When the UK switched to decimal coinage in 1971, it was decided that the word ‘new’ would be included in the denomination on some of our coins to avoid confusion between the new decimal coinage and the old currency.

By 1982 the coins were no longer new so the word was dropped, and the 2p design changed from ‘New Pence’ to ‘Two Pence’.

A common misconception is that all ‘New Pence’ coins are rare, but in fact almost 1.5 billion of these coins were initially issued in 1971 and circulating mintage figures from decimalisation to 1981 (after which the design changed) are actually all in the hundreds of millions:

As you can see from the chart above, no 2p coins were issued for circulation between 1972 and 1974, so if you find one of these in your change it will actually be taken out of a Proof set, not intended for circulation.

1983 ‘New Pence’ Error 2p

After the design changed from ‘New Pence’ to ‘Two Pence’ in 1982, a mistake was made during production of a small number of 1983 coins…

These coins were actually struck with the old inscription – ‘New Pence’.

1983 2p mule in The Great British Coin Collection set. Credit: Lee Holt

Whilst it’s not known exactly how many of these error coins were struck, in 1983 2p coins were only struck for commemorative sets and not issued for circulation. Evidence seems to suggest that affected coins were issued as part of special souvenir sets that also did not enter general circulation – although if these sets were broken open and spent then you could be in with the chance of finding one in your change…

How much is it worth?

If you’re lucky enough to find a 1983 ‘New Pence’ 2p in your change, not only does the rarity of this coin make it more collectable, but the coin was also struck in uncirculated quality – meaning it won’t have the scratches and blemishes of circulation coins.

This means a collector would most likely be willing to pay a little more to get hold of one on the secondary market.

The individual 1983 2p coin has been known to sell for £500 – £700, however the 1983 coin sets have been known to sell for over £1,000 on the secondary market!

If you do decide to look for this coin on the eBay and other secondary market sites, beware of fraudsters looking to pass off a ‘New Pence’ 2p from any other date as a rare coin.

The image below shows a 1971 2p coin listed for £2,000! Although this coin might be considered more collectable as it was the first UK 2p ever issued, this also means that nearly 1.5 billion 1971 2p coins were struck, making it the most common 2p coin issued.

Remember that it’s the 1983 version of the coin which was struck in error and this is the one you should be looking out for.

Have you ever come across a 1983 ‘New Pence’ 2p coin? Let us know in the comments below!

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

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  1. Graham liddell on September 1, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    Hi Rachel, for information only,I have a 1976, 10 new pence coin, which has been struck on a 50 sen coin of Brunei, it has been verified by the royal mint museum!!, I have put into auction and it’s to be sold on 15th sept at lockdales auctions , Suffolk, lot No 2546, how rare is it for the mint to make mistakes like this??

    • Rachel Hooper on September 2, 2019 at 8:01 am

      Hi Graham, this sounds like a very rare and unusual coin indeed! It would be great if you could send a picture to info@changechecker.org so we could take a look.

  2. Zoe on August 25, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    I’ve just found a 1983 new pence coin in my coin jar at home … is it really true what everyone is saying ??? Is it really worth a lot of money … it is worth me putting it up for auction on eBay …

    • Rachel Hooper on August 27, 2019 at 8:15 am

      Wow, that’s incredibly lucky Zoe! It might be worth contacting The Royal Mint to get the coin verified. What a fantastic find!

  3. Les kent on August 21, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Please check this out first but I am sure a few of the 1p and 2p coins were proof only and some are copper coated steel as well as bronze which means that you should have TWO coins dated 1983 if you are lucky enough to get the 2p new p, 1992 1998 1999 plus 1992 and 1999 DO CHECK OUT THE DATES

  4. Peter Lloyd on August 21, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Still looking for an A-Z 10p in my change. Not seen one yet!

    • Terry Mc on August 30, 2019 at 11:15 pm

      Same here. They are not distributed fairly across the country which is a pain trying to get hold of one.

  5. John Boland on August 20, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Hi. I have a 1971 new 2pence.is it worth anything. Regards john

    • Rachel Hooper on August 21, 2019 at 8:20 am

      Hi John, there were almost 1.5 billion 1971 New Pence 2p coins struck in 1971, so unfortunately it isn’t going to be worth much. The one to look out for is the 1983 New Pence 2p which was struck in error.

  6. Vera Kovacevic on August 20, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    I have two New pence from 1971. How much will be if I sale.

    • Rachel Hooper on August 21, 2019 at 8:18 am

      This might sell for slightly over face value on the secondary market, however it is the 1983 ‘New Pence’ 2p that you’ll want to look for as this is the rare error coin.

  7. Steve Davis on August 20, 2019 at 1:34 am

    Hi Rachel. I have had the 1983 set for a number of years now and my 2p coin says TWO PIENCE. One of the unlucky ones I suppose. It is as I got from the R M. Thanks, Steve.

