WITH the Olympics set to start this month, it's worth having a dig down the back of the sofa for rare coins, which could be worth up to £720.
In honour of the 2012 Olympics in London, the Royal Mint launched 29 new 50p coins featuring various sports in the games.
The series sparked the interest of collectors, and if you have one of these coins it could be worth hundreds if you sell it on eBay.
The Royal Mint estimates that as many as 75% of the Olympic 50p coins have been removed from circulation by collectors, pushing their value up.
And coin valuing website ChangeChecker.org is predicting that the Tokyo Olympics could push prices even higher.
According to ChangeChecker.org, the football coin is the rarest, with just 1,125,000 entering circulation.
Is your small change worth a fortune?
IF you think that you might have a rare coin then you might be able to make a real mint.
The most valuable coins are usually those with a low mintage or an error.
These are often deemed the most valuable by collectors.
You should check how much the coin is selling for on eBay.
Search the full name of the coin, select the "sold" listing and then toggle the search to "highest value".
It will give you an idea of the amount of money that the coin is going for.
You can either choose to sell the coin on eBay or through a specialist such as ChangeChecker.org.
If you choose the auction website then remember to set a minimum price that is higher or at the very least equal to the face value of the coin.
Even if your coin “sells” on eBay for a high price there’s no guarantee that the buyer will cough up.
It its terms and conditions, the auction website states that bidders enter a “legally binding contract to purchase an item”, but there’s no way to enforce this rule in reality.
The most eBay can do is add a note to their account for the unpaid item or remove their ability to bid and buy.
But in terms of price, the most expensive recently sold listing we could find on eBay was £720 for a 2012 Olympic aquatics coin.
It's worth mentioning that this coin had the original design, which showed waves passing over the swimmer's face before it was quickly adapted.
In the past, the rare aquatics coin has sold for almost £1,000.
Otherwise, the 2012 aquatics coin with the updated design is one of the more highly circulated coins with 2,197,000 released.
The most widely circulated of the set is the archer coin with well over 3.3million released to the general public.
Here's the ten rarest coins and how much they've sold for recently on eBay.
Sold for £720 on eBay – NB: the coin has waves across the face
If you find an aquatic 50p coin with lines over the face, this may be worth a small fortune.
A small handful of this original design was put into circulation but the design was then adapted very quickly to show the face above the water.
With so few of the original design out there, the coin's value has been pushed up significantly.
Sold for £20 on ebay
The football coins are the rarest of all the Olympics 2012 coins with just 1,125,500 in circulation.
The coin's design shows a football pitch with a diagram explaining the "offside" rule.
Sold for £13.99 on eBay
As the next rarest of all the coins, you can still get a decent price for the Wrestling coin.
We found that this coin, which shows two wrestlers fighting in an indoor stadium, had sold for £13.99 on eBay.
Sold for £16 on eBay
If you find a Judo Olympics 50p coin down the back of the sofa, you could sell it for a decent price.
The coin, which depict one barefoot fighter throwing another to the floor,had recently sold for on eBay was £16.
Sold for £14.50 on eBay
The Triathlon coin recently fetched £14.50 on eBay, according to our research.
Keep an eye out for the design which shows three outlined figures – one swimming one cycling and one running.
Sold for £6 on eBay
The Olympics 2012 tennis coin depicts a ball soaring over a net.
We found that it had sold for £6 on eBay.
Sold for £4.50 on eBay
You could sell a goalball Olympics 2012 50p for £4.50 if you find it burried in an old coat pocket.
The design shows a goalball player throwing the ball in a sport that is designed specifically for athletes with visual impairment.
Sold for £4.20 on eBay
The shooting coin for the 2012 Olympics showed a figure firing their rifile into the sky.
Our research showed that one of the coins recently sold for £4.50 on eBat.
Sold for £4.99 on eBay
If you find the Taekwondocoin, you could flog it for almost £5 on ebay – more that the two rarer coins of shooting and goalball.
The coins design shows two fighters with the one in the foreground doing a very high kick.
Sold for £4 on eBay
The handball coin recently sold for £4 on eBay – the highest amount we could find.
The design shows a male athlete preparing to throw a ball with the blueprint of a handball pitch in the background.
Other coins to watch out for
Just because a coin isn't as rare, doesn't mean it can't be worth more.
For instance, we found rowing coins for £5 and Gymnastics ones for £4.99, making them more valuable than some of their less common counterparts.
Sold for £3.89 on eBay
The Pentathlon coin, which saw 1,689,500 coins put into circulation.
But even though it's not as rare as coins like the tennis or handball,you could still fetch £3.89 for one on eBay.
Sold for £5 on eBay
A 50p Olympic rowing coin is also worth looking out for with 1,717,300 coins distributed.
It sold for more than it's much rarer counterparts, like shooting and taekwondo.
Sold for £4.99 on eBay
The gymnastics coin has also proved popular with its cool design of a somersaulting figure.
You can fetch almost £5 for one of these despite 1,720,813 coins being put into circulation.
Blue Peter rare coins
In 2009, nine-year old Florence Jackson became the youngest person to design a coin for circulation in the UK.
When the competition winner was revealed, only 100,000 special edition Blue Peter coin packs were released with a 2009 dated coin – making it the only Olympic 50p without a 2011 date.
The top value we found for a sale on eBay was £62.
We recently looked at rare and valuable 50p coins in circulation including Kew Gardens worth up to £707.
Elsewhere, we explain which error coins can bag you the most dosh.
A rare HG Wells £2 error coin could be worth up to £1,000 according to experts – here's how to spot if you have one.
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