The 10p in your pocket could be worth many times its face value

It may be one of the most modest coins in the kingdom, but the smaller nickel-plated steel 10p, introduced in September 1992, can be worth much more than face value, with some selling for as much as £11 each.

Although most coins in circulation are worth no more than their face value – in this case 10 pence – the rarest ones will be worth well beyond that. Some collectors are willing to pay several times the face value if they are particularly keen on completing a set.

These coins include those with rare designs on the reverse – or tails – of the coin. However, high prices can be paid for coins issued that contain errors forged during their manufacture.

In the case of 10ps, among the rarest are the “A to Z” Best of British range, issued between 2018 and 2019, it is reported.

As the name suggests, the coins featured a letter of the alphabet, as well as a design representing that letter. They were offered for sale at the Royal Mint for £2 each – 20 times their face value, but they are no longer available, increasing their potential value. Complete sets of the part are advertised for sale on Amazon for £111.

T – £7

The 10p ‘T’ coin celebrated the good old British cup of tea

The “A” piece launched the collection with a depiction of the Angel of the North. The “T” piece represented the good old British cup of tea. The ‘F’ coin celebrates fish and chips, while the ‘N’ is an acknowledgment of the work of the National Health Service.

In 2018, 220,000 coins of each coin were minted. But when the coins were reissued in 2019, 20 of the letters only had 84,000, making them rarer and more valuable. The remaining five coins of 2019 were printed in runs of 83,000 for ‘Q’, 64,000 for ‘R’ and 63,000 for ‘W’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’.

Here are six more of the rarest 10ps and what they typically fetch on the market.

R – £14

10p 'Y' coin honors yeoman watchmen of the Tower of London
10p ‘Y’ coin honors yeoman watchmen of the Tower of London

This 10p has a design that features the robin perched inside the loop of the ‘R’.

The coin was the rarest on the market in November, according to collectors and exchangers website Change Checker. On Amazon, a gold-plated Ten Pence Brilliant Uncirculated ‘R’ coin was available for £16.90.

Y and Z – £11

10p 'Y' coin honors yeoman watchmen of the Tower of London
10p ‘Y’ coin honors yeoman watchmen of the Tower of London

The “Y” piece celebrated the guardians of the Tower of London.

The ‘Z’ version had a design that marked another British icon – the zebra crossing, first installed in Slough, Berkshire, in 1951.

W- £10

10p coin 'W' stretches a canvas with a nod to Sir Tim Berners-Lee
10p coin ‘W’ stretches a canvas with a nod to Sir Tim Berners-Lee

The ‘W’ piece had a slightly misleading cobweb design, but actually hailed Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s invention of the World Wide Web.

Q – £6

10p coin 'Q' gently pokes fun at Britain's great pastime of queuing
10p coin ‘Q’ gently pokes fun at Britain’s great pastime of queuing

The ‘Q’ coin has a lighthearted design to mark another great British institution – the art of queuing.

How to know if a coin has value

Despite the fact that most coins are only worth their face value, it’s worth taking a closer look at the change in your pocket, because if it looks unusual in any way, it could be the first sign that can be valuable.

A Change Checker spokesperson said: “Any coin that is of particular interest to collectors, perhaps it has a low mintage, a specific error or erroneous minting detail, or its design bears a popular, may have a higher value than others.”

It could mean it has a special design on one side or it has an obvious mistake.

Change Checker has a guide this can help you determine if a piece is valuable to a collector – or if it’s best spent in a store instead.

How to sell a coin of value

If you think you have a valuable coin, one option is to sell it online on auction sites such as eBay. According to the website, these are the most sought after and valuable British coins today:

  • 973 50 pence EEC coin – £3,000.
  • London Olympics 2012 Aquatics Fifty Pence – £1,500.
  • 1983 “New Pence” two pence coin – £500.
  • 2015 Silver Two Pence Coin – £485.
  • 2009 Kew Gardens fifty pence coin – £170.

However, you may want to have a professional assessment, and members of the British Nuisic Trade Association may be able to help and perhaps sell them on your behalf.

Do you have a 10p alphabet? Tell us in the comments below

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