Looking for hidden riches? They may be hidden down the back of the sofa

Jon White – silver coins 2[3]

Coin expert Jon White, who runs Wootton Bassett-based 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.

So if you’ve not got much to do this weekend (and having gone through every boxed set on Netflix and iPlayer, painted most rooms in the house and waiting to attack the garden until it dries up a bit, I haven’t got much planned tbh), why don’t you shove your hands down that back of the sofa, rummage around in the depths of old drawers and hunt down hidden treasure in your own home.

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

Jon recently supported a family who were selling a large quantity of silver coins found in a family member’s estate. He paid them, based on current silver value, £43,000.

He said: “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 1,000s of old coins still out there and they are an easy target for those who don’t play fair.”

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 has run his successful gold dealership near Swindon for more than ten years.

He 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). In Wiltshire alone, 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 & 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.”

To find out more or value your own silver coins visit https://britanniacoincompany.com/predecimal-calculator/