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Old money could make a mint; The British coins and notes that are now worth a bob or two.

Byline: Mike Lockley Staff Reporter

WITH new currency on the way, coin experts are experiencing a rush from members of the public eager to discover the value of cash discovered down the back of their sofas.

And Birmingham jeweller Rex Johnson & Sons has revealed that anyone with a 1940s white PS5 note could be quids in - quite literally because pristine white fivers of old can fetch PS50.

The company believes growing interest in old money coincides with the introduction of the polymer PS10 note set to hit the streets in September.

That is on top of the new fiver and 12-sided PS1 coin the public is still getting used to.

Managing director David Johnson has offerd up a handy guide to what's hot and what's not from the days before decimalisation.

"There's always been a steady interest in old coins and notes - the history behind them is fascinating," he said.

"But the introduction of a new coin and two notes this year has certainly resulted in more enquiries.

"While we've had to disappoint some people by telling them their bags of copper coins aren't worth much, it's great when the occasional customer brings in something more unusual."

Many householders believe they've tripped on a gold mine when discovering Victorian coins in the back of drawers. In fact, they have little value.

But there is one coin, rare as hen's teeth, that would certainly cause a stir if handed in.

Only four 1933 Lavrillier Pattern Pennies were produced - and one sold at auction last year for PS72,000.

"Any 1933 penny is very rare because no currency versions were minted that year because so many of them had been minted the year before," says Mr Johnson.

"Most are accounted for, but I'd love to come across one."

It's worth checking the date on old silver coins too.

Those minted before 1920 are 92.5 per cent silver and could be worth up to PS20 per PS1 face value.

Meanwhile, silver coins minted between 1920 and 1946 contain 50 per cent silver and could be worth up to PS10 per PS1 face value.

Surprisingly, the last batch of PS1 notes printed in 1984, realise only PS2 these days.

But a lilac ten shilling note bearing the signature of Bank of England chief cashier Kenneth Peppiatt could be worth up to PS10.

The note was introduced during the Second World War to replace the red ten shilling note, which was popular with counterfeiters.

But coins do not have to be old to be valuable, Mr Johnson stressed, and there could be some hidden gems lurking in any wallet or purse.

A 50p coin from 2009 depicting the 250th anniversary of Kew Gardens is worth PS30, for example.

It is highly sought after because only 210,000 of them were issued.

But the real rarity is the London 2012 aquatics 50p coin with the swimmer's face hidden in the water.

Only a small number were issued in 2011 after which a new design was released.

This coin could be worth as much as PS800.

Last but not least, a PS2 coin known as the "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants" error coin is missing the inner cupro-nickel disc and has only been stamped on nickel brass. Find one of these in your change and you could net yourself PS1,000.


Jeweller David Johnson

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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 17, 2017
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