Two pence (British decimal coin)

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Two pence
United Kingdom (UK)
Value0.02 pound sterling
Mass7.12 g
Diameter25.9 mm
Thickness(Bronze) 1.85 mm
(Steel) 2.03 mm
EdgePlain
CompositionBronze (1971–1991)
Copper-plated steel (1992–)
Years of minting1971present
Obverse
British two pence coin 2016 obverse.png
Design Queen Elizabeth II
Designer Jody Clark
Design date2015
Reverse
British two pence coin 2015 reverse.png
DesignSegment of the Royal Shield
Designer Matthew Dent
Design date2008

The British decimal two pence (2p) coin – often informally pronounced too pee – is a unit of currency equalling 2/100ths of a pound sterling. Its obverse has featured the profile of Queen Elizabeth II since the coin's introduction on 15 February 1971, the year British currency was decimalised. [1] Four different portraits of the Queen have been used on the coin, with the latest design by Jody Clark being introduced in 2015. The second and current reverse, featuring a segment of the Royal Shield, was introduced in 2008.

Contents

The two pence coin was originally minted from bronze, but since 1992 it has been minted in copper-plated steel due to the increasing price of metal. [2] By May 2006 the pre-1992 (97% copper) coins contained 3p worth of copper each. [3] As of May 2006, about 2.55 billion such coins remained in circulation. [3] However, The Royal Mint warned that tampering with coinage is illegal in the UK. [4] During 2008, the value of copper fell dramatically from these peaks. [5]

As of March 2014 there were an estimated 6.55 billion 2p coins in circulation corresponding to a value of £131 million. [6]

2p coins are legal tender for amounts only up to the sum of 20p when offered in repayment of a debt; however, the coin's legal tender status is not normally relevant for everyday transactions.

Design

Reverse: 1982-2008 British two pence coin 1994 reverse.png
Reverse: 1982–2008

The original reverse of the coin, designed by Christopher Ironside, and used from 1971 to 2008, is the Badge of the Prince of Wales: a plume of ostrich feathers within a coronet, above the German motto ICH DIEN ("I serve"). The numeral "2" is written below the badge, and either NEW PENCE (19711981) or TWO PENCE (from 1982) is written above. However, a small number of 1983 "New Pence" coins exist. These coins are rather rare, and are considered collectors' items.[ citation needed ] It was originally planned that an alternative version of the 2p would be minted with a design representing Northern Ireland. [7] These plans never came to fruition, however. The design was also re-cut in 1993 producing two minor varieties for that year. [8]

To date, five different obverses have been used: four different portraits and the removal of the beaded border in 2008. [8] In all cases, the inscription is ELIZABETH II D.G.REG.F.D. 2013, [8] where 2013 is replaced by the year of minting. In the original design both sides of the coin are encircled by dots, a common feature on coins, known as beading.

As with all new decimal currency, until 1984 the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Arnold Machin appeared on the obverse, [2] in which the Queen wears the 'Girls of Great Britain and Ireland' Tiara.

Between 1985 and 1997 the portrait by Raphael Maklouf was used, [2] in which the Queen wears the George IV State Diadem. In 1992 the metal used in minting this coin was switched from bronze to copper-plated steel.

From 1998 to 2015 the portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley was used, [2] again featuring the tiara, with a signature-mark IRB below the portrait.

As of June 2015, coins bearing the portrait by Jody Clark have been seen in circulation.

In August 2005 the Royal Mint launched a competition to find new reverse designs for all circulating coins apart from the £2 coin. [9] The winner, announced in April 2008, was Matthew Dent, whose designs were gradually introduced into the circulating British coinage from mid-2008. [10] The designs for the 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p and 50p coins depict sections of the Royal Shield that form the whole shield when placed together. The shield in its entirety was featured on the now-obsolete round £1 coin. The 2p coin depicts the second quarter of the shield, showing the Lion Rampant from the Royal Banner of Scotland, with the words TWO PENCE above. The coin's obverse remains largely unchanged, but the beading (the ring of dots around the coin's circumference), which no longer features on the coin's reverse, has also been removed from the obverse.

2p coins are legal tender for amounts up to and including 20 pence. [11] [12] However, in the UK, "legal tender" has a very specific and narrow meaning which relates only to the repayment of debt to a creditor, not to everyday shopping or other transactions. [13] Specifically, coins of particular denominations are said to be "legal tender" when a creditor must by law accept them in redemption of a debt. [14] The term does not mean - as is often thought - that a shopkeeper has to accept a particular type of currency in payment. [13] A shopkeeper is under no obligation to accept any specific type of payment, whether legal tender or not; conversely they have the discretion to accept any payment type they wish. [12]

Mintages

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Coins of the pound sterling British current and historic coinage

The standard circulating coinage of the United Kingdom is denominated in pounds sterling, and, since the introduction of the two-pound coin in 1994, ranges in value from one penny to two pounds. Since decimalisation, on 15 February 1971, the pound has been divided into 100 (new) pence. Before decimalisation, twelve pence made a shilling, and twenty shillings made a pound. British coins are minted by the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales. The Royal Mint also commissions the coins' designs.

