Fiona Scott Media Consultanccy

Coin expert Jon White, who runs the Britannia Coin Company, is launching his free online silver coin pre-decimal calculator to prevent people being ripped off selling coins with silver hidden within.

He is launching the online resource to mark the 50th anniversary of going decimal which takes place on Monday 15 February.

"It will be 50 years since we abandoned half crowns, florins and the like and we began to count in pennies and pounds. However there are thousands of old coins still out there and they are an easy target for those who don't play fair," Jon said.

These coins might be sixpences, florins or shillings and will contain silver content; however, ignorance around this can lead to sellers being short-changed when they exchange some old coins for modern day cash.

Jon, who lives in Wiltshire and has run a successful gold dealership for more than 10 years, said: 

"With pre-1947 coins the silver content can be relatively high - and there are still tons of these coins in cupboards, drawers and attics nationwide. Many dealers don't offer a valuation which, in my view, is fair and people get perhaps 60 per cent of the value of the precious metal if they are lucky."

Dealers will, Jon said, often tempt people in with 'free bags' and 'send your coins to us in free bags' but will actually pay out a very low amount for those coins.

"Many competitors rely on sellers not fully understanding the true value of their coins. I've always had the philosophy that it's better to give the customer the information needed for them to make the best decision for them when selling their coins, or even their jewellery," Jon said.

For example, Jon will pay around 85 per cent of the value of the precious metal and many dealers will pay 40 to 60 per cent - and it's got even worse during lockdown as people look to raise cash (gold values are very high at the moment for this reason). There has been an upsurge in people receiving fliers from gold and silver dealers offering a low price for precious metals.

With his online calculator for silver, those with old coins get an up-front valuation and can at least work out if they are getting a good deal if they are already in touch with a dealer. A customer can value their coins based on weight, face value or denomination.

Jon said: "The calculator has to be as flexible as possible as we value coins in different ways. My dad grew up with pounds, shillings and pence, hence he can total up old coins really easily. Most people under 50 however are going to struggle working out their face value, hence the options to value by weight or denomination to make things easier. Calculations are generated, based on the current live silver market price."

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