The Broad Appeal of Historic Coins

Categories: Collect


Historic coins — Capturing a moment in time

Coins and money are an integral part of society and have been for many centuries.  Historic coins have a broad appeal to serious numismatists and investors, often because they represent significant historical events or exhibit highly sought after designs.  On many occasions, these special rare and old coins have increased in value over time, as explained below.

Edward VIII

The coinage of Edward VIII was only ever made as trial pieces as he abdicated before his coinage had the chance to be mass produced. Some of those trial pieces escaped The Royal Mint and have been highly desirable ever since. The Edward VIII sovereign is the most collectable denomination and it has been the most coveted British coin of all time, recently achieving a sales price of £1,000,000. This coin first came to the market in 1981 where it was sold privately for an undisclosed amount. In 1984 it sold for £40,000 at a time when the average house price in London was £35,000. It was next sold in 2014 when it achieved a record £516,000 at auction (London houses averaged £383,000 then). In 2020, this coin broke the record a second time when a wise buyer paid £1,000,000 to secure this world famous coin.

Una and the Lion

Another example of a highly desirable coin is the 1839 Five Pound coin, better known as the Una and the Lion because of its stunning design on the reverse. This departure from the standard St George and the Dragon reverse has stood the test of time so well that The Royal Mint recently released a fantastic tribute coin that has become an instant hit on the secondary market. The original Una and the Lion coins have steadily grown in popularity from a £7,500 coin in 1999 to a £30,000 coin in 2009 and in 2019 a superb example achieved £420,000 in auction.

Gothic Crown

Even silver coins can be highly desirable. Another of Queen Victoria’s coins, the 1847 Gothic Crown, has been sought after by collectors for many years. In 1997, you could buy a beautiful example for £500, in 2007 an equally good Gothic Crown would be £2,500 and today they can be £5,000 - £20,000 for the best examples.

If you’re interested in purchasing a historic coin from The Royal Mint visit or call our team of experts on 0800 03 22 153 to find out more.

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