Royal Mint may start dealing in rare coins

Takes stake in valuation firm


British coins over blurred background.  One and two pound coins.

If you're scratching your head over whether one of the coins in your purse is rare and valuable, you may soon be able to ask the Royal Mint for help.

It's decided it would like to move into the coin-collecting market and, says Antiques Trade Gazette, has bought a stake in Mayfair coin dealership Sovereign Rarities.

See also: Do you have one of these valuable £2 coins?

See also: 10 surprisingly valuable coins in your wallet: the ones you don't know about

It's the first time that the Royal Mint has bought into a coin dealer; and it's refusing to give any details, saying only that it will in future be able to offer 'a wide range of historic coins across all periods of British coin production'.

Sovereign Rarities mostly values and sells 19th and 20th century coins, although it does handle historic coins too.

"We have a great deal of experience in both researching and cataloguing and have been responsible for a number of world record prices," says the firm.

"We are always keen to buy either single numismatic items or whole collections, and are able to offer direct purchase, auction, or private treaty."

Taking a stake in the firm is a clever move for the Mint, allowing it to take some of the profit from sales of coins which it generally produced in the first place.

"The collaboration with Sovereign Rarities Limited supports the strategic direction in which The Royal Mint is keen to progress," Anne Jessopp, director of consumer coin at the Royal Mint, tells the Sun.

"Both our businesses will be working to accelerate opportunities within this specialist area."

There are currently plenty of places to get coins valued and sold, but none with quite the history of the Mint itself. If you think you may have a rarity, your first point of call might well be a website like ChangeChecker or Check Your Change.

And over the last year, we've listed some of the rarities and errors that can make the coin in your pocket worth way more than its face value. There's a list of some of the more valuable 'error' coins here, for example, with the most valuable £2 coins here and £1 coins here.

But be warned: coins are usually only valuable to collectors if they're in perfect condition - and many wrong-looking coins are simply fakes.

Incredibly valuable coins

Incredibly valuable coins