A British coin collector has pocketed a 20p piece so rare that it’s the only one experts have ever seen – and is worth over £2,000.

Alun Barker, 43, is thought to be the only person known worldwide to be the keeper of an ultra rare 1990 20p, after he bought it for £50 on eBay.

What makes it unique is the type of metals the coin was made from when it was created by The Royal Mint three decades ago.

Rather than being produced with a bronze metal blank, known as a planchet, like every other 20p made in 1990, this coin was struck on a planchet from a foreign country.

The 20p was likely made by mistake, according to Alun, who has been collecting coins for over 30 years and has thousands stored away at home.

But after years of hoarding rare and special edition coins, care worker, Alun, says he has finally struck gold with his one-of-a-kind find.

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He’s been told by experts his coin is the only one known to be in existence, and if sold, would fetch a minimum of £2,200 at auction.

Dad-of-one, Alun from Hull, said: ‘When I saw it I loved it straight away. I knew it was unique.

‘It was fantastic to find out how unique it is. It’s brilliant news. I was over the moon.

‘I’ve been told that if I want to sell it I should put a reserve on it at auction for £2,200.

‘When I took it to be valued they said ‘the sky is the limit’ because it’s the only one.

‘Everyone I’ve spoken to has never seen anything like it. I’m still taking it in. The magnitude of it is amazing.’

Alun purchased the coin on eBay in December 2017 and snapped it up as a ‘buy it now’ item.

It was listed as a 20p struck on a 1p coin planchet, but experts have confirmed its true metallic makeup.

In January 2018 the coin was verified as authentic by the Royal Mint, who have confirmed it as genuine coinage.

After conducting his own research online, Alun soon realised just how rare his coin is and so sent it off to experts in America for a second opinion.

He sent the coin to ANACS – America’s oldest coin authentication and grading service and the third largest coin authentication company in the world.

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The experts in America confirmed it is a mix of foreign metal – a copper plated steel blank – and UK coinage and is also in almost perfect condition.

Alun said: ‘I love the coin too much to sell it. It’s too valuable to me. No one has seen anything like it.

‘It makes years of collecting coins worthwhile. I finally have a coin worth having.

‘I’m definitely going to keep it, there’s no way I’d sell it for £2,000.

‘But everything has a price. If someone offered me £10,000 then I take it.’

The coin has never entered into circulation or been in a person’s pocket, and is classified as mint state 63 uncirculated, on a scale of 1-70 based on a coin’s condition.


What makes it even more unique is how it weighs 2.61 grams, rather than 3.5 gram like the traditional British 20p piece.

It will now be kept with Alun’s huge collection of rare and valuable coins, which includes coins from abroad and special edition releases.

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