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The £1 coins already selling for hundreds on eBay - before they have been released

Birmingham Mail logo Birmingham Mail 16/02/2017 James Rodger

Credits: PA

Credits: PA
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc

The new £1 coin is coming - and it is already making headlines.

The coin won't be coming into circulation until March.

But that hasn't stopped savvy collectors, who are already selling the coins on online auction websites.

A number of 12-sided £1 coins have just sold on eBay for as much as £200 - despite not being in circulation yet.

Over 200,000 of the brand new coins - due to release in the UK on March 28 have been spotted on the online auction website, after being handed out to selected retailers last year for "testing".

The new coins are considered "trial coins" - and therefore aren't rare, or legitimate legal tender.

They cannot be used in shops - and in March, will not default to official tender.

However, they're already selling for hundreds, and experts are predicting their value to go up even further when the official coin is released in spring.

Scott Kuperus, The Royal Mint’s technical manager for the £1 coin said: "The new £1 coin will be the most secure in the world. it is only right that we release clearly marked sample coins to business so they can prepare.

"The trial pieces are marked with the word ‘trial’, do not have legal tender status, and have no redeemable value."

Lucky holder "Glanvog" sold his edition for £200 earlier this week, after eBay.co.uk bidders ramped up the war for the limited edition coin.

On Friday, seller "Robbiethebarge" sold his coin for £162.57, however there's no mention of how the coin was sourced.

The Royal Mint has issued over 200,000 trial samples of the new 12-sided £1 coin to industry stakeholders, for the purposes of calibrating or upgrading coin handling equipment ahead of the coin's introduction in March 2017.

This includes vending machines, supermarket chains and banks. The trial pieces are marked with the word 'trial' and have no redeemable value.

Unfortunately, as these coins were handed out as "trial editions" they're not legal tender and therefore you won't be able to pocket a copy that easily.

Only businesses with "legitimate needs have been handed the coins - making it very difficult to track down.

Aspiring owners should keep an eye out once the release begins, as it's likely they'll get mixed up in circulation.

The new 12-sided £1 coin is set to enter circulation on March 28.

The old 'round pound' - introduced more than 30 years ago - will cease to be legal tender on October 15 as the new £1 is dubbed the most secure in the world.

The new coins feature a string of security features including a hologram.

The hologram changes from a '£' symbol to the number '1' when the coin is seen from different angles.

Around £1.3 billion worth of coins are stored in savings jars across the country, and the current £1 coin accounts for nearly a third of these.

People are being urged to return the £1 coins before they lose their legal tender status.

They can either spend them before October 15 or bank them.

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