UK 20 pence Coin Error 2008

Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. As a civil servant, I have seen obviously my fair share of errors in policies and actions. Most are unintentional but the mistakes or the shortcomings are seen only when those policies or actions have been put into place. As a collector of things, obviously I loved it when errors or mistakes happen. This morning one of my friends holidaying in London alerted me about the 20 pence UK coin error.

A quick check on ebay has shown that this error if you find it can make you more than a 100 pound richer. So for those coming from London and not allowed to go out because of the current H1N1 can fill your time by going through your British coins and search for this 20 pence.

UK produced the first 20 pence in 1982 about a year earlier before I studied there. So by the time I arrived the 20 pence was already part of the coins that I had to use.

Over the years, new coins were issued and the latest is the 2008 and 2009 coins as follows:

However this 2008 and 2009 coins were only available as part of specimen sets and not yet in circulation. However when the authorities printed the coins for circulation, they made an error. Prior to 2008, the coins had the year of printing which is at the back of the coin. But with the new design, the year had to go in front of the coin. But the first circulation of coins, someone made the error of not putting the year in and hence you get this coin,

with no year in front! By the time the authorities discovered this, about 200,000 of these coins had gone into circulation. So if you ever find this new 20 pence coin with no year in front and with the new design at the back also with no year at the back, you have a choice. Hang on to it and watch the price rise or cash it in now at ebay. The prices are about 50 pounds for each 20 pence coin for the time being.


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