British Coins Early & Modern Collecting Guide

Are you a believer that there is money in old coins?  Or do you have a keen interest to learn more about collecting British coins?  It is certainly more than possible to pick up bronze Roman coins for about $2 and the 1933 British Georg V Pennyaverage Roman or Celtic coin might set you back around $60.

On the other hand, a 1933 penny would be worth a cool $50,000 simply based on their extreme rarity value.  Of course there were enough pennies in circulation pertaining to that specific year but the Mint struck first just seven sample pennies first, to test the dies.  A total of three of these went into the cornerstones of buildings and another three currently reside in museums which leaves just one out there somewhere, remaining.  If you were fortunate enough to come across this specific one penny, count yourself rich, for it would be worth a great deal of money!

Coin collecting as you likely are aware has undergone it’s own problems and obstacles with the British two pence coinintroduction a while ago with decimalisation.  In times gone by you could sometimes find a scarce coin in your change, but today this is rather unlikely to happen.  However, one does get to read or hear about the odd case.  By way of example, in 1982 they changed the legend or the wording around the outer edge of the coin from ‘New Pence’ to whatever the actual denomination of the coin was.  In good old fashioned British cock up history there was a slight mix up (some things never change).  In one or two Royal Mint collectors’ packs the two pence piece had the old reverse side, in other words, ‘tails’ with a new ‘obverse’ side for the ‘heads’ side.  So it actually said ‘New Pence’ on a 1983 coin.  These British coins are now worth between $500 – $1000 each.

In the year 2006 the most expensive British coin was sold for a cool $920,000.  This was an exceedingly scarce Edward lll gold Double Leopard from 1344 presented in absolutely exquisite condition.  Gold, although it does not tarnish, is still very soft.  If this coin had been clean, it would have most certainly ruined it altogether.  The last thing you want to do with a coin like that, and possibly damaging it greatly is cleaning it, thereby taking a thin layer off the top.  Gold’s close companion on the other hand, Silver, or more to the point, silver coins do tarnish, they get what is commonly referred to as a ‘bloom’ or patina, this is a black or purple hue, which can actually be rather beautiful.

Personally speaking, we quite like the design of most British coins, American coins are not so bad either, however the European coins which are now in use are particularly uninspiring to look at and admire.  Aesthetically speaking the newish Euro currency coins are totally uninspiring and lack imagination.

Here presented are five UK coins that you might wish to keep on the look out for.  Commemorative coins Entente Cordiale 2004 Five Pound Commemorative Coinare legally issued versions of currency with a design which is a limited edition, with a particular emphasis upon a memorable event or a most worthy individual or person.

In 2004 a five pound coin was issued, the Entente Cordiale, this was to mark the centenary of the agreement between the countries of France and the United kingdom.

Also from 2004 was the Richard Trevithick two pound coin, to mark the bicentenary of the first railway steam locomotive invented by Trevithick in the county of Cornwall.

Another two pound coin is the Euro 96 to mark the UEFA Euro 96 football tournament held in England.

2005 gave us The Dictionary a fifty pence coin to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the publication of Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language.

One of the latest British coins to look out for is again a two pound coin released in the year 2007 to commemorate the bicentennial of the Slave Trade Act.

Written by Mark P Andrews, for Coin Collector Guide, Copyright 2008

British Coins

Image of British Coins Market Values 2010

British Coins Market Values 2010

Image of The Standard Guide to Grading British Coins: Modern Milled British Pre-decimal Issues (1797 to 1970)

The Standard Guide to Grading British Coins: Modern Milled British Pre-decimal Issues (1797 to 1970)



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3 Responses to “British Coins Early & Modern Collecting Guide”
  1. Shane Harte says:

    I have a mint condition euro 96 £2 coin…is it worth anything now?

  2. Ken O Flaherty says:

    i have one of these coins that i found on a walk once in the country side of Ireland
    Glendree,
    Feakle,
    Co.Clare,
    Ireland.
    well its not in great condition but you can just make out the writing around the side of the coin and the roman warrior on the back i can slightly make out a 1933 on the bottom i was wondering if there was a way to clean it with out leaving damage. also it was found on an old back road that was dug up at the sides i’m guessing thats where it came from
    thank you,
    Ken,.

  3. eryn dennehy says:

    I have two, 2 ‘ new pence ‘ coins, they are in good condition, one is from 1971 and the other 1981, any ideas of what its worth?

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