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Undated Twenty Pence (20p) Coins Error Mule Worth £50?||
If your coin has a date on it on EITHER side, it is not unique in any way... Please read this page BEFORE YOU PHONE US...
There are also some more interesting links near the end of this page.
Undated Twenty Pence (20p) Coins Error Mule Worth £50?
About six months ago, we became aware of an error variety of British Twenty Pence coin.
When the Royal Mint changed the UK coinage designs in 2008, they made an easy mistake, and produced a quantity of 20p coins with the incorrect pairing of obverse and reverse dies (head and tail sides).
Our photographs show the two different types, and their correct pairing.
The "mule" coins, as such error pairings are known, have the pairing shown in our third, and therefore do not show a date.
From various sources we hear that possibly up to 200,000 of these mule coins were released. Although this type of error is fairly unusual, it has happened to 3 different British coins in the past 30 years, that we know about. This latest 20p mule is almost certainly the most plentiful of the 3 "recent" mule issues.
What surprises us slightly is that the "undated 20 pence" mule should suddenly get into the news on most British media, and some international media also. As usual, we here at Chard set out to find out the truth, and publish accurate facts here on our website. We do this free and as a public service.
The (So-Called) London Mint Office
In one sense, we have to admire the inventive genius of some of the marketing people at The London Mint Office. In a move of which Phineas T. Barnum would have been proud, they appear to have issued a press release saying they will pay £50 each for these 20p mules. As usual, the Press have misunderstood, and misinterpreted the statement, as we will explain. In some cases this may have been deliberate, after all, why miss or spoil a good news story, and you don't want to miss out to your competitors when it comes to a bit of midsummer madness on a quiet news week.
It's a great story because ordinary people can get money for (next to) nothing. It's also what people want to hear, so naturally they are very happy and willing to believe it.
Looking at the above website, which displays a clear "London Mint Office" logo, we notice that to be able to sell one of these mules, if you have found one, you must first "register" with LMO, which means you get placed on their
one born every minute mailing list.
They only allow one registration per household, and we guess that anybody trying to sell more than one mule will get turned away. We would stake a life on it that they would refuse to pay out if somebody turned up with 1,000 of them.
If LMO end up having to buy perhaps 100 mules, at a cost of £5,000 it will have been a very cheap way of getting a 10,000 name mailing list of gullible people.
The first few to come on the market went for slightly silly prices, possibly over £100 each in a few cases. Possibly not stupid as if there had only been a few hundred mules released, they may have been worth even more.
A quick check shows that 3 examples sold recently on a popular auction website (whose name is a four-letter word, so we will avoid using it here), for between £21 and £25 each.
Every telling of the original story seems to get altered, rather like the game of Chinese Whispers.
Here are a few media reports with their most glaring errors highlighted:
- Mail Online
"Coin experts say the lack of a date makes them worth £50 each, and potentially much more in future."
"There is an unwritten convention that designs should be changed at least every 40 years to keep the coinage fresh."
We don't think the LMO employ any coin experts, only Marketing and Media Manipulation Experts. (And good they are, too!)
"No one knows how much the undated 20p is worth. However, The London Mint Office, which is a private company with no connection to the Royal Mint, is offering £50 a time to anyone who has one."
Is this an oxymoron? (unwritten convention)
"Nick Hart, coin expert at the London Mint Office, said: 'Mistakes like this not only fascinate people but also have considerable value-increase significance."
Terms and conditions apply, such as registering on their website, only one registration per household, and possibly only one coin per person.
"We believe this extremely rare error will certainly get the public looking at the coins in their pockets again and noticing the excellent new designs launched by the Royal Mint on our coinage.'"
Did the Mail; check his credentials as a coin expert, and could he explain "considerable value-increase significance" in English, please.
"Full details of how to register are available online at www.undated20p.com."
As we have stated above, the error itself is uncommon, but the mules coins themselves cannot be considered rare with possibly 200,000 in existence.
The Mail Online suckered into giving away free advertising!
"A batch of 20p coins accidentally issued with no date on them could be worth £50 each, say coin collectors."
