If you spot a coin that doesn’t look quite right, you may have just found something extremely rare – and valuable – in your spare change.
You may well have an error coin in your pocket – these are coins that have a fault or mistake in their design, and they’re worth a mint to collectors.
But the reason why they’re often sought-after is because they are usually hard to come by – in some cases, they are even a complete one-off.
However, there are some well-known errors where larger batches of coins were released into circulation after being minted with a mistake.
After all, the Royal Mint manufactures between three million and four million coins a day – so it’s easy to see how mistakes can happen.
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We’ve rounded up some of the most valuable error coins according to change checking website Coin Hunter.
If you’re lucky enough to stumble across all of them, they could be worth a combined £3,154.
But fakes are also out there – so be aware of scammers trying to flog counterfeit pieces online.
You can get coins verified by the Royal Mint to check they’re the real deal.
Colin Bellamy, the man behind Coin Hunter, told The Mirror: “Keep an eye out for coin errors when you receive change – look for anything different or unexpected.
“If you have a coin and you’re not sure if it’s a mint error, join a Facebook coin group such as Coin Errors and upload a picture to find out if the coin is worth more than its face value.”
Silver 2p – £1,357
You can be forgiven for thinking this 2p looks like a 10p, because it is indeed silver in colour instead of its usual copper hue.
If you happen to find a so-called “silver 2p” the rough guide price you could expect to sell it for is £600, according to Colin.
However, one of these error coins previously sold for £1,357 after former petrol station owner David Didcock discovered it among a roll of brand new pennies while filling up a till in Poole, Dorset, in 1988.
Apparently the older two pence is easy to spot in silver – so get checking your change to see if you have one.
Bronze 20p – £750
It’s well worth keeping an eye out for error coins that are the wrong colour, says Colin, as they could be worth much more than their face value.
One of the rarest ones ever found is this bronze 20p, dated found by collector Dave Crosier, which experts valued at £750.
As well as being the wrong colour, you’ll notice that the edging of the coin is more round than a typical 20p.
Experts say this happened after a 1p “blank” found its way into the presses and a 20p was accidentally struck onto it.
It’s thought that this 20p is so rare, that it could be the only one in circulation but again, it doesn’t hurt to check your change just in case.
Yellow £2 – £500
If your two pound coin looks all one colour, like the example above, it could also be worth a small fortune.
A normal £2 coin consists of an outer yellow metal nickel-brass ring and an inner steel-coloured cupro-nickel disc, but this particular error coin is all yellow in colour.
Coin Hunter gives this one, which has a date of 2007 minted on it, an estimated guide price of around £500.
Again, it is hard to say how many could possibly be in circulation.
Date error £1 – £375
This may look like a regular £1 coin, but if you look closer you’ll see the wrong date has been printed.
The design flaw is hard to spot and you may need a magnifying glass to find it.
Zoom in on the “micro dates” around the outside of the coin and you’ll see the date 2017, despite the piece being minted in 2016.
These dates should also say 2016 around the edge of the coin, instead of 2017.
An error coin such as this could be worth as much as £375, according to Colin.
Wrong way round Britannia £2 – £75
If you’ve got a coin that has been minted the “wrong way round” it could be worth far more than its face value.
This is because both sides of a coin should face the same way when turned around.
Using the example of a 2015 Britannia £2 coin, Colin says the best way to check for this error is to get your coin the right way up, then flip it like a book.
If the other side isn’t the right way up, so the Queen’s head is not facing the way it should, you have found an error.
Colin says an error Britannia coin could be worth up to £75.
Around 3.5million of these coins have been released into circulation but it isn’t clear how many could have the wrong way round fault.
Undated 20p – £57
Also known as a “mule” coin, an undated 20p is exactly what it says on the tin – it has no date printed on its design.
Thousands of 20ps are thought to have been released into circulation with this error after the Royal Mint altered its design back in 2008.
The change saw the date moved from the back of the coin to the front, next to the Queen’s head.
But in some cases, the old die was accidentally used – meaning a batch was issued with no date on either side of the coin.
If you find one, Colin estimates that it could be worth as much as £50.
We also reported on an undated 20p selling for £57 last week.
Shakespeare £2 wrong writing error – £40
If you stumble across one of these Shakespeare Tragedies £2 coins from 2016, check the writing around the outside.
The edge inscription on this coin should read “what a piece of work is a man”, but some coins have the words “for King and country” that was used for a different £2 coin.
Fine one, and it could be worth around £40, says Colin.
The Shakespeare Tragedies coin was minted to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and features an iconic skull and rose design.
It has a mintage of 5,655,000 but it’s unclear how many have the wrong inscription.
First World War £2 line error – £10
Only 650,000 of these Royal Navy coins entered circulation when they were released in 2015.
Each feature the design of a battleship on the front, but if you know what you’re looking for, you may spot something a bit off with it.
The top of the mast is usually just a line, but if it looks like a flag is flying, you have found an error coin.
Colin says one of these in your spare change could be worth as much as £10, which is still five times its face value.