Whether it’s for buying or selling, it seems that eBay is a place where many coin collectors can be found spending time. The online marketplace and auction website recently saw one 50p coin sell for a huge amount of money – with the only bidder bagging the item for a huge £500. The seller, “zekellgiya2010”, had claimed the 50 pence piece was “very rare”, and also listed a postage fee of £1.40. So, why did this 50p sell for quite so much money?
When buying coins, it could be a good idea to do your research, and seek advice from an expert.
The seller has given some information for this coin, such as posting a photo of the item.
They also added the description: “Genuine 2011 Olympic swimmer 50p coin with line’s across face – very rare.”
This means that the coin is from the 2011 Olympic and Paralympic Sports Issues.
The official name of this particular design is Aquatics, and some of these coins appear to be very collectable indeed.
The publication Spend It? Save It? What should you do?, which is by Phil Mussell and the Production Team of Coin News Magazine, sheds some light on the special 50 pence pieces.
“When the coins were first issued they came in packs and were sold through W.H.Smith, the High Street newsagent,” it explains.
These packs included the Aquatics 50p, with the swimmer seeming underwater, due to lines obscuring her face.
However, when the coins were released into general circulation, the lines on her face were no longer visible – which could have made the former design more interesting to some.
Although the exact mintage of this initial release is unknown, the so-called “underwater swimmer” coins are worth a huge amount of money.
The publication valued the “underwater swimmer” coin at £750 or more, and it’s claimed some have sold for almost £1,000 in the past.
In comparison, the coin which has a head clear of the lines has a mintage of 2,179,000, and an estimated value of £4.
Change Checker ranked this particular design at 18 on the scarcity index, making it “less common”.
Due to the low resolution of the photograph posted on eBay, it is not immediately obvious as to whether or not the face is obscured.
The item was put up for sale with a guide price of £618.
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.