"But with experts saying the coins could be worth up to £50 each, anyone finding an undated 20p may be reluctant to put it towards a loaf of bread."
"Nick Hart, of specialist coin collector company The London Mint Office, said: "Last year the Royal Mint changed all the designs of our circulating coinage, which is a tradition every 40 years or so."
Not coin collectors, but coin dealers, or rather coin marketing experts.
"And when they did this they struck a new design on one side of the coin and the old design on the reverse of the coin and that's led to one of the sides being undated - which makes them incredibly valuable."
A repeat of the same error above, LMO are not a "coin collector company", they are a coin marketing company.
We would not call £50 each incredibly valuable
"A recently released batch of 20p coins have a fault on them which could make them worth £50 each."
" A coin company is offering the first 10,000 people to contact them with a faulty coin £50."
Actually about 6 months ago.
"However, a batch of coins was made using the mould with the old heads side and the new tails side, meaning neither has a date."
No it isn't. Only the first 10,000 people can register, and most of those will not have found one of the mules.
Coins are not cast in moulds they are struck with dies, and have been in most countries for over 2,000 years.
We know CBBC is aimed at kids, but why misinform them?
The London Mint Office says the fact that this is the first time in more than 300 years that undated coins have entered circulation is "testimony to the excellence of The Royal Mint". It adds: "Its stringent quality control procedures mean that error striking such as the undated 20p are exceptionally rare indeed."
- Actually they are wrong again. The Victorian shield reverse sovereign series issued 1838 to 1887 are riddled with errors and flaws and varieties.
Coin experts say the lack of a date makes them worth £50 each, and potentially much more in future.
No one knows how much the undated 20p is worth. However, The London Mint Office, which is a private company with no connection to the Royal Mint, is offering £50 a time to anyone who has one.
- We hope they are not referring to The London Mint Office!
- We think most British coin dealers could value one of the mules. Prices will probably now be volatile for a few months after all the recent publicity, but will probably settle down lower than before the LMO coup.
Nick Hart, coin expert at London Mint Office, said: "Mistakes like this not only fascinate people but also have considerable value-increase significance.
The London Mint Office, a distributor of collector coins, has established a website - www.undated20p.com - to buy 10,000 of the coins, paying £50 each.
- Have they checked Mr Hart credentials as a coin expert, or have they simply made an assumption?
- Wrong again, the websites is open to registrations for marketing purposes, with a limit of 10,000 registrants. It is unlikely that most of these will have or sell one of the mules. If the purpose of the publicity campaign were simply to buy 10,000 mules, why create restrictions and pre-conditions?
- UTV - (Apparently in Conjunction with The Guardian)
(This one wins our prize for the most badly researched and error riddled article we have yet seen on the subject.)
The 20p coin that's worth a mint.
Specialist collector offers £50 to the first 10,000 people who register one of the rogue coins.
- £50 is hardly a mint. Still why spoil a good headline for the sake of accuracy?
Now specialist coin collectors' company the London Mint Office is offering £50 to the first 10,000 people who find and register to sell one of these rogue 20p coins at its website.
- If they mean LMO, the company is a coin marketing company (dealer), not a collector.
"We are willing to pay £50 each for them now because we've got collectors lined up who want to buy them and we'll also keep some ourselves as an investment, believing that the value will go up."
- No! The 10,000 limit is the number of registrations, and many of these will not have a mule 20p to sell.
"There's no catch at all in our offer," Hart said. "We believe the value of these coins will go up – you could be looking at an auction value of several hundred pounds in 20 years, depending on how many are tracked down.
- Really? If so, these collectors could have bought one for under £25 last week on a well-known internet auction site. Best to wait until tens of thousands turn up, and buy one for a tenner.
"We are willing to pay £50 each for them now because we've got collectors lined up who want to buy them and we'll also keep some ourselves as an investment, believing that the value will go up."
- If he honestly believes this, then he is an idiot. As he is probably being paid a Banker's salary, then he is probably not an idiot. From our experience whenever there are similar publicity driven stampedes, prices shoot up for a few weeks, then continue to drift downwards for the next 20 years. Of course Mr Hart is being clever enough to cover his backside by allowing himself 20 years before he can be proved wrong.
