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Coin collectors in the dark about major change to buying rare coins

Australians want to know how to get their hands on the rare set, without paying inflated prices online.

Would-be collectors trying to get their hands on a set of $2 coins now selling for up to $1,500 will have to wait to find out how a new ballot system will work.

The Royal Australian Mint had to halt sales for the $239 14-coin set released last week to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the $2 coin after phone lines were inundated and queues of people camping overnight started snaking outside the Canberra building.

A move to release the rest of the available stock online through a ballot system was announced on Friday but it is still not yet clear how those hoping to get their hands on the sets can register.

A 14-coin set of commemorative $2 in a green folder.
Coin collectors remain in the dark about a ballot system to distribute the remaining 35th $2 coin sets. (Credit: Royal Australian Mint)

Yahoo Finance contacted the mint, and online commerce platform EQL, after the partnership was announced, but neither have been able to advise of the details. Yahoo Finance understands contracts are yet to be signed, but that we could learn more by Wednesday.

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There were 35,000 of the sets made available, and a substantial number of them are already being flogged off online - some with listing prices of up to $1,500. Those who have hoarded the sets are attempting to cash in. A set of 10 are listed for almost $6,000, but the majority are selling for about $600, a decent profit less than a week from when you made the $239 investment.

The coins have been in such significant demand as a similar 12-coin set released in 2018 for $75 is now “consistently selling for over $800”, coin expert Matt Thompson told Yahoo Finance.

A line of people in carpark outside mint.
People camped overnight to get their hands on the new $2 coin set. (Credit: Facebook)

Why did the mint need to change how it was selling collectable coins?

The mint has been accused of distributing collectors items unfairly as those who don’t live near the mint, or can’t make the journey, are forced to buy through the call centre, with some making thousands of calls over several hours without connecting.

The online store was closed after repeatedly crashing in popular events and the mint acknowledged the “need for a better, fairer system to make our products available to the Australian community” when it announced the ballot system.

“The implementation of EQL will mitigate ongoing problems such as website crashing, slow loading times, competing with bots and guarantees secure personal and payment details for customers,” the mint said.

“Our aim is to ensure the coin release ballot solution gives all Australians equal opportunity to access our highly sought after collectible coins. The Mint acknowledges that 2023 has been a challenge for many collectors and we thank you for your continued support and patience.”

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