The Royal Mint has unveiled the designs of four new commemorative coins to be launched this year. Based on the sales values of previous issues, these could be attractive investments.
Three of the coins commemorate the centenaries of major events and organisations that have helped shape Britain, including a £2 coin that marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War Armistice - the agreement that ended fighting between the Allies and Germany.
Another £2 coin celebrates the formation of the Royal Air Force in 1918, while a third – a 50p piece – will mark 100 years since the passing of the Representation of the People Act, when women over the age of 30 won the right to vote, along with servicemen over 19 and all men over 21.
The fourth coin is a £2 piece featuring the name of Dr Frankenstein’s legendary creature, to celebrate 200 years after the publication of Mary Shelley’s science fiction novel. In creating the Frankenstein "monster", Shelley anticipated the era of genetic engineering and medical transplant surgery by more than a century.
All four coins will be released into circulation at various points during the year, and will be available to buy on the Royal Mint website at the time of their respective anniversary dates.
Limited edition coins like these often become collectors’ items, and sell for significantly more than their face value on auction sites such as eBay.
Royal Mint's Isaac Newton 50p, for instance, which entered into circulation last year, has previously sold for up to £5 on eBay – 10 times its face value.
The Kew Gardens 50p, released in 2009 to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens, is the rarest coin of any denomination currently in circulation. Because of this, owners of the coin can expect to sell it for up to £100 on eBay.
A Political Union 50p, otherwise known as the Suffragettes 50p, created in 2003 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Women's Social and Political Union, can fetch up to £20 online.
A number of Northern Ireland 2002 XVII Commonwealth Games £2 coins, launched to celebrate the 2002 Commonwealth Games, have previously sold for up to £40 on eBay.