Faulty coins worth up to £1,000 – do you own one?

A recent auction fetched £1,000 for a £2 coin with a ‘rare’ error on it. How can you spot these coins and how much could you get for them?

Group of Coin stacks on a white background
(Image credit: MILANTE)

If you have any spare change lying around, it’s worth checking if any of them are faulty, as your coins could be worth hundreds of pounds. 

Error coins are scarce, just like vinyl collectables or rare Barbie doll collections, which boosts its value due to the rarity and levels of demand.

It follows a mistake made on a 2014 Lord Kitchener £2 coin which sold for £1,000 last week (on 14 February) at the RWB Auction. 

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The Royal Mint confirmed that the faulty £2 coin lacked the words ‘Two Pounds’ from the reverse of the coin- so its actual value is missing. 

This makes it the rarest error coin in circulation, which has also been authenticated by The Royal Mint Museum and comes with an official signed letter- suggesting that it could fetch you a good sum.

Find out how to spot the £2 error coin, how much it could be worth and if any other faulty coins are in circulation. 

What does the £2 error coin look like? 

The 2014 minted £2 coin was issued with an image of Field Marshall Kitchener and a recruiting poster stating “Your Country Needs You’. 

It was released to mark 100 years since the outbreak of World War One. 

Although the coin itself is not significant, if it is missing the value ‘Two Pounds’ on the reverse of the coin, it could be worth keeping as it would become a scarce coin- meaning its value could rise. 

How many of these coins are in circulation? 

According to The Royal Mint, 5,720,000 First World War Outbreak £2 coins entered circulation at the time of release in 2014. 

MoneyWeek asked The Royal Mint how many are currently in circulation. 

It confirmed, “There is no way to track how many error coins entered circulation at the time of mintage,” as the faulty coins were made at the time of production.  

“The chance of encountering any UK coin with an error is exceptionally low,” The Royal Mint adds. 

That said, it does not dismiss that there could be more of these coins circulating. 

A previous report of the same error coin was found in March 2020 which sold for £500 at Lockdales Auctioneers. 

How much could these coins be worth? 

Just like other collectables, the value of the coin will depend on various factors, for example its scarcity, the condition of the coin and what it's made of to name a few. 

Rebecca Morgan, director of commemorative coins at The Royal Mint, says: “If people are looking to sell a coin on the secondary market, and the coin has an unusually low mintage, then it might sell for higher than its face value.”

It’s also important to do your research first- know how many of the same type of coins are circulating. If you’re not sure, you can ask an expert in the field. 

The condition of the coin plays a part in its value too. “The closer to ‘mint Condition’ (the condition it was in when it came off the production line at The Royal Mint) the higher value it could be,” Morgan adds. 

To give you an idea, the most recent auction sold the rare £2 error coin for £1,000- that’s double what it sold for back in 2020 at a different auction. 

Are there other error coins in circulation? 

Whilst the First World War outbreak £2 coin has been named one of the rarest error coins, there are other faulty ones in circulation that could fetch you some decent money.  

Error coins

1990 20p coin

The 20p coin is plated on a bronze 1p style coin. The signed letter from The Royal Mint describes the faulty coin as “underweight, and features slightly rounded edges consistent with the blank being unsuitable in size for the collar in which it was struck.” The coin sold for around £200 at auction. 

2016 £1 error coin

The more recent £1 error coin consists of two dates- the year 2016 on the obverse of the coin and 2017 on the reverse which is micro-engraved on the rim. The faulty coin has previously fetched around £200. 

2009 50p Kew Gardens coin

Not so much an error, but the rare 50p coin was issued in 2009 to commemorate the 250th birthday of London’s Kew Gardens. 210,000 of these coins entered circulation at the time of mintage, but according to The Royal Mint, these coins were removed from circulation when found by collectors- making it one of the most scarce 50p coins out there. This one has fetched between £300 to £700. 

What to do if you find an error coin

If you come across a rare faulty coin, it’s worth getting it authenticated by The Royal Mint. After it verifies the coin, you will get an official letter describing the errors on the coin. 

If you’re not sure whether you’re dealing with a real or fake coin, rather than going straight to the Royal Mint, you can verify it first with a coin expert or a reputable auction firm. 

Vaishali Varu
Staff Writer

Vaishali has a background in personal finance and a passion for helping people manage their finances. As a staff writer for MoneyWeek, Vaishali covers the latest news, trends and insights on property, savings and ISAs.

She also has bylines for the U.S. personal finance site Kiplinger.com and Ideal Home, GoodTo, inews, The Week and the Leicester Mercury

Before joining MoneyWeek, Vaishali worked in marketing and copywriting for small businesses. Away from her desk, Vaishali likes to travel, socialise and cook homely favourites