Why you won’t find 2018 dated 1p and 2p coins in your change…

It’s been revealed that no 1p and 2p coins were struck for circulation by The Royal Mint last year.

This marks the first time in decades that no penny coins were struck in a year. In fact, the last time we saw a year with no new 1p coins was way back in 1972! And it’s been 35 years since the last time no new 2p coins were struck for circulation.

The future of the penny

Back in May 2019, the UK Treasury confirmed that 1p and 2p coins will continue to be used “for years to come”. Find out the full story here.

This news emerged following concerns that the 1p and 2p coins would be scrapped after their validity was questioned in the 2018 Spring Statement.

Members of the public were outraged by the idea of the humble penny being scrapped. However it isn’t just sentimental value which has safeguarded the future of the penny.

It’s estimated that around 2.2 people are thought to be reliant on cash to live their daily lives. This includes the elderly, vulnerable people and rural communities who would likely be hit hard if cash availability were to decline.

Card payments are on the rise

Nevertheless, it is clear that card and electronic payments are on the rise and whilst around 500 million 1p and 2p coins are usually issued each year, the fact that none were produced last year goes to show how low the demand for these coins currently is.

We already know that no 20p or £2 coins were struck for circulation in 2017 and it’s also been revealed that no £2 coins were struck for circulation in 2018 either.

A spokesperson from the Treasury said, “We didn’t ask the mint to issue any £2 or 1p/2p coins this past year because there are already enough of these in circulation. Our coins are of the highest quality and the amount we ask the Royal Mint to produce every year depends on demand from banks and Post Offices.”

Commemorative £2 coins

Despite no £2 coins entering circulation since 2016, collector editions of the new commemorative designs have still been produced by The Royal Mint to mark Britain’s most important anniversaries.

Whilst some people are happy to pay a little more to secure the latest coins in superior quality, others are understandably frustrated by the lack of coins entering circulation recently.

To give collectors the chance to own 2019 UK £2 and 50p coins for just face value, this year we launched the Change Checker Face Value Coin Ballot, which you can find out about here.

Spending a penny

It’s thought that around 10.5 billion 1p coins are currently in circulation, but the Treasury estimates that roughly 60% of copper coins are typically only used once before being stashed away or lost.

Despite the lack of 1p and 2p coins being struck for circulation last year, we know that the future of our UK coins is still secure (for now at least), but how often do you find yourself actually spending your 1p and 2p coins?

Let us know in our Facebook poll:

If you’re interested in coin collecting, our Change Checker web app is completely free to use and allows users to:

– Find and identify the coins in their pocket
– Collect and track the coins they have
– Swap their spare coins with other Change Checkers

Change Checker Web App Banner 2 Amends 1024x233 1 1024x233 - Your January 2019 Scarcity Index update!

Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app


  1. Ladyb1328 on August 17, 2019 at 12:34 am

    Will the Royal Mint publish the mintage figures for the annual set for years 2018 and 2019?

    • Rachel Hooper on August 19, 2019 at 8:28 am

      No news as of yet, but keep your eyes peeled.

  2. Barry Wilshaw on August 9, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    I save all 1p and 2p coins in separate bags of £1 value and when all bags are fully they are donated to Cancer charity

  3. Robert on August 9, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    I haven’t found any 2017 2p coins yet and only one 2017 1p coin.

  4. Chris on August 9, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Is it realised the recoverable copper in 2p’s is currently 6p and for 1p’s 3p so no wonder no more coins are being minted. if UK Government were to do away with these coins by using Vaultex, then just work out the potential value available to the Treasury after costs in recycling from all the coins issued, it’s many, many £ millions !

  5. Rodney Turner on August 8, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    10p is now worth what 1p was worth when it was created in 1971, and 5p worth what half p was worth. 5p and 10p are coins of sufficiently small value for charities and people dependent on cash. 1p and 2p are just complete clutter. Many euro countries do without 1c and 2c coins perfectly happily. The only reason for keeping the 1p is sentimental reasons. A one penny coins is the only coin Britain has had continuously for the past 1200 years, so if we do away with he 1p we do away with 1200 years of history – though the current 1p is worth 2.4 times the old one penny coin, so it is not really the same coin. The original penny was done away with in 1971.

  6. Denis Calvert on August 8, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    My 1p 2p and 5p go to Barnsley hospice.

  7. Jean on August 8, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    I use & save these coins.When I have filled up a collection box (for one of the charities I support) I send the amount.Having these coins is way to do this.KEEP THESE COINS!!

  8. jeffrey rush on August 8, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    I have year set 2018 and 2019 that contain 1ps , will this increase their value? I use 1p and 2ps in my change, I hope we don’t lose them

    • Rachel Hooper on August 9, 2019 at 8:37 am

      Hi Jeffrey, as no 2018 dated 1p or 2p coins were struck for circulation, you may find that a 2018 set is more collectable, although we can’t say how valuable it will be as this is down to how much an individual collector would be willing to pay.

      • James Johnstone on August 22, 2019 at 6:29 pm

        I have a 1989 2p coin with a cow on the back

  9. Jane Blight on August 8, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    My local animal sanctuary uses them to fund food for rescued hedgehogs so vital to their fundraising

    • Michael Thompson on August 9, 2019 at 6:13 pm

      What about a 1970 old 5p coin I have is that worth anything

      • Rachel Hooper on August 12, 2019 at 9:50 am

        Hi Michael, 225,948,525 5p coins were struck in 1970, so unfortunately it’s quite common. However, in 1990 the 5p coin was replaced with a smaller and lighter version, so your larger coin is no longer in circulation, which might make it more collectable to some collectors.