Brexit Coin Issued with the Wrong Date!
A small number of Brexit fifty pence coins featuring the incorrect leaving date have been produced by The Royal Mint. The coin was originally due to be released in March this year, but due to setbacks with Brexit, has been pushed back until October.
Brexit Fifty Pence Coin Error
The coin was announced through the twitter account of Her Majesty's Treasury on 29th October, 2018, as part of the 2018 Budget. The design features the text "Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations" on the reverse, with the date of "29 March 2019" below. This was the original date the UK was due to trigger Article 50 which would initiate the leaving process from the EU. After many delays, the date was moved to 31st October, 2019.
Back in March, Chancellor Philip Hammond appeared on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show where he discussed the coins. He denied knowing that the coins had been issued, but he did state that they should not be melted down as they would be collectors’ coins.
It is not yet known how many of the Brexit coins were produced, with the treasury only confirming that "some" were made for test purposes.
What are Test Coins?
Test coins are issued to check how the finished coin will look. If there are any problems the mint can amend the coin dies prior to them being hardened. It's an important part of the process as if an error manages to get through, it means they may have to remake the dies which would cost time and money.
Test coins go through a quality control process and will be shown to people such as the Master of the Mint, the coin designer or even the Chancellor of the Exchequer to confirm it meets their standards. The coins themselves may not be struck on the correct planchet (coin blank), and could be made from lead or a number of other metals. Interestingly, test coins used to be produced in a specimen proof standard (the finest grade) so that the design could be thoroughly scrutinised.
How to Find One of the Error Coins
Don't hold your breath! We do not know whether the coins have made it into the hands of the general public and suspect they're being held back by the mint. You never know, they may display them in their museum at some point. If anyone did manage to get their hands on one of these coins it would be worth quite a bit! There are many collectors out there who would pay a premium for one. The coin's worth as much as someone's willing to pay for one.
More Brexit Error Coins?
If Brexit is delayed again, it's not too far fetched to say that test coins could be (or may already have been!) produced with the "31 October 2019" date on them. A collector would certainly be interested in them and may even be able to start a collection of the error coins!
Other Brexit Coins
There are more Brexit coins available... well, they're actually medallions, not coins! These Brexit Medallions made quite the impact when they were first released, appearing on Japanese TV as well as on Alan Sugar's Youtube Channel. We even sent one to the Prime Minister!
The In / Out design makes them perfect for making all kinds of decisions, not just those regarding the UK's future with the EU. At the flip of the "coin" you can decide whether to go "out" this weekend, or stay "in". The possibilities are endless!
You may be ineterested in reading through our coin collecting guides.
You may be interested in exploring more articles in our precious metal and coin news section of the website.