‘Bank offered us £5 coins that are not well worth a penny’

Commemorative coins never hold their value and, what is worse, numerous banks and stores won’t accept them, as this couple found

  Photograph: Paul Grover

When Pat and John Owers wanted to deposit 5 £5 coins, Lloyds financial institution refused to accept them – due to the fact although “legal tender”, the cash was in the kind of commemorative coins.

Employees at the Owers’ local financial institution branch in Barking, Essex, turned away the income. They offered no guidance about in which it could be exchanged or spent.

Such coins are created by the Royal Mint as souvenirs of royal events like births, weddings and anniversaries, and are bought in their millions – and frequently given to youngsters or other loved ones members as keepsakes. Because they are produced in constrained quantities and for a particular period, they are usually at first sold for more than their encounter value. More than time, their value alterations according to demand from other collectors.

But most owners do expect to be ready to realise at least the encounter value of the income at any time.

Mr Owers, 67, had collected £25 well worth in coins because the 1990s, like the 2002 Queen’s Golden Jubilee and Queen Mother’s centenary in 2000.

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The former Ford engineer bought them for £5 each from large street banking institutions, hoping they would expand in worth or at least be well worth their stated, face value.

But no. Lloyds amongst other banks won’t accept them. A spokesman said branch personnel should tell buyers who want to deposit the coins to go to their neighborhood Post Office.

Mr Owers at some point had the very same solution from the Royal Mint.

Anybody searching to funds in their coins need to try out option banks. HSBC, The Co-op and Santander advised The Agenciesthat personnel would accept commemorative coins – such as the £5, £20, £500 and £1,000 coins – at encounter value.

‘Money you can’t spend’

Mr Owers stated that banks had been only too pleased to sell him the coins in the very first place – but that now he discovered them to be “worthless”.

“On my way to the financial institution, I imagined I had twenty 5 quid in my back pocket – but it wasn’t really worth the work of carrying them there.”

Mr Owers tried to see regardless of whether they could be offered to professional dealers, but rapidly found there was no interest. “The difficulty is that they had been mass issued and there are hundreds of thousands of them so there’s no worth,” he said.

He suggested other individuals to consider twice about purchasing the coins. “At least if you purchase a commemorative stamp you can stick it on an envelope and use it,” he said.

Coin specialists say such purchases are typically disappointing from an investment angle. Phillip Cohen, a London-primarily based dealer who pays £2 to £3 for these particular coins, stated they provided small worth – other than sentimental – and that banking institutions have been more and more probably to flip them away.

He recommended owners who desired to cash in their coins to try many various banking institutions.

Mr Cohen explained: “Banks are suspicious of these coins, due to the fact in the past folks passed comparable-hunting coins to financial institution staff who cashed them in, only to uncover out later on that their books didn’t balance.”

Meanwhile in substantial street outlets the coins tend to confuse personnel unfamiliar with the currency. Officially, key retailers say they will accept the coins, with John Lewis stating that personnel are educated to recognise the currency and Tesco saying that – while they rarely see commemorative coins – workers must accept them.

Large-worth coins: do they fare better?

Royal Mint also sells £1,000 ‘crowns’, such as a commemorative Initial Globe War outbreak coin that is on sale today for the inflated price tag tag £45,000.

Dealers say it is unlikely that this kind of coins will provide excellent returns – specifically if the original investment costs forty-5 times its face value.

But some commemorative coins appeal to curiosity from foreign traders. Mr Cohen mentioned that he had previously sold seven £1,000 coins to an overseas consumer for an undisclosed profit.

Gerry Buddle, a specialist at the London Numismatics Club, advised budding investors to only acquire modern coins if they are constrained edition or manufactured from valuable metals.

“Any severe collector would not go for £5 coins since the Royal Mint churns them out by the sackful,” he said.

Mr Buddle, who boasts fifty years of coin knowledge, explained £5 coins were only well worth acquiring as souvenir or present. “Most dealers will laugh at you if you take them in to sell on,” he mentioned.

Royal Mint making a mint from celebrations

With royal and nationwide events coming thick and fast, Royal Mint has raked in £214m from commemorative coins this 12 months alone.

Revenue consist of coins celebrating the London Olympics, diamond jubilee, royal wedding and – most just lately – to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First Globe War. That coin is currently being offered at face worth, £20.

We consider a seem at some of the coins they have sold in excess of the many years – and whether or not they have kept their worth.

Struck gold? How coins have fallen

£500 Olympic silver coin (2012) – Royal Mint offered for £3,000, dealer pays £1,400

£5 royal wedding ceremony silver coin (2011) – Royal Mint sold for £82.50 , dealer pays £75

Winston Churchill crown (1965) – Royal Mint sold for close to £1 , dealer pays 20p

£5 Queen Mother’s 90th birthday cupronickel coin (1990) – Royal Mint offered for £9.95 , dealer pays £3

£5 Diana, Princess of Wales 1999 memorial gold coin – Royal Mint sold for £1,745 , dealer pays £1,000

– Do you consider commemorative coins are a con, or are they nevertheless worth the value as a souvenir? Depart your comments beneath

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