The death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has collectors scrambling to secure rare coins and bills bearing her likeness, even as her portrait is set to remain in circulation for years to come on money throughout the Commonwealth.
Coin dealers say demand for rare-issue notes and coins – such as a pre-World War II Canadian US$20 bill featuring Elizabeth as a child or Australia’s Platinum Jubilee 50-cent coin – has surged since the queen died in Scotland on Sept. 8.
Queries have been coming in from both seasoned collectors and novices eager to commemorate the death of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, who appears on a record 33 currencies around the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
“There’s been an incredible upsurge in demand,” said Peter Hutchison, heritage coin specialist at Hattons of London, adding he is fielding queries from as far away as Australia.
In highest demand are limited-issue coins that were sold to collectors in the first place. Prices are rising as seasoned numismatists try to fill gaps in their collections and newcomers join in, said Hutchinson.