It has come to light that a £2 coin is in circulation with a spelling mistake likely to increase its value. The coin – made to mark the 400th anniversary of the Gunpowder plot – has the words ‘Pemember the fifth of November’ engraved around the outer rim.
An eagle-eyed collector noticed the mistake after being handed a £2 coin in change in Ousden, Suffolk. Remarkably, the coin was produced in 2005 and the mistake has gone un-noticed for five years. The misprinted currency has now become hot property among coin collectors and are selling for over twenty times their value on eBay.
The Royal Mint has confirmed the mistake but not details on how many might be in circulation.
A spokesman said: ”It’s likely to be a consequence of the production process. It’s very, very infrequent that we issue coins with an error. There are quality control checks to detect defect coins, but they cannot examine every single coin so a few occasionally slip through the net."
Coin mint error coins are commonly the result of deterioration of the minting equipment, accidents or malfunctions. In 2008 a batch of undated 20p appeared in circulation in the UK, some of which were sold for thousands of pounds each on internet auction sites.
Keep an eye on your change!
Update (24/01/2010) - Considerable activity in the selling of these coins on eBay - link here.