Twenty pence (British coin) British decimal coin

The British decimal twenty pence (20p) coin – often pronounced "twenty pee" – is a unit of currency equal to 20/100 of a pound sterling. Like the 50p coin, it is an equilateral curve heptagon. Its obverse has featured the profile of Queen Elizabeth II since the coin's introduction on 9 June 1982. Four different portraits of the Queen have been used; the latest design by Jody Clark was introduced in 2015. The second and current reverse, featuring a segment of the Royal Shield, was introduced in 2008.

Fifty pence (British coin) British decimal coin; half of one pound sterling

The British decimal fifty pence (50p) coin – often informally pronounced fifty pee – is a unit of currency equalling one half of a pound sterling. It is a seven-sided coin formed as an equilateral-curve heptagon, or Reuleaux polygon, a curve of constant width, meaning that the diameter is constant across any bisection. Its obverse has featured the profile of Queen Elizabeth II since the coin's introduction in 1969. Four different portraits of the Queen have been used, with the latest design by Jody Clark being introduced in 2015. The second and current reverse, featuring a segment of the Royal Shield, was introduced in 2008.

Five pence (British coin) Coin of the United Kingdom

The British decimal five pence (5p) coin – often pronounced five pee – is a unit of currency equaling five one-hundredths of a pound sterling. Its obverse has featured the profile of Queen Elizabeth II since the coin’s introduction on 23 April 1968, replacing the shilling in preparation for decimalisation in 1971. A smaller version of the coin was introduced in June 1990 with the older coins being withdrawn on 31 December 1990. Four different portraits of the Queen have been used, with the latest design by Jody Clark being introduced in 2015. The second and current reverse, featuring a segment of the Royal Shield, was introduced in 2008.

Ten pence (British coin) British decimal coin

The British decimal ten pence (10p) coin – often pronounced ten pee – has a value of ten one-hundredths of a pound sterling. Its obverse has featured the profile of Queen Elizabeth II since the coin's introduction in 1968, to replace the florin coin in preparation for decimalisation in 1971. Four different portraits of the Queen have been used on the coin; the latest design by Jody Clark was introduced in 2015. The second and current reverse, featuring a segment of the Royal Shield, was introduced in 2008.

Penny (British decimal coin) Unit of currency equalling one-hundredth of a pound sterling

The British decimal one penny (1p) coin is a unit of currency equalling one-hundredth of a pound sterling. Its obverse has featured the profile of Queen Elizabeth II since the coin's introduction on 15 February 1971, the day British currency was decimalised. Four different portraits of the Queen have been used on the obverse; the latest design by Jody Clark was introduced in 2015. The second and current reverse, designed by Matthew Dent, features a segment of the Royal Shield and was introduced in 2008. The penny is the lowest value coin ever to circulate in the United Kingdom.

Halfpenny (British decimal coin) Demonetised unit of currency that was worth one two-hundredth of a pound sterling

The British decimal halfpenny coin was introduced in February 1971, at the time of decimalisation, and was worth one two-hundredth of a pound sterling. It was ignored in banking transactions, which were carried out in units of 1p.

Two pounds (British coin) British coin denominating two pounds sterling

The British two pound (£2) coin of the pound sterling. Its obverse has featured the profile of Queen Elizabeth II since the coin’s introduction. Three different portraits of the Queen have been used, with the current design by Jody Clark being introduced in 2015. The reverse design features Britannia.

One pound (British coin) British coin, denomination of the pound sterling

The British one pound (£1) coin is a denomination of the pound sterling. Its obverse bears the Latin engraving ELIZABETH II D G REG F D meaning, “Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith”. It has featured the profile of Queen Elizabeth II since the original coin's introduction on 21 April 1983. Four different portraits of the Queen have been used, with the latest design by Jody Clark being introduced in 2015. The design on the reverse side of the current, 12-sided coin features four emblems to represent each of the nations of the United Kingdom — the English rose, the leek for Wales, the Scottish thistle, and the shamrock for Northern Ireland, also two or three oak leaves — emerging from a single 5-branched stem within a crown.

Half farthing

The British half farthing coin, usually simply known as a half farthing, was a unit of currency equaling 1/1,920 of a pound sterling, or one eighth of a penny. It was minted in copper for use in Ceylon, but in 1842 they were declared legal tender in the United Kingdom. Two different obverses were used. Like all British coinage, it bore the portrait of the monarch on the obverse.

