COIN collectors have been flogging what appear to be rare £2 Shakespeare error coins for up to £230 on eBay.
Three Shakespeare £2 coins dubbed Tragedies, Comedies, and Histories were issued by the Royal Mint in 2016 to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of Britain’s famous playwright.
The coin with the supposed error on it is the Tragedies £2, which features a skull and rose motif in a nod to William Shakespeare’s works on tragic love affairs.
It should have “WHAT A PIECE OF WORK IS MAN” inscribed on the side of the coin, which is a line from Hamlet, but coin collectors have noticed some seem to have the wrong inscription.
They instead read “FOR KING AND COUNTRY”, which is the phrase that’s supposed to be on the Royal Mint’s First World War £2 issued in 2016 to commemorate the role of the army in WWI.
Coin expert Colin Bellamy of the Coin Hunter website first alerted The Sun to the issue.
The Sun has contacted the Royal Mint to ask if this is a known issue and how many error versions may be out there.
A spokesperson for The Royal Mint said: “We are investigating the alleged error.”
It’s unclear if the First World War £2 wrongly contains the quote from Hamlet on its inscription.
To date, 4,615,000 of the Tragedies coins have gone into circulation so there’s a strong chance you may may find one in your spare change.
The most an error version of the Tragedies £2 has gone for so recently on eBay is £230, plus £1.83 postage, after receiving 30 bids on August 13.
Just yesterday, another sold for £98.28, plus £3.75 postage, after notching up 12 bids, and one went for £51, plus 76p postage, today after being bid on by 14 people.
Given we don’t know how many coins with the error on are out there it’s impossible to say how much the coin could be worth; plus a coin is only as valuable as a collector is willing to pay.
The condition of the coin is also likely to have an impact, with collectors preferring those without scratches and signs of wear and tear.
But it’s worth having a look just in case. One of the most famous error coins – an Olympic swimming 50p from 2012 – recently sold for £410.
The confirmed error coin was struck with an older design featuring waves of water running over the swimmer’s face.
Meanwhile, a rare £1 coin struck twice recently went for £282.
See our round-up of the most valuable and rare error coins in circulation.