THE rarest and most valuable coins of 2020 have been revealed with the Kew Gardens 50p still top of the list.
The Kew Gardens piece is particularly valuable to collectors as only 210,000 of them have ever been launched into circulation.
Typically, the Royal Mint usually releases around one million 50p coins into circulation when there is a new design.
We’ve analysed Change Checker’s scarcity index to find out the most sought after 10p, 50p and £2 coins of the year.
We then checked how much they’ve sold for recently on eBay.
The dangers of selling your coins on eBay
THE most valuable coins are usually those that have low mintage numbers or those with an error.
These are often deemed the most valuable by collectors.
Once you’ve found out whether the coin is real or not, you have a number of options – either selling it through a coin dealer, at auction or on eBay.
Sell it at auction
If you’ve got a coin that you would like to sell at auction then you can contact a member of the British Numismatic Trade Association.
They usually deal in very old coins but they may be able to help you assess whether it’s worth selling your coin at auction or whether it would be valuable to a collector.
Sell it on eBay
If you want to sell the coin you’ve found in your spare change on eBay then you need to know the risks.
Remember to set a minimum price that is higher or at the very least equal to the face value of the coin.
Even if your coin “sells” on eBay for a high price there’s no guarantee that the buyer will cough up.
In its terms and conditions, the auction website states that bidders enter a “legally binding contract to purchase an item”, but there’s no way to enforce this rule in reality.
The most eBay can do is add a note to the buyer’s account about the unpaid item or remove their ability to bid and buy.
This is because in order to sign up to the website, users do not need to put in valid bank or PayPal details before making a bid.
If a bidder refuses to pay, then the only option for sellers is to give “second chance offers” to other bidders or relist the item.
For items of a high value, eBay recommends that sellers put a limit on their listing to approve bidders.
It means bidders must email you before placing a bid but NOT that they must pay out the cash if they win.
In terms of 10p coins, we found some pieces were selling for more than 30 times their original value.
Or for £2 coins, collectors are paying up to £51 for rare designs on eBay.
£1 coins aren’t as sought after because the 12-sided pound hasn’t changed in design since its launch in 2017.
If you’re thinking of flogging a coin, it’s worth remembering that it’s only really worth what someone is willing to pay for it.
Or if you’re buying one, keep an eye out for fakes and sellers who are looking to rip you off.
Here are the most collectable coins of 2020:
Rarest 50p coins
1. Kew Gardens – £230
The most valuable coin in the list, the Kew Gardens 50p was released in 2009 to mark 250 years since the heritage site opened in 1759.
Its design features one of the garden buildings, the Chinese Pagoda, which was built in 1761.
We’ve previously reported on how one fetched a staggering £230 on eBay for one lucky seller – although this is an unusually high amount.
2. Judo – £20
The majority of the rare 50p coins are from the 2012 London Olympics collection, which was released by the Royal Mint during the same year.
A total of 29 different designs for the 50p coin were released, each one representing an Olympic sport.
This one, which is the second most scarce 50p, features two athletes performing judo and recently sold on eBay for £20.
Around 1,161,500 of these were released into circulation.
3. Triathlon – £17
Next up is the triathlon 50p, also from the 2012 London Olympics collection.
Only 1,163,500 of these were released into circulation, with one recently being flogged on eBay for £17.12.
The design is made up of a swimmer, cyclist and a runner to represent the three activities that make up a triathlon.
4. Wrestling – £15
If you’ve got one of these wrestling coins in your pocket then it could be worth up to £15.
Around 1.12million of them were released into circulation and it’s the third most scarce Olympic coin.
However, the ranking of 50p coins – particularly the Olympic ones – do tend to change year on year, so keep an eye on the latest scarcity index.
Rarest £2 coins
5. Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland – £51
The 2002 Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland £2 coin tops the scarcity index list for £2 coins.
It was released as part of a collection to celebrate the games and comes with three other counterparts designed for England, Wales and Scotland.
The coin bares the flag of Northern Ireland and in total, 485,500 such coins entered circulation.
We spotted one that sold for £51 on eBay back in October 2020.
6. Commonwealth Games England – £32
The England counterpart of the 2002 Commonwealth Games £2 coins is next on the scarcity index – and you’d be forgiven for assuming it looks identical to the Northern Ireland version.
But the coins actually feature different flags, so keep an eye out for this if you find one in your spare change.
Around 650,500 of the England ones went into circulation, with one recently selling on eBay for £32.55.
7. Commonwealth Games Scotland – £31
If you come across the Scotland version of the Commonwealth Games £2 coin, you could fetch around £31.
That’s according to an eBay listing that accumulated 22 bids on November 1.
Up to 771,750 of these coins were issued in 2002.
8. Olympic Handover – £15
The Royal Mint released this special £2 coin in 2008 to celebrate the handover of the Olympic Games from Beijing to London.
The design features the Olympic rings on a flag and the London 2012 logo, with around 918,000 of these coins being minted.
If you’ve got one in your pocket, it could be worth as much as £15.59.
Rarest 10p coins
9. Tea – £3.40
The rarest 10p list is largely made up of coins from the 2018 A-Z collection, which consists of 26 designs celebrating the best of British in the style of the alphabet.
Top of the list is T for Tea, in ode to the nation’s favourite drink – although it’s not clear exactly how many of these coins are in circulation.
A total of 2.6million A-Z pieces were thought to be minted in total.
If you’ve got one, the T for Tea 10p coin could fetch you £3.40, which is more than 30 times its original value.
10. Yeoman Wander – £3.50
For coin collectors with a Yeoman Wander 10p in their collection, you could be looking at making £3.50.
It isn’t a lot in reality, but like the T for Tea coin, it’s still more than 30 times its original worth.
Again, the Royal Mint hasn’t said how many of these were minted.
11. NHS – £3
It’s perhaps not surprising that the N for NHS 10p has moved up the scarcity list, given the tough year healthcare staff have had following the coronavirus crisis.
We spotted one that sold for £3 on eBay, so you can still make more than what it’s worth.
12. World Wide Web – £2.20
In a year where people are more online than ever, the W for World Wide Web 10p is the fourth rarest 10p.
Find one, and it could sell for around £2.20 on eBay.
Keep up with all the latest rare coins and notes thanks to our handy hub page.
One of the latest new 50p coins to be released features The Snowman – and it could be worth up to £174.
Need a little extra cash? You could be sitting on a fortune – if you’ve got a rare £1 coin hiding in your wallet.