that haven’t managed to get one. There is also an un-confirmed Email circulating, supposedly from The London Mint Office, that the original estimate of 50,000 – 200,000 coins may be a gross over estimate. The Email suggests that the figure could be as low as 1% of this estimation. If this gets confirmed in the future, the value of these coins will soar, simply because this is the first ‘dateless’ coin to be released in over 300 years.
Of course there have been errors in the past, eg, 2p’s released with ‘New Pence’ instead of ‘Two Pence’, but this is not as significant as a coin with no date.

Jan.

tlndofa February 17, 2010 at 7:19 pm

glad so many had doubt below…they coin is rare when it comes to world wide collectors and there is not enough for all.the way most are handled there will be an increase in value..i paid 170 ozzy $ for my best coin.though i got even more lucky.

thankyou to UK coin sellers that send to oz…i luv me error coins.

richard February 17, 2010 at 8:00 pm

i have a one pence/new pence 1mm width ,dated 1972.i need a COA?

martin May 21, 2010 at 7:05 am

The undated 20p – what’s the truth?
2010 April 17

I promised to return to one of the most intriguing stories of 2009 – the announcement made by The London Mint Office that it would pay £50 for specimens of the undated 20p. To refresh your memory, this issue arose when the Royal Mint changed the design of all our circulation coins in 2008. A rare error occurred in the production of the new 20p caused by the decision to switch the date from one side to the other on the new design. A die from the old 20p was inadvertently used for one side in conjunction with the correct, new die for the other, meaning that the year of issue was left off completely (in numismatic circles this is referred to as a “mule” – a cross between two different coins). There’s plenty more on the background at our excellent web site: The Royal Mint has always been unable or unwilling to clarify exactly how many coins were affected. Their web site states, as it always has done, that an unspecified number of “less than 250,000″ were struck. Obviously at the time of making our offer, some of our financial people were a little concerned about the possibility of paying £50 for each of these. Certain coin dealers were even suggesting that the imagined plentiful supply would lead to market prices dropping to £10 by the start of 2010.

Nick Hart, one of our coin experts, was right all along. He claimed that the number of undated 20p’s out there was much lower than the 250,000 level. His predictions that our offer would only receive a few hundred redemptions, despite the enormous publicity that the story garnered, proved to be completely correct. Clearly this story has some way to run and the value of these coins is only going to increase. Maybe we should do something about that

sally June 14, 2010 at 1:07 pm

i have a no date 20p error coin could you please advise me of the best options for selling

thank you

Alex July 25, 2010 at 5:58 pm

I have a 2005 £2 coin commemorating the gun powder plot of 1605, the inscription is meant to read Remember remember the fi of november however the inscription actually reads Pemember pemember the fith of novemeber, i have looked closely and it seems to be a genuine mistake, can any one tell me where to look for valuation?

Peter Lewis October 18, 2010 at 3:28 am

Some people are under the apprehension that only a few hundred thousand of these new 20p coins have been minted.

Well the Royal Mint in Llantrisant South Wales have minted many millions of the newly designed 20p piece but accidentally struck only a small number of them without any date whatsoever before realising their mistake.

Many of them will have been returned by the Banks and Post Offices but quite a few thousand reached peoples change.

The last time any coin struck by the Royal Mint had no identifying year of issue on it ( a date) occurred in the reign of Charles 2nd in the 1630-40.

We can be pretty sure that measures have been put in place to ensure it never happens again.

Anyone in possession of one of these MULE coins should keep it safe knowing they own a piece of history.

Why sell it for a fairly small sum of money when you can hand it down to the next generation.

There are many rarer and more valuable coins such as the 1903 Penny but apart from only one other they all have a date somewhere stamped on them.

Joel Coombe March 14, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Hi im just wondering if a £1 pound coin with the “e” missing off the one could be worth anything?

mark April 26, 2011 at 2:24 pm

ive got one of these and had it over a year. i will be keeping it

Peter Lewis April 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Any genuine error on British currency is bound to worth good money.

Nobody will actually know how many pound coins have been minted with slight errors on them.

So many coins are struck at the Royal Mint at Llantrisant that it’s physically impossible to check every one for an error.

Both Joel and Mark appear to have in their posession a £1 coin with some slight errors on them.
There are bound to be others in circulation but not that many i bet, possibly a few hundred or maybe less.

These coins are worth holding onto not because they are valuable but because they are rare and to a true collector represent an error at the mint which has gone undetected.

With the countless millions of coins minted annually one with anything slightly wrong with it is certainly worth more than it’s face value.

Denise September 9, 2011 at 12:39 pm

My husband has a coronation crown with some of the letters missing from around the edge, is this worth something?

carole December 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm

hi there, i have discovered a £2 coin in my purse which is inscribed with “PEMEMBER PEMEMBER” instead of Remember Remember. i just wondered if anyone knew if this is a rare mistake? i sent an email to the royal mint and their response was as follows: Edge inscriptions are added by rolling the blanks against a specially shaped tool upon which the letters appear in relief. If you have a coin bearing the word PEMEMBER, perhaps the most likely explanation is that a small section of the R on the edge lettering tool has been eroded to leave what looks like a P. We are unable to offer a definitive opinion, however, without examining the coin at first hand.

i found this to be a very vague answer and on looking at the coin again it is definately a P and not a worn R!!! any help would be much appreciated =)
cheers

c January 31, 2012 at 9:11 am

what about the 2010 20p coins are they worth any money ?

ian April 30, 2012 at 1:15 pm

I’ve got a 2 pence coin (Lion coat of arms on front) dated “200” – is this worth anything as well

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