Finding rare coins can be a nice boost to your bank balance, with particular coins being especially sought after due to mistakes on the coin or because they have a specific design.

Many coins are not worth much at all beyond their own value, but some can be sold for thousands at the right places.

From a 2p coin in circulation from 1983 to a 50p from Kew Gardens, they are still out there somewhere.

To help you uncover whether you’re sitting on a small fortune, Ocean Finance have revealed the rarest coins floating around the UK, their estimated value, as well as what to do if you find a rare coin.

What rare coins can help you earn thousands?

The 2p coin from 1983

The National: A 2p coin from 1983 is one of the rare ones (PA)A 2p coin from 1983 is one of the rare ones (PA)

The rarest copper coins in circulation are reported to be from a batch of 2p coins that were minted in 1983 and feature a mistake.

These coins feature the wording “new pence” on their fronts when they should have said “two pence”. “New pence” is old wording that featured on 2p coins between 1971 and 1982 to help people adjust to decimalisation after it came into effect. 

However, a mistake wasd made and a batch of 2p coins dated 1983 was accidentally minted with the old wording on.

This mistake is what makes them valuable to collectors, with some being snapped up on eBay up to £1700.

A £2 coin worth over £1000

Two kinds of metal make up £2 coins – the silver cupro-nickel disc in the centre, surrounded by a nickel-brass ring round the outside. Two metals do, however, mean a greater possibility of errors being made, though, as the story of this coin can testify.

Back in 2017, a keen-eyed collector spotted that the £2 Standing on the Shoulders of Giants coin was made entirely of nickel-brass which, of course, was a mistake.

In total 10,270,000 of this coin were released into circulation, but only a few were made of nickel-brass – which experts believe make the coin worth more than £1000.

Kew Gardens 50p

The Kew Gardens 50p, minted in 2009, has topped the Change Checker scarcity index for years.

Only 210,000 of this special edition coin were ever released into circulation, making it the rarest 50p you could come across in your change.

Featuring the iconic Chinese Pagoda, the Kew Gardens 50p is a must-have for collectors. This means it can command a top dollar price. One sold for £230 on eBay in 2020 – 460 times more than its face value.

Olympics coin collection

When London hosted the Olympics back in 2012, the Royal Mint released a series of 50p Olympic themed coins, to celebrate the occasion.

If you were lucky enough to collect all 29, then according to Coin Hunter’s values for each coin, they could be worth up to £91!

Some coins in the collection are worth more than others, with some of the most valuable coins including:

  • The football coin, of which there were 1,125,500 minted. Now, each one is estimated to be worth £15.
  • The judo coin is worth £9.93. 1,161,500 were minted and released into circulation.
  • The triathlon coin. 1,163,500 of these were minted, and now each one is worth approximately £11.
  • The wrestling coin. There are 1,129,500 of these out there, and each one is worth £7.57 – 15 times their face value