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Major change to buying collectable coins after Royal Australian Mint inundated by thousands of Aussies trying to score rare $2 coin set

The mint has listened to customer feedback about how they sell collectable coins, as concerns grew about another long queue in the rising heat.

A rare coin set will now be sold by the Royal Australian Mint by ballot online after thousands queued and many disappointed collectors reported issues with being able to buy over the phone.

The $239 14-coin set was released yesterday to pay homage to the $2 coin’s 35th anniversary and the mint was inundated by hopeful collectors, some who camped overnight outside the Canberra store in the hopes of getting one. Sets are now being sold online for between $400 and up to $1500.

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.

A 14 coin collection with an inset of a call log that shows someone calling the mint 1236 times.
A rare set of $2 coins will now be sold by ballot after frustrated would-be collectors couldn't get through to the mint's call centre. (Credit: Yahoo Finance)

Got a story? Contact belinda.grantgeary@yahooinc.com

The online store was closed after repeatedly crashing in popular events, with coin expert telling Yahoo Finance the website was not just inundated by avid collectors, but bots. He said demand for this set was “through the roof” because similar 12-coin set released in 2018 for $75 is now “consistently selling for over $800”.

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“Now, they are selling them with two extra coins and people are going bananas for it,” he said.

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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, launched under a partnership with online commerce platform EQL.

“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.

People camping in the mint car park.
Avid collectors showed up to the mint the day before the coin set went on sale, camping overnight in the car park to get their hands on the new offerings. (Credit: Facebook)

“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.”

This comes as the new King Charles coins come into circulation, with people already trying to sell some online for up to five times their value.

How can I get in the ballot to buy a $2 coin set?

The mint said it had been working on the partnership for some time, but there was not any clear information about how people could join the ballot, or be notified of it happening.

It directed people toward EQL, but there are no details on the website. Yahoo Finance has contacted EQL for further information.

The mint told Yahoo Finance the details had not yet been ironed out. But as soon as we have them, so will you. You can take a closer look at the set on the official website here.

Thompson said he was confident the move was the first step in "working toward a solution to benefit collectors in the future".

Punters appear happy with the decision to move toward a “fairer” system.

"Thank you. I think this is the best way for those of us that can’t travel to the mint or be on the phone all hours of the day a ballot system will be perfect,” one said.

"Thanking you for the honest chance of being able to purchase a new release finally! This is exciting to read after such a disheartening day," said another.

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Yahoo Australia