World Coins

PNG warns of royal pretenders, collector-only coins from beyond the commonwealth

The Royal Mint’s first coins depicting the new Queen Elizabeth II were released in 1953, the year of her coronation. PNG warns of numismatic pretenders taking advantage of interest in the official coins to market items that may not be good long-term investments.

Original images courtesy of PNG, NGC.

Coins depicting the newest ruler of England could be a royal ripoff to collectors, warns the Professional Numismatists Guild.

New coins depicting King Charles III are expected to be popular with the public and collectors when the Royal Mint and other national mints of the Commonwealth strike and distribute them, according to the PNG, found online at

However, the nonprofit organization for coin dealers cautions buyers to know the difference between official legal tender coins and those issued by countries not part of the United Kingdom or the Commonwealth.

When an important new coin design is introduced, many people enjoy collecting examples from the first year of issue, such as the United Kingdom’s 1953 coins of Queen Elizabeth II or the 1964 United States Mint half dollar depicting President John F. Kennedy, the organization said.

“The marketplace already has advertisements for coins featuring King Charles III that are made by or on behalf of countries that issue non-circulating legal tender money intended only for collectors, not to be used in circulation even in their own countries. These may be fine souvenirs but these pretenders to the numismatic throne may not be good long-term investments,” said PNG President Wayde Milas. “These pieces are sometimes touted by third-party marketers as good investments because of their theme or restricted low mintage. While occasionally some of these do appreciate in value, the majority of these modern issues, including some produced by the United States Mint, have ended up valued below their issue price.”

Those who like the subject or theme, or design, or would like to own them as a souvenir or to show support for their cause certainly may choose to buy them, Milas said. “However, if you hope it might actually go up in value then you’re probably better off avoiding this type of material,” he said.

The PNG also cautioned buyers that gold-coated coins are not “gold coins.”

Frequently advertised on television, such tribute items are privately produced, and often carry only a razor-thin film of gold.

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