A MAN is hoping a 2p coin he found almost 30 years ago will prove to be much more than small change.
Nigel Shaler, from Southsea, once received the rare silver 2p coin in his change after buying a snack. The 47-year-old thought it was worth keeping, so stowed it away in a box and then forgot about it.
Mr Shaler is putting his coin into an auction at Nesbits in Southsea in November.
He said: ‘From the research I’ve done, it’s worth over £1,000.
‘It’s the rarity of it that’s what the collectors want.’
Mr Shaler said he never would have thought the coin could be worth so much when he got it.
‘I was 19 at the time, living in Southsea and working on a construction site – that was in 1987 or 1988. I thought it was special because it was so shiny, and so I kept it.
‘It had been in a jumble box all those years.’
It was only when he learned about a story about a volunteer finding a similar coin in a collection box at the Royal Berkshire Hospital that he thought about the coin again.
The hospital’s coin went under the hammer and sold for £800.
That coin read New Pence in the place of Two Pence just like Mr Shaler’s does.
‘I was surprised,’ he said.
‘I thought – I’ve got one of those stuck in a box somewhere.’
Mr Shaler said he had learned that the coin was one of only a very small number which were minted by mistake 1971. He said: ‘From what I understand, there are only a handful in existence.
‘That was the year the currency was just about to go over to decimalisation. At that time they were printing a lot of coins for South Africa.
‘I don’t know how this one got into circulation.’