The Royal Mint is offering coin collectors the chance to own rare “trial pieces”.
Featuring designs such as the coveted Kew Gardens 50p and the Three Graces – a collection that sold out in 25 minutes in December 2020 – they will go to auction on September 26.
A trial piece is one of the first samples struck and sets the standard for subsequent coins issued. It is carefully inspected by coin makers to ensure it meets standards.
The trial pieces are then stored and the design is officially approved by the Queen before coin striking starts. Each die trial piece bears a hallmark.
These pieces have not been put on sale before by the Royal Mint.
Rebecca Morgan, director of collector services at the Royal Mint, said: “This month we are delighted to offer a sample of our trial pieces at auction for the first time. Each of the trial pieces has played an integral role in creating the final coin, and offer collectors the chance to own a part of numismatic history.”
She said a security feature has been added to the pieces “to safeguard their provenance”.
People can register to bid at https://www.royalmint.com/collect/auction