Malmesbury, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via TheLADbible and Daily Mail
Poppy Appeal collectors in the English city of Malmesbury in Wiltshire county found themselves a small windfall after a ‘fake’ coin that was deposited in one of their charity collection boxes turned out to be a rare minting error that sold for £1,350 at a recent auction.
Volunteers working for the British Royal Legion were sifting through the takings from a street collection appeal for ex-service personnel when they stumbled across a 2-pence coin that was silver-coloured, instead of the usual copper. Convinced it was a badly-done fake or a joke, the Legion charity workers sent it to a bank to be destroyed.
The Royal Mint, which is responsible for minting the United Kingdom’s coinage, however confirmed that far from being a criminal mastermind’s idea of a bad joke, the silver 2-pence piece was in fact an unusual minting error, caused by a blank for a 10-pence piece, usually now made of nickel-clad steel, being mistakenly struck with a die intended for 2-pence coins, so in essence, this coin was a 10-pence in the ‘clothes’ of a 2-pence. The coin, due to its circumstantial appearance in circulation and the fact that the Royal Mint rarely make such money mistakes, meant it was a highly-prized talk of the town among numismatists.
Local Legion branch chairman Richard Tilney said of the coin’s sale “The Legion has a corporate partner who sells old medals and coins, and they are going to take it off our hands for a handsome price.
The Poppy Appeal is very dear to our hearts and it would be fantastic to get the money to the right place”
The rare item was sold at auction and purchased by coin collectors’ company The Westminster Collection for £1,350, of which the Royal British Legion received £1349.98 profit on a donation of only £0.02.
According to UK newspaper Daily Mail, a similar misstrike issued in 1988 was sold in 2014 for more than £1,350 and coinage error market experts say that similar errors can sell for up to £2,000 to niche coin collectors.