Well I’m just back from posting out the 44th round pound coin sold through my huge eBay listing over the past four weeks.
It was a pretty “ordinary” Royal Shield Pound Coin, one of the 27,625,600 released into circulation by the Royal Mint on 2009.
There were no unusual features, no special characteristics or finishes; it was just an ordinary circulated example of the issue in good clean condition.
Yet a collector in Sussex paid me £5 (plus an extra pound for delivery), taking the total so far raised by the “round pound” eBay listing to £155; an average of £3.52 per coin, far in excess of the target set for the DoubleTheMoney challenge.
Key to this run of sales has been the ability to offer a full range of pound coins through the giant “One Pound Race” eBay listing. This meant I was able to offer the full range of pound coins I’ve set aside over the past couple of years to offer them at some point in the future when demand rises. The imminent withdrawal of round pounds from circulation means that time has finally arrived. The dozens of coins I’d already hoarded have also been supplemented by withdrawing several hundred pounds from my bank account and asking for this money in pound coins.
As coins have sold, I have used this method at various bank branches and Post Offices to add to the quantity and range of coins on offer. At present, this means I am able to offer nearly 700 pound coins. Fortunately my previous success in selling currency for more than face value means this is possible without having to miss or even delay payments to credit cards, mortgage, etc. One silver lining of the current crash in bank interest rates (my bank has paid zero per cent interest on my current account for the past two years) is that I lose nothing by having to keep my cash in physical notes and coins, rather than stored in a bank vault.
Therefore the gain of a £111 profit from the sale of £44 in less than a month makes keeping a balance of several hundred in physical cash (in a safe provided by a friend at a secret location) much more sensible.
Over the past month, some other pound coins offered went for more, such as a Cardiff City pound from 2011 which went for £8, and some less, including three earlier Cardiff coins I offered for just £3 each before I realised how quickly these were becoming scarce.
I decided to assemble a large group of used pound coins and offer these for sale to collectors in response to the announcement that a new twelve-sided, bimetallic design of pound was to be made available at the end of this month, sparking the withdrawal of all current round pound coins in circulation by October.
The imposition of this deadline caught the attention of the national press and the publication of various articles about the imminent disappearance of the familiar style of round pound (due to the extraordinary high proportion of forgeries on circulation) lead to the addition of hundreds or even thousands of new collectors.
Last year I realised the opportunity to benefit from the drive of collectors to acquire an example of every one of the 25 different designs of pound coin issued since the coin’s introduction more than a third of a century ago in 1983 but soon realised there were more varieties of interest to collectors once changes in Her Majesty’s portrait were included.
Then there was also the desire from collectors to possess an example of the different pound coins from each year they had been issued; hence the willingness of the man in Sussex to send me six pounds to cover purchase and delivery of a clean example of an ordinary Royal Shield pound from 2009 and complete his date run of this style of coin before these disappear from circulation.
Last year, when I realised how much interest there would be in collecting every Round Pound, I simply began to gather as many pound coins as I could so that I would be able to offer a comprehensive range for sale online.
I began to ask for all change o be given in pound coins rather than paper money and doing this meant I was soon able to assemble an example of every different poundcoin issued.
Unfortunately, those which now command the highest prices were noticably fewer – the only recent example of the rare Edinburgh City pound I found was unfortunately sold as part of a complete group of all four Capital City coins issued between 2004 and 2005 for just £6 in January before the sudden inflation of the Edinburgh Pound alone to £30 or £40 and before the creation of my grand “Round Pound” eBay listing.
At the time of writing this progress report less than four weeks after the listing went live on February 16th, 44 coins have sold for a total of £155.
Initially the Capital City coins I had available attracted the most attention and soon collectors around the UK had snapped up each of the four Cardiff coins I’d gathered as well as seveal London and Belfast examples. At first these went for three pounds but I soon saw prices achieved for these creep higher as demand grew and their availability suddenly began to decrease when banks and Post Offices began to withdraw old-style pound coins from circulation in preparation for the injection of 1.4 billion of the new coins into circulation from March 28th. It is estimated that these will take a month to filter completely through the economy and, while the existing round pounds will remain legal tender until October 15th, these will swiftly become a rare sight as these are banked and withdrawn from circulation.
Hopefully this means their value will probably continue to rise as people suddenly notice their scarcity. I will add a further update on how the remaining stash of coins perform before they are added to my high-interest Zopa account later this year.