You know the things, “crowns” (which are now £5, not 5 s.) that are issued for Royal Weddings and the like. Turns out they’re not worth quite what they seem to be:
When Pat and John Owers wanted to deposit five £5 coins, Lloyds bank refused to accept them – because although “legal tender”, the money was in the form of commemorative coins.
Staff at the Owers’ local bank branch in Barking, Essex, turned away the money. They offered no advice about where it could be exchanged or spent.
Such coins are produced by the Royal Mint as souvenirs of royal occasions like births, weddings and anniversaries, and are bought in their millions – and often given to children or other family members as keepsakes. Because they are produced in limited quantities and for a certain period, they are often initially sold for more than their face value. Over time, their value changes according to demand from other collectors.
But most owners do expect to be able to realise at least the face value of the money at any time.
Me being me, contrary that is, when I still lived in England I had a set routine when one of the new issues came out. The banks would usually offer them at face value in the early weeks of their existence. So I’d go and get my usual £50 or £100 in booze and food cash in the form of the new coins. And then spend them in the shops. One the basis that since they were legal tender why not treat them as such?
Usually a coin is worth more when mint than when circulated. But that does rather depend upon supply and demand. And I have a feeling that so few of these coins have ever circulated that those that have might be worth more than mint ones….not, their having been put into circulation by me I still have them to check that. Bit like that Edward Heath book on sailing: one that’s not signed by him is worth more than one that is, so large a percentage of them having been autographed.