2008: The Year It All Changed

2008 was the year when everything changed for UK coinage.
From April that year, the Royal Mint announced, the UK would be served by a completely new suite of standard coinage which, when the 1p to 50p coins were arranged correctly, would show the new Royal Shield of Arms while the new pound coin design would show the shield in its entirety.

The New Royal Arms suite of standard UK coins
The New Royal Arms suite of standard UK coins

However, before the release of this new design, the Mint also made a limited release of each of the former design of coins but in numbers far below the scale seen in other years.
That is why, in addition to the addition of an innovative new series of standard UK coins, the earlier limited issue of each of the previous designs has made these too extremely collectable and I have sold good clean examples of otherwise ordinary coins from 2008 for a handsome profit, in some cases far in excess of the DoubleTheMoney target.
Fortunately, shortly after I began to look at using collectable coins to maximise the value of my tips I noticed an example of the reduced 2008 release of the Royal Arms Pound coin selling for a high value.
Therefore I knew of the potential interest in this coin from an early stage and have been able to accumulate more than 30 of these over the past two years from among the thousands of pound coins to pass through my hands.

An example of the rare 2008 final release of the Royal Arms pound coin
An example of the rare 2008 final release of the Royal Arms pound coin

This style of Royal Arms pound coin was first issued in 1983, when 433,053,510 were released into circulation followed by a further 114,744,500 in 1993 and 61,596,500 in 2003 before the final small release of just 3,910,000 in 2008.
This issue of less than four million coins made this the most scarce pound coin of modern times (save for smaller regional issues from the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or from dependencies such as Gibraltar or the Falkland Islands.
Therefore I have been determined that examples from this scarce issue should form part of the DoubleTheMoney challenge, where I seek to raise twice the face value of those coins I have chosen to make up the value of any tips I am given at the bar where I work.

Over the past two years, my claims of this coin’s interest have also prompted two other eBayers to contact me with their comments on its desirability.
First, in July 2014, Yorkie230557 sent this message:
“Hi, I don’t think this coin gets the appreciation that it deserves … it is the rarest £1 coin ever minted since decimal currency began, the chances of finding one in your loose change (when they were in circulation) was 15 to 1 … youve no chance now. Ebay is your only hope of adding one to your collection! good luck 😉 Steve”
Pleased that my position had been endorsed by a collector, I have used Yorkie’s note since then on auction listings for this coin.
However I was less impressed by this response from British-Coin-Shop in January 2015: “This made me laugh”.
I was mystified by the snide tone of this comment as the auction commented on had already been bid up to £1.80 by two interested collectors. Therefore I decided to look at British-Coin-Shop’s track record to see their history. It seems they make a decent return through buying presentation packs from The Royal Mint and then reselling these at a significant mark-up after they have aged a little – a decent enterprise, I suppose, but one that requires a far higher outlay than setting aside any interesting coins which cross your path.
With almost two years gone since I first offered the first 2008 Royal Arms Pound coin for sale on eBay, this seems like a good time to assess my progress towards the DoubleTheMoney goal of selling these for twice face value.
The first sales came in May 2013 with an admittedly modest (some might say non-existent) profit of four pence before the deduction of eBay sales fees and PayPal money transfer charges when this sold for £1.04 to a woman in Hampshire.
Worse still were several examples which I had listed for just 99p (in the days when this incurred no eBay listing fees) which sold for only this amount but fortunately I held my nerve as the full run of selling prices (shown below) demonstrates:

Questions on postage fees from Fernando in Spain – but this did not lead to a sale.
May 13 – £1.04 Hampshire woman
(May 13 – 99p 2nd chance offer to an unsuccessful bidder in Surrey but this was not accepted)
June 13 – 99p Lancs man
July 13 – £1.50 London man
Aug 13 – 99p Surrey man (who pressed hard, but unsuccessfully, for a dramatic reduction if he bought the full DoubleTheMoney inventory)
Oct 13 – £1.70 Oxford man
Oct 13 – £2.56 Suffolk woman
Oct 13 – £2.36 Shropshire man (2nd chance offer)
Oct 13 – £1.70 Surrey man (back again) (also bought a rare Jersey Pound of St Peter parish for £4.46)
Dec 13 – £1.70 Yorks man
Feb 14 – £1.70 Berks man
Mar 14 – £2.70 Sussex man
Mar 14 – £2.50 Notts man
Mar 14 – 99p Ceredigion woman
Apr 14 – 99p Shropshire man
Apr 14 – 99p West Mids man
May 14 – £2.70 Essex man
Jun 14 – £2.70 London man
Jul 14 – £2.70 Kent woman
Aug 14 – £3.70 Essex man
Oct 14 – £2.70 Dorset woman
Jan 15 – £1.80 Hants man
Jan 15 – £1.80 Staffs woman
Feb 15 – £1.80 Wrexham man
Mar 15 – Italy £1.80 (three bids!)

Sales so far: 25 sold for £49.80 – almost exactly hitting the DoubleTheMoney target.

I am pleased to say that this morning the 25th of these was posted to Italy leaving another eight copies of this rare edition in the DoubleTheMoney inventory.

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