With the recent release of the new £5 notes and the imminent updates to the £1 coin, there’s been a lot of noise around securing currency that’s worth more than it says on the tin. Certain notes and coins are particularly valuable to collectors, which means coming across them in your spare change could bring you a substantial windfall if you can find the right buyer. But what should you be looking out for? And how can you get your hands on them?
The rare and expensive ones
When new currency is released, it is issued with a date and number, to show when it was issued and what batch it belongs to. For the new five pound notes, you should be looking out for a serial number beginning with AA01, with the number following it being quite low to ensure a good price in exchange. Notes with serial numbers beginning in this sequence are more valuable as they belong to the first batches of printed notes and are therefore incredibly rare. Notes with serial numbers such as these could sell for thousands, though if you have notes beginning with AA02 these can still be sold for around £20 on eBay.
There are also a fair few coins that are worth breaking your piggy bank for, with commemorative coins being top of the list for ones worth a few bob. The Kew Gardens 50p celebrating 250 years of the gardens, The Peter Rabbit 50p, the 2002 Northern Irish Commonwealth Games and the 1983 New Pence 2ps are all worth a lot more than their mint value to collectors.
Use cash, not card
It’s easy to use a card for all the impromptu purchases you need to make in the week, especially as carrying a small rectangle of plastic is much easier and lighter than having pockets full of jangling change! However, if you’re hoping to get hold of rare and expensive coins and notes as and when they’re released, then paying on plastic isn’t going to do you any favours, so leave your card at home and stick to physical cash to maximise your chances.
Sticking to cash can also help you to save money as you’ll be more mindful of your spending. It’s easy to let a budget that you’ve set for yourself slip when you spend on a card, and often only spend small amounts. Withdrawing physical cash at the start of the week can help you stick to a weekly budget, as you’ll be unable to spend more than you have in your pocket without going back to the cash machine. This also means that you’ll always have money to hand, and will be able to check if you’ve been fortunate enough to have been given a note or coin that is considered valuable.
Tips for rare and expensive coins
There are plenty of guides online that can show you whether your coins are valuable or not, and which ones are prized by collectors. However, to make any money out of the note or coin you have in hand they need to be in mint condition to attract a potential buyer. That means catching them early on.
Unfortunately, if you’re not the Queen, it’s pretty unlikely anyone is going to be presenting you with a brand-new note or coin fresh off the Mint press. But, keeping your ear to the ground and bearing in mind that big events such as Coronations and national commemorative events usually involve special edition coins will put you in good stead in the future.
Have you ever managed to get hold of any rare and expensive coins and notes? Let us know if it was worth it in the comments section.