COIN hunters are being warned to watch out for fake Brexit 50p coins being sold on eBay as the real deal goes into circulation today.
Hundreds of listings for the January 31 version of coin have been on sale on the auction site over the past few days, even though they were yet to be released.
Some sellers are trying their luck by listing the coins on the auction site for up to £90 for one.
Experts are also warning collectors to be wary of any listings by sellers who claim they have an “error” coin with the wrong date on it.
The coins released today are the third version of the 50ps minted to mark Britain’s departure from the European Union and feature the date January 31 202.
An initial batch was made featuring the original Brexit date of March 31 2019 before an extension was granted, and a second coin was made featuring October 31 2019.
The majority of the coins were melted down and reused but they could be worth thousands of pounds to the right buyer if the few remaining ones make it out of the factory, which is why some sellers might be attempting to cash in.
Colin Bellamy from Coin Hunter warns that coins with one of the earlier dates on them being sold on eBay are highly unlikely to be real.
He told The Sun: “Security is very tight at The Royal Mint, as I understand it – all but five have been destroyed.
“If only five of each design dated March 29 2019 and October 31 2019 officially exist – and one or a few have somehow found their way out of the mint – I expect collectors would pay thousands of pounds for this significant piece of history.
Is your small change worth a fortune?
IF you think that you might have a rare coin then you might be able to make a real mint.
The most valuable coins are usually those with a low mintage or an error.
These are often deemed the most valuable by collectors.
You should check how much the coin is selling for on eBay.
Search the full name of the coin, select the “sold” listing and then toggle the search to “highest value”.
It will give you an idea of the amount of money that the coin is going for.
You can either choose to sell the coin on eBay or through a specialist like ChangeChecker.org.
If you choose the auction website then remember to set a minimum price that is higher or at the very least equal to the face value of the coin.
Even if your coin “sells” on eBay for a high price there’s no guarantee that the buyer will cough up.
It its terms and conditions, the auction website states that bidders enter a “legally binding contract to purchase an item”, but there’s no way to enforce this rule in reality.
The most eBay can do is add a note to their account for the unpaid item or remove their ability to bid and buy.
“With a level of interest this high – we should expect to see fakes on eBay in the next few months that show the dates March 29 2019 and October 31 2019 – so people must beware.”
The latest version, which has been released today, has pre-sold for up to £15 online although Colin reckons that they’re not likely to be worth anything more than face value over the next few weeks.
Of course, the coins are only worth what someone will pay for them so it’s unlikely that they will sell for the high prices that they’ve so far been listed for.
The Sun has contacted eBay for comment.
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Plans to produce 10,000 special Brexit coins were first announced by former chancellor Philip Hammond in the 2018 Budget.
But this week it sparked fury after being released without the proper punctuation.
The Kew Gardens design remains the top collector’s item – it’s the rarest 50p coin after only 210,000 of the coins were struck.