[EEC Presidency 50p - image by Mik]
Even when you have a fair old bit of knowledge, it is still easy to overlook certain coins. And much of this is down to how often certain ones are actually mentioned. So whilst everyone else has their sights fixed on the likes of Commonwealth Northern Ireland or Jemima Puddleduck why not sit back and ponder on anything you may have missed?
Here are a few lesser known cupro-nickel and nickel-brass nuggets that are well worth a second look -
EEC Presidency 50p
If you ask someone which fifty pence is the rarest one of all then you are likely to get ‘Kew Gardens’ as an answer. And as far as circulating coins go this is absolutely true. But if you are to include the large old style fifty pence pieces, then there is another which is far, far rarer.
Having a mintage of only 109,000, this coin is almost TWICE as scarce as Kew. With its unique dual date (1992/1993), it was issued to celebrate the UK's presidency of the European Council of Ministers. Since it is now no longer in circulation, it is obviously far more difficult to track down. But fear not, there are still a few of these treasures for sale online.
As far as coin designs go, this is a rather strange one. Basically it features a birds-eye view of a conference table with twelve chairs around it. The table itself has twelve stars representing each member of the EEC.
Quite clever once you understand what it’s all about.
The Great Fire of London £2
Originally, The Royal Mint told us that 5,135,000 of these coins went out into circulation. Not uber rare, but perhaps a little thin on the ground. However, earlier this year, they suddenly announced that they had ‘made a mistake’ and there were actually only 1,625,000 out there. Needless to say, many people are now starting to get themselves in a bit of a tiz if they don’t already have a Great Fire. And understandably so, as these coins will no doubt begin to vanish now that their scarcity has been made public knowledge.
Just as an aside, how the hell did The Royal Mint drop such an almighty boo boo???? I mean, a difference of 3,510,000 coins is pretty substantial. It isn’t as if we are talking about a discrepancy of a few hundred here.
All seems a little suss to me…..
Battle of Britain 50p, Magna Carta £2 and HMS Belfast £2
Out of these three coins, HMS Belfast will normally prove the most difficult one to acquire…. But were you aware that each of these coins was released with two different portraits of the Queen? Yup, a fourth portrait minting and a fifth. A bit of research will tell you how these are easily identifiable simply by noting where the date is situated on each coin.
Depending on how finicky you are with your collection, you may want to look into this further….. But be warned, picking up fourth portrait editions will probably set you back a few quid.
© Article and images (where stated) copyright Mik Smith 2019