"Once we receive your coin and verify its authenticity we will send you a cheque for £50 within 28 days," Hart said.
- This last statement beggars belief, perhaps Mr Hart is self-delusional?
- Why 28 days? Most established, reputable coin dealers would pay you by return post!
Thousands of Brits with a new 20p in their pockets could find themselves £50 richer after a mix-up at the Royal Mint.
Around 200,000 of the coins have rocketed in value after the manufacturer admitted it had forgotten to put a date on them.
- £49.80 richer, less cost of postage, packing, and possibly cost of calling a premium rate number!
They are worth £50 if immediately returned, but are set to rise even further in value because of their rarity.
Workers at the mint have been left with their tails between their legs after leaving the date stamp off the heads side of the coins.
- By "the manufacturer" we presume they mean The Royal Mint. They did not forget to put a date on them, they used mismatched (muled) dies)
- This statement shows a total lack of understanding of the minting or coin production process. It is wrong and careless for a journalist to misinform his readers in this manner.
There are believed to be between 50,000 and 200,000 of the coins now in circulation, all of them missing the 2009 stamp which was supposed to appear on the back -- or 'heads' side -- of the coin.
The old 20p coin had the date on the front of the coin, but the updated version was supposed to shift the date to the other side. But the coins were minted using an old version of the Queen's head -- one which which does not carry the year.
- No!, No!, No! The Queen's head goes on the frontside (obverse) of a coin, not on the backside! (reverse). If you had made this mistake in the days of Henry VIII, he would quite rightly have had your head re-arranged onto your backside, then you could have talked out of both at the same time.
- Wrong yet again! The old 20p had the date on the back (reverse or tail side), the new one has the date on the front (obverse or head side). Journalists should check their facts. You could look on Google or speak to any (proper) coin dealer.
- Metro (Associated Newspapers)
About 200,000 of the coins have instantly jumped in value after the Royal Mint announced it had made a rare mistake and forgot to put a date on them.
They are worth £50 if returned to the mint now but – because of their rarity – could rapidly rise in value in the coming years.
- Between 50,000 and 200,000 according to most sources. The Royal Mint did not "forget" to put a date on them.
It has now announced a recall, partly to remove the coins from circulation and also to keep track of them.
- No, you will not get £50 by returning them to the mint. It is it so-called London Mint Office, a private company which is not a mint, who are offering to buy them (but you do have to pre-register with them first, they will send you promotional material, only the first 10,000 people can register, eventually they will presumably tell you how and where to send your coin (singular), then they will pay you in 28 days if you are lucky.
If you have one and want £50, simply register at www.undated20p.com and send it back.
- We do not believe this is correct. According to other reports, the Royal Mint are happy that the coins are legal tender. The journalist here seems to have invented or imagined this, we wonder what he was smoking when he wrote the article?
If you have one, and want to keep it – experts reckon the coins could be worth £200 in ten years – you can just register and the mint will send you a presentation box.
- You have to wait for instructions, wait for LMO to authenticate it, then wait 28 days for your money, not simply register then send it, in any case you would not be sending it back, as LMO is not the same as the Royal Mint. Do we presume the journo has fallen into the trap of believing the deceptively named London Mint Office has any connection with the Royal Mint?
- What experts? And why in the plural? This is not supposed to refer to The LMO is it? The Mint will not send you a presentation box, perhaps the so-called London Mint Office will, but they are not the mint.
- Daily Express (The World's Greatest Newspaper according to its byline)
Now a firm of collectors is offering £50 for each one. Nick Hart, of coin specialists The London Mint Office, estimates that about one in every hundred 20p pieces is undated.
- Not a firm of collectors (unless you mean mailing address collectors), and certainly not coin collectors. London Mint Office is a coin marketing company, which is closer to a coin dealer than a coin collector.
