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.
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+.
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.
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.
3 pence 1945 Silver
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.
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.
Near perfection 1818 crowns exist.
- 2020 - NGC MS-66 LVIII Edge - £5,928
- 2018 - PCGS MS-66 LIX Edge - £11,500
- 2013 - PCGS MS-67 LVIII Edge - £9,500
Like the 1818 Crown, very high grades of these coins exist.
- 2018 - PCGS MS-67 - £16,900
- 2013 - PCGS MS-66 - £10,200
Both Crown with George IV on obverse are valuable.
- 2018 - PCGS MS-66+ - £12,300
- 2013 - PCGS MS-66 - £10,200
With only 159,192 examples minted, the 1845 Crown always get a lot of attention at auctions.
- 2018 - PCGS MS-65 - £14,700
- 2017 - PCGS MS-65 - £16,200
- 2014 - PCGS MS-65 - £14,400
- Penny 1881 H
- Penny 1922 with 1927 reverse
- 6 pence 1893
- Florin 1854
- Florin 1863
- Half Crown 1839
- Half Crown 1905
- Crown 1847