A Paddington Bear 50p coin sold on eBay last week for a whopping £1,120. The coin was described as “extremely rare” and attracted 13 bids, raising the price to £1,120 from a starting price of £50. Is it really rare?
The coin was listed by eBay user “Jessim8”, who wrote of the piece: “In circulation, only a few have been released so extremely rare and are selling for £300 onwards.”
They added: “In perfect condition, shiny & is great to add or to begin a collection. Don’t miss out & place your bid today, this coin could be worth so much more in the future.” [sic]
The coin in question is the Paddington at St. Paul’s Cathedral coin.
While the mintage of the coin is unknown, there are various clues as to how rare it really is.
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Paddington Bear 50p coin: Sells for £1,120 on eBay after bidding war – why is it so rare?
Paddington Bear 50p coin: The coin was described as “extremely rare” and attracted 13 bids
For example, coin expert site Coinhunter estimates it’s collector value to be just £1.
It states: “£1.00 is a mid-point price for Paddington at St Paul’s 50p coins marked as sold on eBay UK.
“The price range for a good condition circulated example of this 50p coin is between £0.99 and £1.20.”
Another clue that the coin is not as rare as this eBay user may claim is that Brilliant Uncirculated versions can be bought on The Royal Mint site for just £10.
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Brilliant Uncirculated versions of coins are more valuable than circulated coins such as the one in the advertisement.
While the Paddington at St Pauls 2019 Brilliant Uncirculated 50p coins on the Royal Mint site are “awaiting stock”, there will be more available and the coin is not of a limited run.
What is more, even more valuable versions such as the silver proof version of the coin is still available for £65 are still in stock, and these are limited edition.
The coins are officially worth 50p, however, some will pay more for them online.
Paddington Bear 50p coin: The coin in question is the Paddington at St. Paul’s Cathedral coin
Some coins in circulation sell for large sums, but only those which are truly rare, with a low mintage.
The mintage of these coins will not be known until Royal Mint releases the official figure, which it is unlikely to do for some time.
Until then, and the collector’s value of the coin is pure guesswork.
Another coin that is selling for large sums online is the Brexit 50p coin.
There have been some genuine eBay listings made, with a number of bids worth thousands.
One coin listed for £1,751 has seen six bids made on it so far.
Another, listed for £1,480 has 14 bids made one it.
Which are the rarest £1, £2, 50p, 20p, 10p and 2p coins?
Rarest £2 coins
The rarest £2 coin is the 2002 Commonwealth Games NI coin with 485,500 in circulation. This is followed by the 2002 Commonwealth Games Wales which has 588,500 in circulation.
Next up is the 2015 Navy, and there are 650,000 in circulation.
Rarest £1 coins
The most rare £1 coins are all part of a series celebrating the British capitals.
The rarest of these is the 2011 Edinburgh coin, with 935,000 in circulation. Of the 2011 Cardiff coins there are 1,615,000 in circulation, while the 2010 London coin has 2,635,000 in circulation.
Rarest 50p coin
The rarest 50p coin is the Kew Gardens coin, which is also the rarest coin in circulation. It there were only 210,000 minted.
The football Olympic 50p coin has 1,125,500 in circulation, and the wrestling coin has 1,129,500 in circulation.
It is not so easy to evaluate the rarest 20p coins, 10p coins and even 2p coins as exact circulation figures are not known.
However, various versions of the coins are known to sell for large sums.
These include the dateless 20ps, which are actually part of a run from 2008. There may be between 50,000 and 200,000 of these coins in circulation.
The 1983 ‘New Pence’ 2p coin can also sell for a huge sum, up to £650.