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Rarest and most valuable pre-decimal British circulating coins

By Coinsanduk    |   Saturday, 5 December 2020

Gold coins, proofs and patterns were intentionally excluded from this list since they will have their own top 10. Here's the top 10 most rare and valuable pre-decimal (1816 to 1967) British circulating coins sorted by denomination and date.

Penny 1827

British Penny 1827 - Circulation coin

The 1927 Penny is one of the hardest pre-decimal penny to find in an uncirculated condition. It shows George IV facing left. The Latin legend translates as on obverse George IV, by the grace of God, and on reverse King of the Britains, Defender of the Faith.

A high Mint State condition example can sell for £15,000+.

Penny 1927 price guide and values »


Penny 1933

British Penny 1933 - Circulation coin

1933 pennies were not produced for general circulation and less than 15 are known to exist, including the one that was stolen and disappeared in August, 1970. At least 4 circulation strikes were produced, one in British Museum, one owned by the Royal Mint Museum at Llantrisant in South Wales and at least 2 into private hands.

On August 11, 2016, a NGC MS-63 Brown example sold for £149,364 by Heritage Auctions.

Penny 1933 price guide and values »


Penny 1954

In 1953, 1,308,000 pennies were produced with the new monarch of Queen Elizabeth II, but only one 1954 penny is known.

The 1954 dated penny is listed as unique in standard catalogues but we are unable to say for certain that only one survived from the trial run of several hundreds.

Jospeh Payne, Assistant Curator, the Royal Mint

Previous owners of the unique example known

  • 1955 - C. Wilson Peck (London, UK)
  • 1963 - Q. David Bowers (New York, USA)
  • 1967 - Sold for around £10,000
  • 1991 - Spinks, London - Sold for £23,100
  • 2006 - Mark Rasmussen, Surrey, UK

This coin is currently estimated at £60,000 to £90,000.

Penny 1954 price guide and values »


3 pence 1945 Silver

British 3 pence 1945 - Circulation coin

There are 2 known examples, one certified MS-63 by NGC.

In April 1970, at a Glendining & Co. of London sale, one example described as About Very Fine sold for £260. The NGC example, which was found in a Whitman folder sold for £50,000 in March 2020, at a Baldwin's auction.

3 pence 1945 price guide and values »


Half Crown 1823

In 1823, from the 2,004,000 half crown produced, there are two major reverses, one rarer than the other. Only 1 PCGS certified (MS-65) example exists for the 1st reverse.

In uncirculated condition, the rare variety of this coin is worth at least £10,000 for a MS-60 example.

Half Crown 1823 price guide and values »


Crown 1818

British Crown 1818 - Circulation coin

Near perfection 1818 crowns exist.

Historical sales

  • 2020 - NGC MS-66 LVIII Edge - £5,928
  • 2018 - PCGS MS-66 LIX Edge - £11,500
  • 2013 - PCGS MS-67 LVIII Edge - £9,500

Crown 1818 price guide and values »


Crown 1821

British Crown 1821 - Circulation coin

Like the 1818 Crown, very high grades of these coins exist.

Historical sales

  • 2018 - PCGS MS-67 - £16,900
  • 2013 - PCGS MS-66 - £10,200

Crown 1821 price guide and values »


Crown 1822

British Crown 1822 - Circulation coin

Both Crown with George IV on obverse are valuable.

Historical sales

  • 2018 - PCGS MS-66+ - £12,300
  • 2013 - PCGS MS-66 - £10,200

Crown 1822 price guide and values »


Crown 1845

With only 159,192 examples minted, the 1845 Crown always get a lot of attention at auctions.

Historical sales

  • 2018 - PCGS MS-65 - £14,700
  • 2017 - PCGS MS-65 - £16,200
  • 2014 - PCGS MS-65 - £14,400

Crown 1845 price guide and values »


Honorable mentions

  • Penny 1881 H
  • Penny 1922 with 1927 reverse
  • 6 pence 1893
  • Florin 1854
  • Florin 1863
  • Half Crown 1839
  • Half Crown 1905
  • Crown 1847

Pre-decimal coins price guide and values

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