Have you a 20p worth £50 in your pocket? Royal Mint error results in undated coins.
From the Daily Mail 29th June 2009.
Take a close look at that shiny new 20p piece in your purse or pocket - it could be worth a lot more than you think.
A rare error at the Royal Mint means that tens of thousands of the coins produced earlier this year don't have 2009 stamped on them.
Coin experts say the lack of a date makes them worth £50 each, and potentially much more in future.
The blunder occurred after a redesign of the 20p piece. The Mint does not know exactly how many undated coins were produced and released into circulation, but estimates range between 50,000 and 200,000.
This is the first undated British coin to enter circulation in more than 300 years - the last occasion was 1672, when Charles II was on the throne.
The error has caused a great deal of excitement among coin collectors because the Royal Mint, in Llantrisant, South Wales, is normally so careful about the manufacture and release of coins into circulation.
The problem occurred after all the coins from the 1p through to the £1 were redesigned last year. The designs for the 5p and 10p had been unchanged for four decades.
There is an unwritten convention that designs should be changed at least every 40 years to keep the coinage fresh.
The Royal Mint's usually impeccable quality control somehow slipped up and the so-called 'mule' escaped into circulation.
A 'mule' is a coin that has mismatched sides - a reference to the mule being a mismatch of a horse and donkey.
The change of the 20p design meant moving the year date from the tails side to the side with the Queen's head.
However, thousands of coins were minted using the old version of the Queen's head, which does not have the year date, and the new version of the tails side, which also does not have a date.
This created thousands of coins without any date, a rare and valuable mistake in the world of coin collecting.
No one knows how much the undated 20p is worth. However, The London Mint Office, which is a private company with no connection to the Royal Mint, is offering £50 a time to anyone who has one.
In 1983, the Royal Mint made an error with the 2p piece and struck some with the wording 'new pence' rather than 'two pence'.
The 1983 2p mule is currently worth a few hundred pounds, however its value was enhanced because only a very few of these reached the public.
Nick Hart, coin expert at the London Mint Office, said: 'Mistakes like this not only fascinate people but also have considerable value-increase significance.
'We believe this extremely rare error will certainly get the public looking at the coins in their pockets again and noticing the excellent new designs launched by the Royal Mint on our coinage.'
People who find an undated new 20p need to register their details with The London Mint Office before sending in the coin and claiming their reward.
Full details of how to register are available online at http://www.undated20p.com