Rare 50p error coin sells for £550 on eBay – how to spot it

Rare 50p error coin sells for £550 on eBay – how to spot it

A RARE 50p error coin has sold for an impessive £550 on eBay after bidders fought tooth and nail to claim it for their own.

Coin collectors were so keen to get their hands on the rare artifact, as proven by the 36 bids placed in record time, that they rocketed its worth by over 1000 times its face value.


It only took five days for the originally 99p listing to soar to £550 – 15 different bidders got stuck in, and it's all because there's a fault in the coin's design.

The coin was struck three times and in a way that makes both sides look a bit like two coins are overlapping.

The error means that you can hardly make out the design on either the reverse or obverse, so there's not much to see of the Queen's head or the seated Britannia design.

Something has likely gone wrong in the minting process meaning after it was struck once, the coin hasn't been ejected so it received another strike that it shouldn't have.

Without the design mistakes the coin would otherwise like sell at face value – just 50p.

Despite its flaws though, the original seller dubbed this listing "a very nice coin."

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They said: "This was one of my very first major errors. I bought it from a retired American dealer and it comes from a time where errors were less frequently found – and this error is almost certainly unique."

Usually error coins will have missing elements, like the rare commemorative WW1 £2 coin spotted months back missing the words "two pounds", or the design printed may be misaligned as well.

But collectors are willing to pay higher prices to get their hands on one as they are so rare.

But experts will often warn of fakes – especially when it comes to buying and selling on eBay – so you have to be careful when you're on the hunt.

Alexandra Siddons, coins expert at Change Checker said: "From the images provided on the original eBay listing – I would say this coin is a genuine UK legal tender issue.

"It’s just slightly different because the blank may have been misaligned during production. Collectors can always send their coins to The Royal Mint Museum to be inspected for any ‘error’ qualities."

She said: "In the case of this 50p, it’s possible the blank used in the striking process was misaligned or perhaps got stuck, resulting in a double-strike.

"Therefore, this is more likely to be a mis-strike as a result of mass production, rather than an ‘error’."

The Royal Mint manufactures between three million and four million coins a day, so often things will go wrong – that only means you're more likely to be up for the chance of spotting one in your own change, meaning you could be quids-in.

How to spot one

Error coins are still legal tender, so you might have even spent one on a snack from the corner shop in the past, or slot a valuable copy through the vending machine at work.

Not to worry though, there's a chance another could fall into your lap.

If you spot a coin that looks different to normal or is imperfect, you can check it against other listings on eBay to see how much others are selling or willing to pay for a similar strike.

Usually you can determine if something is the real deal by the number of bidders who were willing to stake their claim on it.

We've often seen bidding wars break out on the most highly sought-after copies.

But a buyer can always pull out of the sale, which means it won't have sold for the price that it may say it has.

Change experts like Coin Hunter or Change Checker will help you verify if it's real too, and they can help place a value on the coin that might put some weight in your wallet.

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