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Making a mint on a Kew Gardens 50p?

This week has seen many news stories on the elusive Kew Gardens 50p piece, which despite its cupro-nickel composition has become a golden ticket for coin collectors. If you’re lucky enough to have found one, due to its rarity and growing reputation, it might now be worth up to £120 – or 240 times its face value.

Minted in 2009, only 210,000 pieces were issued into general circulation. Whilst this sounds a lot, it actually reflects only 0.02% of the total 50p coins in circulation, and is a fraction of the 5m pieces issued on average per design.

In fact, Vaultex alone processed 350m 50p pieces for its customers in 2013, whilst sending out 330m in orders.

But how do commemorative coins find their way into your pocket?

As the biggest member of the coin industry, governed by The Royal Mint, Vaultex is assigned newly minted coin whenever it needs to fulfil its customers’ orders and is unable to meet that need through its inflow.

Part of this allocation includes commemorative pieces: issued either through whichever industry member requires them or, in some circumstances, directly through a particular member to reach a certain corporate customer – the sponsor of a sporting event for example.

And when a retailer, caterer, transport operator or any other business orders coin from Vaultex, we work with the Cash In Transit company to deliver the order to their door.

So when you go in and buy your goods, it might be worth having  a closer look at your change – you never know what it might be worth in a few years…