[Boxing, Two Punches - image by Mik]
For as long as there have been coins, there have also been error coins. This is basically because they are manufactured by humans, and humans make mistakes, irrespective of how smart they are/think they are. No matter how advanced production machinery becomes there will always be the occasional cock-up. That’s just life.
[A Rare Double-Stamped Olympic 50p - image by Mik]
As a coin collector, the chances are that you will either have a huge interest in these oddities…. or no interest whatsoever. I’m not quite sure why, but we coinies seem to either love them or hate them.
So, here are a few examples of the ‘Marmite Phenomenon’ in numismatics -
King James Bible - £2 Pound Coin 2011
Some of these coins feature a small die bleed on part of the lettering. Not the greatest of discrepancies, but still worth a mention. Strange as it is, I have yet to come across anything about this as yet. I’m sure I am not the only person to have noticed them.
Brunel (The Man) - £2 Pound Coin 2006
Due to poor alignment during production quite a few of these escaped The Royal Mint with what appears to be ‘Two Dounds’ rather ‘Two Pounds’ at the top of the design. Not a highly sort-after mishap; more mildly amusing rather than anything else.
[£2 Partial Eclipse - image by Mik]
Gunpowder Plot - £2 Pound Coin 2005
Again, because of a lapse in standards whilst these were being made some coins slipped through with, ‘Pemember, Pemember’ around the edge. In fact, loads of these slipped the net so don’t allow anyone to convince you that there is only a small number like this.
HMS Belfast - £2 Pound Coin 2015
Another die bleed example, but a far better one. And much of this is because it occurred right where the ships’ mast is in the picture. The result of this is that it looks very much like a flag blowing in the wind. Some people apparently refer to it as ‘a cat’ on the mast. Personally I don’t think it looks one bit like a moggy and besides, what the hell would a feline be doing at the top of a ship’s mast anyhow???? The mind boggles.
[Blobby Queens - image by Mik]
Britannia - £2 Pound Coin 2015
Probably the most noteworthy of error coins at present. Whilst these were being banged out at The Mint, one of the dies worked itself free which resulted in the Queen being at the wrong angle to the reverse. Word around the campfire is that only a small number made it out…… meaning that it sells for a fairly good price.
[Mishapen 20p's - image by Mik]
Many other minting errors have been noted over the years in virtually any era or any denomination you care to name. And it doesn’t have to take very long for things to start going wrong either. In fact, when a new type of coin goes into production there is even more chance of someone dropping a clanger because of ‘teething problems’. The new pound coin is a perfect example as mistruck ones began to appear within the first few weeks of its release.
[Badly Struck £1's - image by Mik]
© Article and images (except where stated) copyright Mik Smith 2019