You might have a valuable coin tucked away in your purse if you notice any of these crucial five tell-tale signs on your spare change, a coin expert has revealed
It’s time to dig out the loose change from your sofa cushions. Many people barely carry cash when they leave the house these days, with the rise of cashless venues and contactless payments, but most of us still have at least a few hotspots of old coins scattered around our homes.
Now an expert has revealed that some of these could be worth a “small fortune ” as cash becomes more scarcely used. There are five major things you should be on the lookout for when examining your coins that could mean they may be more valuable than it initially seems.
Coins and Currency Specialist Mat Biernacki, from Vintage Cash Cow, explains that the first sign a coin could be valuable to collectors is how rare the coin is, and you can figure this out by checking out the mintage number on the coin archive of the Royal Mint.
The lower the mintage number, the fewer coins were made, meaning it’s rarer than other coins, and is likely to be more valuable, Daily Record reports. The expert says that a smaller amount of coins being produced – or minted – can be because they were a limited edition design.
This brings us to the next tell-tale sign that you’re sitting on a valuable coin: if its design is significant historically. Special coins are sometimes minted to mark a special occasion, like King Charles’s Coronation last year, or other cultural landmarks, featuring important figures from history, the arts, and even new technologies. This type of commemorative design on your coin could mean it’s valuable because they’re often produced in smaller amounts, making collectors keen to pick them up.
The expert notes that the condition of the coin is an important indicator of whether or not it may be valuable. If it’s in bad condition, even if it is a rare coin that would normally have a higher value, it’s unlikely you would get much for it. “Generally speaking, the better the condition of the coin, the more it will be worth to a collector. In fact, a coin in perfect condition could be worth hundreds of times more than a poor-quality version of the same coin.”
“This is because antique coins in ‘mint’ (and in some cases, even presentable) condition are extremely rare. In fact, even a lower-demand coin can be worth significantly more than its average value if it’s in flawless condition,” the expert explains.
Biernacki advises also looking out for coins that are around your home that might be in high demand because of current events sparking interest in them – for instance, he notes that since “the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Demand for coins and notes featuring her portrait have soared and therefore their value has increased significantly – even in those with a relatively high mintage.”
Finally, a crucial thing to look out for in your coins that could indicate high value is if there are any errors featured on them. This might seem counter-intuitive, but Biernacki explains “Very few coins with ‘minting’ errors actually make it into circulation, as they’re spotted at the mint’s quality control before they make it into circulation.
“This means the error coins that do make it out are often incredibly rare – so if you have one in your collection, it could be worth a small fortune.” Errors in design to keep an eye out for include when the designs on each side of the coin are not aligned or appear slightly off-centre.
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