Marketplace Expert: Coins could be worth searching your pockets for

Despite the fact that you always have a few in your pocket, coins can be amongst the most profitable commodities on eBay. Unlike other high value goods on eBay or other bidding sites, there’s every chance that you could come across an expensive coin in your handful of change.

You never know when you might come across a pound coin worth a mint, so you’ve always got to keep an eye out for likely quids, along with the two pound and 50p coins that can also sell for a healthy sum. You’ve got to know what you’re looking for however, which is what we’re here to help out with.

Since Fastlane works with businesses around the world, we know about currencies of all shapes and sizes. We know our pence from our shillings, so we decided to break down some of the most common coins you could flop on eBay.

Making a mint with commemorative coins

The first place to start when searching your pockets for some worthwhile coinage, commemorative coins are released by the Royal Mint to celebrate or acknowledge notable dates or events around the UK. From anniversaries – such as the Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee – to homages to beloved characters like Peter Rabbit, there are dozens of unique – and limited run – coins that may have passed through your pocket.

There are a handful of commemorative coins that get huge returns on investment, including a selection of city specific one pound coins. It is the Edinburgh City pound coins that fetch the highest prices, but both the Cardiff and London City variations also fetch upwards of £20 per coin. If that sounds too much like small change, cross your fingers for a 2011 Kew Gardens 50p, which commonly fetches over £100 on eBay.

Pressing mistakes that pay off big

If you’re the type to take your magnifying glass to your favourite coins, then there are big rewards awaiting you. One of the most common reasons for a coin to leap in value is the discovery of a pressing error – which can happen very quickly indeed. For example, one 2016 pound coin is already making waves thanks to a printing error that mistakenly suggests that the coin is from both 2016 and 2017. These are extremely rare and highly collectible, so you can expect to get top dollar for one online.

Another reason to closely inspect your change comes in the form of an Olympic special – specifically the swimming version, which changed design after several hundred were already in circulation. If you happen to have the early version – featuring water above the swimmer’s face – your coin could be worth as much as £3,000.

There are other pressing mistakes – like a mis-strike, which puts the design on the coin out of alignment on the face of the coin – which could increase the value of your coins. It’s vital to keep an eye out for these little mistakes and, if you’re selling online, document them.

Buried treasure or ancient history

For almost as long as people have called London home, the UK has used coins. There are hundreds of years of history to the UK’s money, and having just one or two artefacts of that history can prove very lucrative.

There are many varieties of old coins that, when they are in good condition, can be highly collectible, but selling antique coins come with its own set of problems. Many such coins are only valuable if they are properly valuated and authenticated, which can severely impact profit margins for a small business.

Equally, antique coins can be difficult to generate interest for, and fall into specific niches that must be properly catered for. The rewards for doing so are rich, but can be too high a mountain to scale for businesses or individuals just getting started.

Are my coins even worth selling?

And antique coins are not the only coins that require good condition in order to be of value. There are several categories of condition in which a coin might be sold, and knowing the difference between a Proof coin and one that is simply uncirculated could prove the difference between a small and a large payday.

There are three broad strokes for grading coins: Circulated, Uncirculated and Proof. Proof coins are generally special – they are often made of a unique material like silver, or come in a special edition set. Uncirculated coins, on the other hand, are simply in superb condition. These are not uncirculated in the most literal sense of the word, but have seldom changed hands and, as such, are free of scratches or other blemishes.

Circulated coins are the most common that you will come across – after all, these are the coins that have been used to pay for goods, that you might receive as change or find down the back of the couch. That’s not necessarily an issue however – a rare circulated coin could still be valuable.

One important factor in deciding whether it is worth selling your coins is the fact that, for some carriers and countries, coins are a restricted item. That means that it could be difficult to ship or transport your goods to your customers, so be sure to do your research before shipping your coins.

As ever, if you are thinking about selling your coins, it’s best to do more research. Fastlane can give you the basics, but the specifics are vital to turning a good profit, and shouldn’t be neglected. However, now you know what to look out for when you get a handful of change and you never know – you could make some more money because of it.

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