"Your Country Needs You" Error

Looking at the searches that have led readers to this blog, I have noticed a great deal of interest in the first of the series of coins released by the Mint to mark the centenary of World War One.
Specifically, many seek information on the minting error which featured on a proportion of these. As with all coins, any mint errors discovered add to the interest from collectors and therefore to the value of the coins.
While normally I am the same as you, searching everywhere for exact details of an error so I can assess whether I have found one, in this case I’m afraid to say I had five of these error coins but sold them without realising I was dealing with a rarity.
It started with a great offer from the Change Checker website, a subsidiary of the Westminster Collection, itself part of the 288 Group Limited of Poole in Dorset. This group, which has a history of supplying stamp and coin collectors stretching back seven decades to its origins in Ealing, London, in 1945, emailed cusomers to offer the first two pound coin in the new series to mark a century since the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. What made this offer irresistible for me was that the coins were available for face value, well sort of; each was available as a swap for previous styles of commemorative £2 coins. Fortunately through my work at the bar, I’d gathered plenty of some styles of coin so was able to trade various slavery, nursing, etc. that had been hanging around for more than a year for five of the shiny new World War One coins, the maximum I was able to get under the swapping arrangement.
These were also available before they were released into common circulation – a major draw for me as most new coins can appear several months later in the north of Scotland than they do in the south-east of England.
Therefore I was delighted to be among the first wave of eBay sellers to offer these coins, hence I was able to benefit from the higher prices such new coins normally attract.
Instead of listing all five coins I had available, I decided on a single auction, which was won by a bidder from Lancashire, who bid £6.27. However, as I had a further four coins available, I was able to sell another to the second place bidder, in Hampshire, for £6, another for the same amount to a woman in Warwick, while the fourth placed bidder, in Sussex, was able to buy another for £4.50.
I was delighted with my first purchase from a dealer – buying five coins for their £10 face value which I quickly sold four for £22.77.
At the end of this swift turnaround, I was left with one of the five coins and was quick to take up the Westminster Collection’s offer of a second group of five coins under the same swapping arrangement.
It was only when this second batch arrived that I spotted these were different to the first. While the first coins carried the iconic phrase “Your Country Needs You”, the type used in the mintage seemed blurred but I only noticed this when I saw the second batch of coins, which carried the phrase in crisp and clear lettering.
Later I was to learn that this blurred version of the coin was an error and that I had failed to recognise this so, obviously I was disappointed to have missed the chance to increase my earnings but I was able to console myself with the knowledge that I’d still been able to make a quick, risk-free profit of 185 per cent by selling four of the coins for £22.77.


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