Humberside

Hull window cleaner coins it in checking his change

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionHull window cleaner makes money from coins

A Hull window cleaner has built up a coin collection worth more than £15,000 by checking his change.

Richard Bird started his sideline a year ago after one of his customers told him that some of the picture coins in circulation were worth more than their face value.

He saves the rare coins and builds them into sets, which he then trades with other coin enthusiasts.

Mr Bird, 29, described his collecting as a "crazy obsession".

More on this and other Hull stories

"I've gone a bit mad with it all," he said.

"Trying to sell £2 coins for £10 and £20 and everyone thought I was crazy but it is possible."

He has handed out leaflets to shops, ice cream van owners and taxi and bus drivers, "basically anybody who gets change".

He even travels to seaside amusement arcades to get money from change machines.

'Valuable ones'

In the beginning he would get bags of change from banks, but now they have said they would charge him due to the amount of coins he was taking out.

"I was going from one bank to the other and changing £500 in one go," he said.

"I would spend hours sorting through the coins looking for valuable ones, then take the rest to another bank to change."

Image caption Richard Bird said his coin collecting has become a "crazy obsession"

The most valuable item in his collection is a £1 coin with two dates on.

Known in the trade as an "error coin", it could fetch up to £3,000.

He has had the coin verified as genuine by the Royal Mint in south Wales.

According to Mr Bird, other coins worth looking out for include the Kew Gardens 50p, which is worth up to £100, and the £1 city coins, which feature Belfast, London, Edinburgh and Cardiff and can sell for £25 for a set of four.

Mr Bird said he is now considering selling his window cleaning round and concentrating on coin trading.

"My ideal would be to open a coin shop somewhere in Hull."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites