Riddle of how sealed bags of the new King Charles 50p coins are being sold on eBay for twice their value
- The coins on sale appear to have been obtained unofficially from the Post Office
- Royal Mail previously warned customers they would not be able to request coin
- About 4.9 million of the new coins went into circulation at the start of December
Sealed bags containing 20 of the new 50p coins depicting King Charles are selling online for more than double their face value.
The bags appear to have been obtained unofficially from the Post Office.
Money Mail understands the Post Office is looking into how the bags have ended up on eBay, and could issue new advice to its branches.
Bags containing 20 of the new King Charles 50p coins – which appear to have been obtained unofficially from the Post Office – are selling online for more than double their face value
The 50p coins — the first circulating currency to feature the King’s portrait — were made available earlier this month, exclusively at the Post Office.
It previously warned customers they would not be able to request coins and could get them only as part of their change from a transaction.
The Post Office is now urging people not to buy the bags being listed on eBay.
A spokesman says: ‘We are aware that in a very small number of instances, bags containing the coins are being sold online.
‘This should not happen and we’re considering further advice for our branches when it comes to releasing coins into circulation. We encourage people not to purchase these bags of coins.’
Richard Beale, coin valuer at Warwick & Warwick, believes the sealed bags of coins can only have been obtained from the Post Office.
‘All I can think is that if you know the person behind the counter well, they might agree to swap your change,’ he says.
The 50p coins are the first to feature the portrait of the King. The coins are denominated, which means that their face value will always be 50p.
However, sealed bags of 20 coins, with a combined face value of £10, are regularly selling for far more than that sum on eBay.
When searching on the buying and selling website, 646 results appear for ‘King Charles 50p coin’.
Some listed as ‘buy it now’ — where buyers don’t get involved in a bidding war — had sold to 28 buyers for £21.99 last week.
And two people had bought sealed bags listed as having come ‘direct from Post Office’ for £24.99.
One bag of the 50p coins sold for £17 with 11 auction bids, while a single coin sold for £2.55 with six bids.
The Post Office previously warned customers they would not be able to request coins and could get them only as part of their change from a transaction
About 4.9 million of the new coins went into circulation at the start of December. In total, 9.6 million will be minted this year, entering circulation in line with demand.
The 50p features a portrait of King Charles III from his 70th birthday.
These will be the only coins in circulation featuring both His Majesty’s portrait and ‘2022’ — the year of his accession to the throne.
For this reason, experts say they are likely to become a collector’s item and could initially be in high demand.
Coin valuer Richard Beale says: ‘Coin collecting has become a national pastime, and there are more than 100 different 50p designs in circulation.
‘Any keen collector will want to add this commemorative coin, while regular shoppers may put them to one side as a keepsake.’
Following tradition, His Majesty faces left on the new 50p coin — the opposite direction to his late mother.
Unlike Queen Elizabeth II, however, he is bare-headed, as only female monarchs wear a crown on coins.
The reverse side of the coin shows a copy of the design used on the crown that was struck to commemorate the Queen’s coronation in 1953.
It depicts the four quarters of the Royal Arms inside a shield, with emblems of the home nations.
Mr Beale anticipates equally high demand for the first banknotes to feature the King, which will enter circulation in mid-2024. Last week, the Bank of England revealed the new notes’ design.