Everything the advanced collector needs to know about the new £1 coin, it’s varieties and known errors/mules.
This page contains information on:
The Six Different £1 coin types (dated from 2015 to 2017)
Two errors that have been seen often enough to be of note
The two different edge types on the circulation 2016 coin
Information on man-made ‘error’ coins being offered on auction sites
For a coin that has only officially been in use for a month, there are in fact already six different types of new £1 coin, including one (No.2) that I have confirmed today and am now revealing to the world (29/4/17)! There are: two mules, a trial coin, one sold in pairs only, one in circulation and one not fully in circulation. To help understand the chaos, here is a graphic. Feel free to share the info.
Note that there are now 8-9 known examples of No.2. Further examples came to light after writing this post. One of the coins may have been the same one twice, hence the range of 8-9.
Note also that 2017 dated coins (No.6) are now starting to appear in general circulation as of late May 2017.
Two errors that are rare but certainly not unique as a few of each have been brought to my attention:
1. A partial collar error: The collar surrounds the planchet (blank metal disc before it becomes a coin) while the coin is struck, it gives the coin its shape and in the case of the new £1 also imparts the rim millings onto 6 of the 12 sides. Something went wrong here and the collar wasn’t properly surrounding the whole planchet while it was struck, resulting in part of the rim looking normal and the other part of the rim splaying slightly outwards to form what appears to be a raised lip around the edge.
2. The leaked egg error: Not a technical term, but something that helps visualise this particular error as it looks like the yolk of a fried egg has been broken and leaked onto the egg white! It appear that the collar has somehow broken or not properly surrounded the lower right area of the coin (from the Queen’s head perspective). Metal has splayed out upon strike impact and this has caused a little chain reaction with the silver coloured centre part being pushed to fill the void in the brass outer part. On extreme cases the movement of metal has caused a gap between the outer ring and centre part of the coin (as shown in the image below). It is possible that errors 1 and 2 are related and that error 2 is a further progression of the partial collar issue shown as error 1.
The two different edge types on the circulation 2016 coin:
This is a minor variety but is worthy of a mention because it currently appears to amount to between 1 in 20 and 1 in 30 of the total number of new £1 coins in circulation. So far it has only been observed on the normal 2016 dated circulation £1 coin, i.e. coin 3 in the main picture above.
Normal/commonest type: When the coin is held upright with the Queen facing right and the hologram at the bottom, to the right of the lowest edge point is normally a milled edge section (continuing on alternate straight edges around the coin).
Scarcer (1 in 20 to 1 in 30 observed): When the coin is held upright with the Queen facing right and the hologram at the bottom, the flat edge to the left of the lowest edge point is milled.
The image below shows the commonest edge type, with milling to the right of the lowest point.
Man-made ‘error’ coins being offered on auction sites:
Ever since the new £1 coin appeared in circulation there have been unscrupulous people claiming to offer all kinds of errors for sale, mostly on eBay but also other online sales platforms. Most involve pushing out the middle and either manipulating it or putting it back in the wrong way round, rotated or not putting it back at all! Here is a question I received over email and my response to it.
On 04/05/2017 02:30, Michael M wrote:
Hi, like your website, very quick question….
Loads of £1 coins selling right now on eBay for silly money, most of them claiming to be either….
– centre missing from coin
– queens head on wrong side of coin
– queens head side blank and shiny in centre silver area
– chunk of metal missing from centre silver area
…. and so on.
Is all this nonsense? Looks to me people have worked out an easy way to pop the centre silver disc out (whack with mallet?) and then simply put it back the other way round, cut a bit off with hacksaw, use glass paper and buffer to polish one side blank, etc etc etc …….
Thanks for your time reading this.
Yes, it’s absolute nonsense, they are all home made ‘errors’ and technically have no value, not even £1. It’s fairly easy (so I hear) to push out the middle part of the new £1 coin and the same for the £2 coins.Anyone that does so and tries to fool people into thinking it’s some kind of error and was made that way, either by describing it as such, not describing it at all, or claiming to innocently know nothing about it, is clearly of very dubious character. People that break coins are also committing a crime.
Genuine error collectors know what genuine error coins look like and always understand exactly what went wrong during production. The general public can either learn about the minting process and about the major types of genuine error coins that can occur, or they should leave well alone, especially on eBay!I’ll post this on the ‘The six new £1 coin varieties’ page for people to see.
The Check Your Change admin is Mr C H Perkins, publisher of numismatic publications in printed and eBook format. Author of "Collectors' Coins - Decimal Issues of the UK" and other books on British coins and related subjects.