Most people don’t think twice about tossing their spare change into a donation jar. But every once in a while, a truly remarkable coin finds its way into the pool of hundreds of other coins donated.
At the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, England, volunteer Becky Jennings was tasked with sorting through coins that had been donated. During the process, one coin caught her eye. It was a 2-pence coin that was minted in 1971, and it looked just like all of the other 2p coins minted that year, except for one thing: this one was silver colored instead of bronze. One logical explanation is that a cupronickel blank (a blend of copper and nickel used for 10p and 5p coins) was struck by mistake, instead of a bronze blank.
Realizing the error, Jennings immediately alerted her superiors. The hospital decided to sell the coin on eBay to the highest bidder. A rare coin collector purchased the coin for $1,244.75! It’s impossible to tell if the anonymous donor of the coin intended to give such a generous gift, but the hospital is excited either way.
Royal Berkshire charity director Mark Goff commented, “We’re absolutely thrilled that the coin fetched £802. Quite a markup on 2p! The money will be used towards vital equipment in our Urology Department.” Goff continued, “We want to thank both the collector who bought it, and our eagle-eyed volunteer who spotted it among other coins that were donated…”
This story has an additional moral for coin lovers: always check your pocket change twice! You never know what treasures may be hiding in there.
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