History of the British penny (1901–1970) History of the pre-decimal British penny during the 20th century

The British penny, a large, pre-decimal coin continuing the series of pennies that began about the year 700, was struck intermittently during the 20th century until its withdrawal after 1970. Throughout the period 1901 to 1970, the obverse of the bronze coin depicted the monarch who was reigning at the start of the year. The reverse featured an image of Britannia seated with shield, trident, and helm, originally created by Leonard Charles Wyon and based on an earlier design for the penny by his father William Wyon. The coins also were used in dominions and British colonies that had not issued their own coins.

Florin (British coin) British coin issued from 1849 until 1970, worth two shillings (one tenth of a pound sterling)

The British florin, or two shilling coin, was issued from 1849 until 1967, with a final issue for collectors dated 1970. Valued at one tenth of a pound, it was the last coin circulating immediately prior to decimalisation to be demonetised, in 1993, having for a quarter of a century circulated alongside the ten pence piece, identical in specifications and value.

Guernsey pound currency of Guernsey; at par with the pound sterling

The pound is the currency of Guernsey. Since 1921, Guernsey has been in currency union with the United Kingdom and the Guernsey pound is not a separate currency but is a local issue of banknotes and coins denominated in pound sterling, in a similar way to the banknotes issued in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland. It can be exchanged at par with other sterling coinage and notes.

Jersey pound currency

The pound is the currency of Jersey. Jersey is in currency union with the United Kingdom, and the Jersey pound is not a separate currency but is an issue of banknotes and coins by the States of Jersey denominated in pound sterling, in a similar way to the banknotes issued in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It can be exchanged at par with other sterling coinage and notes.

The Manx pound is the currency of the Isle of Man, in parity with the pound sterling. The Manx pound is divided into 100 pence. Notes and coins, denominated in pounds and pence, are issued by the Isle of Man Government.

Sixpence (British coin)

The sixpence, sometimes known as a tanner or sixpenny bit, is a coin that was worth one-fortieth of a pound sterling, or six pence. It was first minted in the reign of Edward VI, and circulated until 1980. Following decimalisation in 1971 it had a value of ​2 12 new pence. The coin was made from silver from its introduction in 1551 until 1947, and thereafter in cupronickel.

Australian ten-cent coin Current denomination of Australian currency

The Australian ten-cent coin is a coin of the decimal Australian dollar. When the dollar was introduced as half of an Australian pound on 14 February 1966, the coin inherited the specifications of the pre-decimal shilling; both coins were worth one twentieth of a pound. On introduction it was the fourth-lowest denomination coin. Since the withdrawal from circulation of the one and two cent coins in 1992, it has been the second-lowest denomination coin in circulation.

The threepence or threepenny bit was a denomination of currency used by various jurisdictions in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, valued at 1/80 of a pound or ¼ of a shilling until decimalisation of the pound sterling and Irish pound in 1971. It was also used in some parts of the British Empire, notably Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Coins of the Australian dollar were introduced on 14 February 1966, although they did not at that time include one-dollar or two-dollar coins. The dollar was equivalent in value to 10 shillings in the former currency.

Penny (British pre-decimal coin) British pre-decimal coin worth 1/240th of a pound sterling

The pre-decimal penny (1d) was a coin worth 1/240 of a pound sterling. Its symbol was d, from the Roman denarius. It was a continuation of the earlier English penny, and in Scotland it had the same monetary value as one pre-1707 Scottish shilling. The penny was originally minted in silver, but from the late 18th century it was minted in copper, and then after 1860 in bronze.

References

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  2. 1 2 3 4 "1p Coin". British Royal Mint. Archived from the original on 2006-04-27. Retrieved 2006-05-23.
  3. 1 2 "Your small fortune: 2p coins that could be worth 3p each", Telegraph, 12 May 2006
  4. "Mint warns against melting coins", BBC News, 12 May 2006
  5. London Metal Exchange copper price graphs Archived 2008-11-07 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Mintage Figures". Royal Mint. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  7. "50 New Penny Piece", Hansard, 20 December 1968
  8. 1 2 3 Clayton, Tony. "Decimal Coins of the UK – Two Pence" . Retrieved 2015-01-18.
  9. "Royal Mint seeks new coin designs", BBC News, 17 August 2005
  10. "Royal Mint unveils new UK coins" Archived 2008-09-07 at the Wayback Machine , 2 April 2008
  11. "Coinage Act: Section 2", legislation.gov.uk , The National Archives, 1971 c. 24 (s. 2)
  12. 1 2 "What are the legal tender amounts acceptable for UK coins?". The Royal Mint. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  13. 1 2 "What is legal tender?". Bank of England. Retrieved 2019-05-05.
  14. "Legal tender". Collins. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  15. [https://www.royalmint.com/currency/uk-currency/mintages/2-pence/ "Royal Mint Mintages"]