The Royal Mint has recently confirmed a significant striking error, which has resulted in approximately 17,000 2014 Silver Britannia coins and 38,000 Year of the Horse coins being struck with the incorrect obverses.
Royal Mint “Mule” Discovered in the U.S.
Attention was first drawn when a US dealer noticed that some of their Britannia coins had a different obverse side to the rest of the stock, lacking the identical design around the edge, normally seen with Britannia coins.
Since this was discovered the Royal Mint has confirmed that some Britannia coins were indeed struck with this incorrect obverse – whilst also confirming even more Year of the Horse Coins were minted with the denticled Britannia obverse. Each coin obverse essentially being struck with the wrong design and creating a “mule” – a coin where one of the sides has been struck with the incorrect die.
Selling for 250 times its original value
Perhaps the best recent example of a UK mule in recent years was the undated 20p coin, which was uncovered in 2008. Approximately 250,000 20p coins were struck using an old obverse design, which left them undated. The news was followed by a media frenzy with many millions of people searching their change in the hope of finding what was to prove to be a valuable error. Indeed an undated 20p currently changes hands on ebay for around £50 – 250 times its original value.
Unlike the 20p the Britannia and Year of the Horse Silver Coins are not general circulation coins but as bullion coins they will have been sold around the world to coin dealers and investors. That means that they will be much harder for the British general public to track down. Plus, of course, in terms of pure numbers struck, they are considerably scarcer than the undated 20p.
Early listings on ebay have been as high as £500 and above. So if you already own the 2014 Year of the Horse Lunar Silver Coin or the 2014 Britannia coin it is worth double checking the obverse and see whether you have one of these “mules”.
If you aren’t fortunate enough to have one or other of these coins in your portfolio then you may want to visit the Coin Portfolio Management website, where extremely limited stock is still available for the Year of the Horse error coin.