A rare set of coins are set to go under the hammer at an auction in Lichfield next month.
The ten individually sealed Isle of Man 10p pieces will be sold by Richard Winterton Auctioneers on 5th July.
The 1992 coins were issued by Pobjoy Mint to replace the older, larger coins in circulation.
A pre-production run of 200 were issued for vending machine operators and retailers to test. But the Manx coins were rejected and the mint asked for them back.
However, a resident on the island purchased ten of the coins – and an expert believe they may be the last remaining versions of the coins in existence.
Coin specialist Phil Bridge said:
“It does appear that some anomaly occurred when a pre-production run of 200 coins for retail and vending operators was sent out and subsequently returned because of the problems that arose.
“We have investigated but there is nothing in the mint archives relating to this, so there are lots of questions still unanswered.
“These ten coins are in pristine, as-minted condition and still in their protective bubbles after almost 30 years.
“Plus, coins get spent, lost or even discarded, especially when of a low face value and with such subtle yet important differences to the standard minted coin.
“So the guestimate is that there are possibly only a few of these in circulation with an almost unique few uncirculated and still in the packaging.
“We have put an estimate of £400-£500 on the coins but that could be just the tip of the iceberg.”Phil Bridge
For more details and a full list of lots in the 5th July sale visit www.richardwinterton.co.uk/auction-dates.