The Royal Mint in the U.K. has over eight centuries of experience under its belt. Yet even the best coining operations occasionally make errors. When they do, you had better bet that collectors are searching for those rarities!
Currently, the hottest error-coin craze in Britain centers around £2 coins dated 2015. Thousands of these coins were issued with a rare mint error that has to do with the alignment or orientation of the dies used to strike the pieces.
Her Majesty, Upside Down
Approximately 3,500 (or roughly 1 in every 200) of the 2015 £2 coins are believed to be in circulation with this rotation error, demonstrated above. The Queen’s effigy is rotated about 150 degrees on the obverse, almost completely upside down, relative to the image of Britannia on the coin’s reverse.
This is only one of many rare errors or special commemorative coins that make their way into circulation (whether intended or not) in Great Britain. In fact, this sort of “hunting” through one’s change is far more commonplace in the U.K. than in the States. The country even has its own “Change Checker” website to inform collectors and the public about what to look for!
Quid Gets a Makeover
The year after these error coins were issued (2015), the mint introduced a new design for the £1 coin, giving it a bimetallic composition and a novel 12-sided (dodecagonal) surface. You can see some other features of the new coin design below.
“Quid” is the traditional nickname for a one-pound note, and has been transferred to £1 coins. Interestingly, £2 coins are commonly nicknamed “beer tokens” because most pints of beer in Britain cost £2.
One of the purposes of the new £1 design is that it will deter counterfeiting by making the coin harder to replicate. It’s estimated that millions of pounds worth of counterfeit coins of this denomination are floating around Great Britain, making it a real problem for the Royal Mint to tackle.
The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.