British 12-sided £1 coin makes £479

A buyer recently paid £479 ($668) for a rare trial variant of the new British 12-sided £1 coin in an eBay auction.

The coin is one of an estimated 200,000 produced to test various features, including resilience and backwards compatibility with vending machines and trolleys.

 Royal Mint trial

The coin was designed for retailers to test

Businesses were able to request these coins to test for themselves.

They’re quite distinctive, displaying the words “TRIAL PIECE” on the reverse, along with “THE ROYAL MINT”.

However, the question of ownership hangs over the coins.

The Royal Mint commented in a statement to coin merchant Chards: “These samples have been issued under strict ‘terms and conditions’ and remain the property of the Royal Mint at all times.

“Unfortunately, we are aware that some samples have been listed on auction sites, however, as per the terms and conditions agreed to by stakeholders at the point of purchase, samples should be returned to The Royal Mint.”

Apparently the Mint is prepared to refund the buyer to get the coins back.

The new £1 is the first change to the design in over 30 years, hence the demand.

We’ve also seen low-number polymer £5 and £10 notes sell for some huge sums of late, showing the market for British numismatics is in rude health.

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