Proof you can find treasure in your change! Why this ‘silver’ 2p coin could fetch more than 50,000 times its face value

Start digging: The coin could fetch a tidy sum at auction according an expert

A ‘silver’ two pence coin discovered by a This is Money reader in change two years ago is likely to be worth more than 50,000 times its face value if sold at auction, we can reveal.

Rick Gardner, a 36 year-old accountant from Bristol, sent in details of the coin after his partner, Carly, discovered it in her change from a shop in 2015, proving that there is treasure to be found in your change and coin jars.

The pair assumed it was a fake so left it gathering dust – until they saw a story about a silver 2p which was found in a Royal Legion tin.

That coin eventually sold at auction for a huge £1,350 last June. Another similar silver 2p coin was sold at auction for £1,357 in 2014, while another made £802 in an online auction in 2015.

Mr Gardner sent the coin to Royal Mint for checking. It says it used ‘x-ray fluorescent spectrometry’ to check the coin and confirmed it is made from cupro-nickel, rather than copper-plated steel.

The letter from the Royal Mint – which This is Money has seen – goes on to add: ‘What looks to have happened is that a blank intended for another coin has become mixed in with 2p blanks and has been struck by 2p dies in the usual way.

‘Whether such coin will be of special value to a collector is a matter on which you will need to consult a professional coin dealer.’

Cheers! Claire and Rick discovered the ‘silver’ 2p coin in their change – and it could fetch a tidy sum at an auction

Mr Gardner says he has contacted the British Numismatic Trade Association, as recommended in the letter, but all of his local dealers only deal in gold, silver or ancient coins – and he has hit a stumbling block as to who to get to value it.

Yasmin Britton from website Change Checker, said: ‘As the Royal Mint have confirmed the cupro-nickel 2p coin as a genuine error, it is likely to sell at auction for the same or close to £1,350 like the other error 2ps have.

‘In regards to auctioning the coin, it will probably be best to list it privately. It’s likely to attract a lot of interest buyers considering the publicity and interest around the other coins.’

Heads and tails: The ‘silver’ 2p is dated 1999 – and the Royal Mint has confirmed the error This is only the fourth instance of a similar 2p mistake happening in recent years.

Their rarity means they are highly sought after by collectors, who love to snap up coins with mistakes which are rare at the Royal Mint.

This is Money has sent details to a number of specialist auction house for the couple to potentially sell the coin at – and will let us know what it sells for if they choose to list it.

Coin collecting has seen a boom in popularity in recent years. Earlier in the week, the Royal Mint revealed four new Beatrix Potter inspired coins which add to the collection of four others launched last year.

At one point, the Royal Mint website had a queue system, which was more than a hour and 50,000 people long.

There are number of other coins which can turn up in your change worth far more than face value.

A Kew Gardens 50p can sell for up to £50 at auction as just 210,000 of them were minted – far lower than the usual run for a coin.

In 2008, the Royal Mint launched a Royal Shield of Arms series of coins.

A mistake means an unknown number of the 136 million 20p coins printed between 2008 and 2009 do not have the date stamped on them – these can fetch up to £100.

Additionally, all 2p coins minted before 1982 should say ‘new pence’. Those minted after this date should say ‘two pence’.

But an error in 1983 means there are a small number of 2p coins from that year which say ‘new pence’. These can sell for up to £500.

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