Why this seemingly ordinary 5c coin in Australia is now worth $3,000
An ultra-rare double-headed 5c coin has been valued at between $3,000 and $5,000 among collectors desperate for one of their own.
The 2007 5c coin entered circulation with a major printing error before anyone realized that both sides feature the Queen’s head.
Enthusiasts have told all Australians to be on the lookout for the illusory coin after TikToker Barnes Meister found one in mint condition in his wallet.
Joel Kandiah, another coin enthusiast from Perth, said the error occurred when two “head dies” were pressed into a single blank coin during production.
A 2007 double-headed 5-cent coin that was released into circulation was valued at between $3,000 and $5,000 depending on its condition.
“When the Mint sets up its press to make coins, the top of the die is the head side and the bottom is the tail side. But what happened here was the bottom die was also on the tail side, so it spat out a double-headed 5c coin,” Mr Kandiah said. told news.com.au.
Mistakes made by Royal Australian Mint coins are very rare, but when they do occur, collectors travel the country to find them.
“The Mint has very high quality assurance and quality control processes, so it’s almost impossible to find an error, you’re looking at less than 0.1 percent or even less,” Mr Kandiah said.
The last time someone found a double-headed 5c coin was in 2022, and rare items only appear on second-hand markets once or twice a year.
At the moment there is only one of the pieces listed on Ebay which is in new condition with a starting bid of $2,000.
The Mint has never confirmed how many of these erroneous coins were put into circulation, so the chances of finding one might be better than expected.
“The machines print 600 coins per minute and (the Mint) tries to check all the coins, find the errors and eliminate them – so they may have eliminated a number of errors, but there’s a good chance let there be one more big one.” a lot of them there,” Mr. Kandiah said.
Poorly printed valuable coins usually have only the slightest error in their design, which makes them so difficult to spot.
Perth-based coin enthusiast Joel Kandiah said the error occurred when two “head dies” were printed on a single blank coin during production at the Royal Australian Mint.
There is only one double-headed nickel on eBay as of this writing, with a starting bid of $2,000.
A Victoria woman found a 20-cent coin with a “wavy baseline” on the number two and discovered she could sell it for $4,000 thanks to the mistake.
Generally, the baseline is a solid line without any curvature.
The Mint made another mistake when it released a batch of “Mule Dollar” coins – a small number of $1 coins from the year 2000 that were made with poor printing.
The Mule dollar, which can sell for $3,000, has a double edge instead of the regular $1 coin which has one.
Coin expert Matthew Thompson of Sydney’s Town Hall Coins and Collectables said valuable coins are still circulating because people don’t check them.
“People don’t expect institutions like the Mint to make mistakes,” he recently told Daily Mail Australia.
“But every once in a while, things can go wrong. If you see mistakes on a coin, if you have something interesting, strange or out of place, then other people will probably find it interesting too – that’s why people collect.
Others want to inspect every coin in their change jars, which is a process called “nodding.”
“I’ve done it before if I had a bag of coins or if I had jars of coins. If you spend a little time going through them, it can definitely pay off,” he said.