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As the fascination with Princess Diana suggests, people still aren't immune to the allure of British royalty, tabloid tales aside. If you're an old coin collector, you may want to specialize in British money from the Royal Mint.
Before you dive in to old coins, however, you'll need some old coin tips. Buyer beware: Victoria doesn't get much respect in the old coin values game. Worn old coins from her reign are worth about as much as silver bullion, which translates to .53 pence or about a dollar US. However, one shilling from 1882 can command $275 in Extra Fine condition.
Earlier royalty such as Charles II reap most of the rewards. The Charles II 1666 old coin with an elephant below the royal bust on the obverse fetches $2000 in Extremely Fine condition.
Some jolly good tips, pip pip:
--Coins minted before the 20th century usually don't have denominations. They're milled or produced on a machine press. Old coin guides usually measure the value of British old coins by diameter and weight.
--Unlike medieval coins, old coins in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries didn't have their edges clipped or shaved. If you're foggy on British royalty, just look at the edges to see if you're looking at Henry IV or George V.
--Some old coins were printed with the number of the dies used to make them. This doesn't add to the value of old coins from the British Empire.
--If you have an old coin rated BU or Brilliant Uncirculated, it's the same as in the US--you have quite a find. However, if an appraiser says your guinea proof set rates a Fleur de Coin, break out the high tea, because a Fleur de Coin proof old coin rates perfect mint state. This would be rare with old coins.
While you may not be ready to sing "God Save the Queen," you can at least own a piece of the crown.