Who needs the 2 pence piece?

A survey by Gocompare recently found that as many as 21% of Britons would like to scrap copper coins, leaving the 5p as the lowest circulating denomination.

Coppers 2

Coppers are becoming unpopular

In fact, out of the 2,000 adults who participated in the survey, 68% claimed they prefer to empty their pockets of copper coins rather than carry them around or spend them.

And who can blame them?

To all intents and purposes, 1p and 2p coins are worthless because you can’t use them to buy anything.

Matt Sanders of Gocompare commented: “Our survey suggests that for many people, copper coins have had their day. In a world of higher prices, plastic cards and contactless payments, copper coins seem increasingly worthless and irrelevant.”

Other developed nations such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada have all taken steps to remove their minimum denominations, so why has Britain not yet followed suit?

Retaining the penny makes some sense because of the tendency for businesses to use a 99 pence pricing tactic. But why do we need a 2p coin? Would it be a problem if we were never to see it again?

Shield jogsaw missing 2p

Scrapping either the 1p or 2p would break up the Royal Arms Shield

The missing jigsaw piece

The answer is: probably not.

However, it would pose a problem for collectors.

The famous Royal Arms Shield jigsaw puzzle which has been a quirky design feature of British coins since 2008 uses the reverse design of every coin from the penny to the 50p – including the 2p.

Could this be the reason that the Royal Mint have been reluctant to scrap it?

What do you think should happen? Have your say in our poll below:


  1. Gareth on November 1, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    They could round things which are £9.99 to £10 or they could round prices down to the nearest 5p or the final bill up to the nearest 5p (adding on a max of 4p). The issue there is still 2p arcade machines.

  2. Ian on October 17, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Just look at your till receipt for the weekly (or monthly) shop. Many prices end in amounts other than 5 or 0. So with 50 or more items in the trolley expect a pound or two on the bill!
    I remember going decimal in 1971 everything went up, often by 2½ times on smaller items (old pennies to the same number of new pence).

  3. Andy on October 15, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    If they scrap the 2p then what would we use in the 2p machines at the arcades?

  4. frisbysutton on October 15, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    another rip of by those in power

  5. Keith Littlewood on October 15, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    What would you do with the 2p waterfall machines in the amusement arcade

  6. Pat Dinsdale on October 15, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    I would rather ditch the 5p coin – it is too small and fiddly and gets wedged in the corner of my purse.

    • busysuzi on October 16, 2015 at 11:37 am

      I’d like to ditch that too!

  7. eaf143 on October 15, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    I can see no reason for the coins to be scrapper they have their usefulness and that has nothing with the Royal mint and the shield design

  8. Kev on October 15, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    If 5p is the minimum, it will only be an excuse for retailers to round up prices. They are set at 1, 2 and 5 so that, with (up to) only three coins, you can easily make all possible numbers from 1 to 10. I would not wish to inhabit a place where you HAVE to count in 5s.