‘Bank sold us £5 coins that aren’t well worth a penny’

Commemorative coins don’t hold their value and, what’s worse, many banks and retailers won’t accept them, as this couple discovered

  Photo: Paul Grover

When Pat and John Owers wanted to deposit 5 £5 coins, Lloyds bank refused to accept them – simply because although “legal tender”, the funds was in the form of commemorative coins.

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

This kind of coins are developed by the Royal Mint as souvenirs of royal events like births, weddings and anniversaries, and are bought in their millions – and often provided to kids or other loved ones members as keepsakes. Because they are developed in limited quantities and for a specified period, they are frequently initially offered for more than their face worth. Over time, their value adjustments according to demand from other collectors.

But most owners do assume to be able to realise at least the face value of the funds at any time.

Mr Owers, 67, had collected £25 really worth in coins considering that the 1990s, including the 2002 Queen’s Golden Jubilee and Queen Mother’s centenary in 2000.

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The former Ford engineer purchased them for about £10 each and every from substantial street banking institutions, hoping they would grow in value or at least be worth their stated, encounter worth.

But no. Lloyds amid other banks won’t accept them. A spokesman mentioned branch staff need to tell customers who want to deposit the coins to go to their nearby Post Office.

Mr Owers sooner or later had the very same solution from the Royal Mint.

Any person searching to income in their coins need to try out alternative banks. HSBC, The Co-op and Santander told The Agenciesthat personnel would accept commemorative coins – which includes the £5, £20, £500 and £1,000 coins – at encounter value.

‘Money you can’t spend’

Mr Owers explained that banks had been only also pleased to promote him the coins in the 1st spot – but that now he found them to be “worthless”.

“On my way to the bank, I believed I had twenty five quid in my back pocket – but it wasn’t well worth the effort of carrying them there.”

Mr Owers tried to see no matter whether they could be offered to specialist dealers, but speedily discovered there was no interest. “The trouble is that they were mass issued and there are millions of them so there is no value,” he mentioned.

He suggested other people to feel twice about acquiring the coins. “At least if you get a commemorative stamp you can stick it on an envelope and use it,” he explained.

Coin experts say this kind of 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 offered small value – other than sentimental – and that banking institutions have been more and more very likely to flip them away.

He recommended owners who wanted to money in their coins to try out several different banks.

Mr Cohen stated: “Banks are suspicious of these coins, because in the past men and women passed similar-searching coins to bank staff who cashed them in, only to uncover out later on on that their books did not balance.”

Meanwhile in large street stores the coins tend to confuse workers unfamiliar with the currency. Officially, main shops say they will accept the coins, with John Lewis stating that employees are trained to recognise the currency and Tesco saying that – whilst they rarely see commemorative coins – personnel need to accept them.

Large-value coins: do they fare much better?

Royal Mint also sells £1,000 ‘crowns’, such as a commemorative Very first Globe War outbreak coin that is on sale right now for the inflated value tag £45,000.

Dealers say it is unlikely that such coins will supply very good returns – particularly if the original investment costs forty-5 instances its face value.

But some commemorative coins attract interest from foreign traders. Mr Cohen explained that he had previously sold seven £1,000 coins to an overseas customer for an undisclosed profit.

Gerry Buddle, a expert at the London Numismatics Club, advised budding traders to only buy modern coins if they are constrained edition or manufactured from precious metals.

“Any serious collector would not go for £5 coins due to the fact the Royal Mint churns them out by the sackful,” he said.

Mr Buddle, who boasts fifty many years of coin skills, mentioned £5 coins have been only worth buying as souvenir or present. “Most dealers will laugh at you if you get them in to sell on,” he said.

Royal Mint making a mint from celebrations

With royal and national occasions coming thick and fast, Royal Mint has raked in £214m from commemorative coins this yr alone.

Income incorporate coins celebrating the London Olympics, diamond jubilee, royal wedding ceremony and – most recently – to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the 1st Globe War. That coin is getting sold at face worth, £20.

We take a seem at some of the coins they have offered above the many years – and regardless of whether they have kept their value.

Struck gold? How coins have fallen

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

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

Winston Churchill crown (1965) – Royal Mint offered for about £1 , dealer pays 20p

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

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

– Do you believe commemorative coins are a con, or are they nonetheless really worth the value as a souvenir? Depart your remarks beneath

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