Nick Hart clearly cannot do simply arithmetic. Even if the Royal Mint's highest estimate is correct, and 200,000 mules were released, according to the Royal Mint's website 2,315,000,000 (2.3 billion) twenty pences are in circulation, 200,000/2,315,000,000 = 1 in 11,575100; making Nick wrong by a factor of over 155 or by a percentage of 15,500.
The www.undated20p.com website will help you identify the coins, which should have had the year 2008 printed on the side with the Queen's head.
You are under no obligation to sell the coin should you find one, but if you do want to sell it back to the London Mint Office you'll have to register on the site first.
- Coins are minted, not printed. Books, newspapers, and magazines are printed.
The London Mint Office is a coin collector not connected with Royal Mint.
- It would only be possible to sell it back to the London Mint Office if they had previously owned it. Perhaps the hack writing this was fooled into the common error of thinking that the London Mint Office was a mint, or connected with the Royal Mint. Could this be because of their (LMO's) confusing name?
- No, The London Mint Office is a not coin collector, it is possibly a coin dealing company, and definitely a coin marketing company, but a coin collector is an old man in a Mac.
- Numismaster - Kerry Rodgers, World Coin News
12th Aug 2009
"The (London Mint) Office began buying up every mule they could get their hands on, advertising big time and paying £50 ($85) a coin.
"It was brilliant marketing".
"Mussell told WCN that, "while dozens of rumors and urban myths are flying around," the coins seem to be "quite scarce," and, "despite the extensive media coverage very few people have admitted to having one.""
- No, they did not. They issued a press release stating they would buy them at £50 each, but this was conditional on pre-registering on their website, and limited to the first 10,000 registrants. That is not the same thing as buying up every mule they could get their hands on, quite the opposite in reality. It would be more accurate to state they were trying to avoid getting their hands on too many.
- I had quite a long conversation with John, and I could not convince him that the higher mintage estimates were more likely to be right. The week the crap broke, eBay had about 4,500 listings purportedly offering undated 20p's. Allowing for the usual percentage of hype, economy with the truth, misleading titles and descriptions, outright fraud (say 90%), that would leave about 450 genuine mule error listings on eBay on one single week.
At this moment there appear to be "only" 122 on eBay, but even this number would make 60,000 per annum being bought and sold. We believe the Mint's estimate of 50,000 to 200,000 is probably quite close.
Caveat emptor is indeed correct. We monitor eBay mainly for copyright abuse of our coin images. One of our image thieves had a recent negative because the buyer paid £140 for a twenty pence which was undated on the head side, and had not read the description through.
Twenty Pence Coins on eBay
There are many press reports about 20p coins worth £7,000 or £700 or £50; many based on purported sales on eBay...
Other Recent Mules
- 1983 Twopence
1983 Twopences with "New Pence" instead of "Two Pence". Issued only in mint coin sets. The mule is worth a few hundred pounds compared with perhaps £1 for a normal one in mint condition.
- 1994 Gold Proof Two Pounds
Gold proof collectors two pound coins. The Mint tries to recall the coins after shipping about half the issue. Out of a total of only 1,000 pieces, about 30% may be mules. The mule is worth about £1,000 compared with £400 for the normal version.
Urgent Health Warning - Undated Twenty Pence Mule Coins
Undated Twenty Pence Mule Coins - Our Buy / Sell Advice
More To Follow
About 20 more media errors to follow, right now, I'm going home for a beer. More tomorrow...
Our Original London Mint Office Page
Please, if you are going to ask us whether the 20p or £2 coin you own is worth £50, please, please, please read our other pages about them first, and even then the answer is almost certainly no.
Two Pound Necklet Rumour
About 1,000 people every week read one or more of our pages about £2 coins. Hopefully most manage to find what they wanted. A tiny percentage, but still about 20 per week ask us whether a £2 they have found in change / in a drawer / been given is worth more than £2. The answer to 99% of these questions is already on our site. We do not have the time or patience to answer such questions individually.
'Silver Penny' Rumour
The silly season continues with another rumour of a rare type of circulation coin emerging.
We also buy coins, please see our We Buy Coins page.
...at the Lowest Possible Price|
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