The auction website eBay is the place many people go to in order to sell their loose change. With many of the items dubbed “rare”, some sellers list the coins for huge sums of money, which can spark interest as to why they’re so expensive. Whenever you’re buying a coin online, it could be a good idea to do your research and possibly even seek advice from an expert. Recently, one eBay user, “wizardbuys” revealed they would be selling their “genuine, rare” Kew Gardens 50p coin for an astounding amount – but why does it have such a large price tag?
The item has been posted on the site with a Buy It Now price of £350.
However, the seller has also put the item up for auction – with a starting price of £85.
With more than six days to go, there are currently no bids on the item – meaning the coin has not met its reserve price.
The eBay user has described the 50 pence piece as both “genuine” and “rare”, as well as “unique”.
What is known about this coin, and is it really rare?
Issued by the Royal Mint in 2009, this coin marks the 250th Anniversary of Kew Gardens in London.
With a mintage of 210,000, this 50p ranks at 100 on Change Checker’s scarcity index – making it scarce.
And, according to the publication Spend it? Save it? What should you do?, which was written by Phil Mussell and the Production Team of Coin News, it could have a value of £100.
So, while the item may not quite be worth £350, it seems that there is demand out there for the Kew Gardens design.
When buying coins on eBay, it’s a good idea to remember that it’s the seller who sets the price tag.
This means that while some items can be listed for a whopping amount of money, that doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s how much they’re worth.
Issuing a warning, the publication explained that coins listed for thousands of pounds more than they’re worth can make those listed for slightly more than their actual value seem like a bargain.
“Sometimes, what happens is someone will list a coin for £1,000 knowing they won’t sell it, but then list a similar coin for a much lower price – say £25,” the book explains.
”It won’t even be worth the £25 but as someone has seen it online for £1,000 they think £25 is a bargain and they buy it.”
However, this 2016 release has a mintage of 6,700,000, and is considered common on the Change Checker scarcity index.
Which are the rarest £1, £2, 50p, 20p, 10p and 2p coins?
Rarest £2 coins
The rarest £2 coin is the 2002 Commonwealth Games NI coin with 485,500 in circulation. This is followed by the 2002 Commonwealth Games Wales which has 588,500 in circulation.
Next up is the 2015 Navy, and there are 650,000 in circulation.
Rarest £1 coins
The most rare £1 coins are all part of a series celebrating the British capitals.
The rarest of these is the 2011 Edinburgh coin, with 935,000 in circulation. Of the 2011 Cardiff coins there are 1,615,000 in circulation, while the 2010 London coin has 2,635,000 in circulation.
Rarest 50p coin
The rarest 50p coin is the Kew Gardens coin, which is also the rarest coin in circulation. It there were only 210,000 minted.
The football Olympic 50p coin has 1,125,500 in circulation, and the wrestling coin has 1,129,500 in circulation.
It is not so easy to evaluate the rarest 20p coins, 10p coins and even 2p coins as exact circulation figures are not known.
However, various versions of the coins are known to sell for large sums.
These include the dateless 20ps, which are actually part of a run from 2008. There may be between 50,000 and 200,000 of these coins in circulation.
The 1983 ‘New Pence’ 2p coin can also sell for a huge sum, up to £650.