    • Rachel Hooper on August 21, 2019 at 8:06 am

      It’s thought that most of the error coins can be found in the Martini and Heinz sets. Still a great set to have though.

  8. Robert on August 19, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    I’ve never found a 1983 2p in change (either the ‘New Pence’ or ‘Two Pence’ variety). However, before the old large-size 5p and 10p coins were withdrawn in 1990-2 I used to get lots of bags of them from the bank to sort through, and I found two 1983 5p’s and three 1983 10p’s, neither of which were struck for circulation. I also remember my brother’s girlfriend getting a 1983 set free by sending off labels from Heinz baked beans or something similar at the time of issue. I think it’s quite possible that numerous people sent off for the 1983 sets and then split them up and used the coins as money – or just kept the new £1 coin, which they had never seen before and which rarely circulated in 1983 – and spent the other coins. So there may well be a few 1983 ‘New Pence’ 2p coins in circulation! Thanks also for highlighting the ridiculous prices seen on eBay for some 1971 2p coins – these coins are still incredibly common! Yesterday I changed £1 into 2p coins in a change machine at my local seaside amusement arcade – and 10 of the 50 coins were dated 1971!

  9. Mchardy on August 19, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    I have some 1971 2p mark new penc.i will likr to no moore about these so am oldin on to them for now. But i could sell a fue. To some one who has got any.

    • Rachel Hooper on August 21, 2019 at 8:14 am

      Hi, the 1971 2p isn’t actually the rare coin. Nearly 1.5 billion 1971 2p coins were struck. You need to look out for the 1983 ‘New Pence’ 2p as this is the error coin.

  10. Edward Fullerton on August 19, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    I have hundreds of old 1 penny coins ie queen Victoria up to queen Elizabeth 2nd,I have started collecting Lincoln 1 cent coins do I have to send them to USA to get them graded or is there anywhere in the UK I could get some of the rarer ones graded

    • Rachel Hooper on August 21, 2019 at 8:08 am

      Hi Edward, I suggest you take a look at the British Numismatics Trade Association to see if any UK dealers specialise in American coins.

  11. Mr.Abdulla on August 19, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Hello Rachel Hooper..
    I have a 1983 2p coin.It’s possible to selling here.?

    • Rachel Hooper on August 21, 2019 at 8:13 am

      That’s a great find. Does the coin say ‘New Pence’ as this is the error you need to look for. You won’t be able to sell it here but can try listing it on auction sites such as eBay or Facebook coin groups.

  12. Les Kent on August 19, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    Hi Rachel and ALL
    Some time ago now I bought a 1983 set with the new p two p coin in it
    I paid £600 for it and when I received it I put it in pride of place in my collection,
    But for a few days later I said to my wife; you know that coin keeps nagging me
    so she said have another look at it to ease my mind, which I did only to find that
    IT WAS A FAKE two coins stuck together, as you can imaging I nearly fell through
    the floor. BUT lucky for me I got all my money back from ebay,.
    I have not tried and will not to buy one again, SO PLEASE BE AWARE.

    • Rachel Hooper on August 19, 2019 at 3:04 pm

      So glad you managed to get your money back Les. That’s just awful. Such a shame that people behave in this way and take the fun out of it for true collectors.

    • Ramanlal patel on August 20, 2019 at 7:23 pm

      I have 1983 2pence coin
      Which read on top new pence

  13. Malcolm Colson on August 19, 2019 at 10:57 am

    I find it annoying when papers amd yourselves now publish articles about coins on eBay selling for thousands of pounds. There are a lot of coins like Battle of Hastings 50p for £7,000 I have no idea why they are listed perhaps for the publicity. These jokers and their posts should not be reported in any serious article. It is only newsworthy if somebody actually buys the coin for this price and that does not happen.

    • Rachel Hooper on August 19, 2019 at 3:16 pm

      Hi Malcolm, we always make sure to say that coins listed for such unrealistic prices rarely ever sell and it’s always best to check ‘Sold’ listings, rather than looking at the live listings. People can list on eBay and any price they choose, which is unfortunate as some people then think that is the actual value of a coin. We put together a blog ‘debunking’ eBay myths which you might find useful: https://www.changechecker.org/2018/12/13/how-much-is-your-coin-really-worth-debunking-ebay-coin-price-myths-2/

  14. ken north on August 19, 2019 at 10:11 am

    just to say I have1983 2 pence in my collection it took me some time to get the set

    • Rachel Hooper on August 19, 2019 at 3:07 pm

      Well done Ken, I bet that wasn’t easy to come by!

  15. MR R E MORRIS on August 19, 2019 at 8:46 am

    your talk on the 2p and new pence .was very interesting .butyou mention the word (fraudsters). isn’t it about time that the Royal Mint did something about it . with the help of eBay and your selfs I’m sure you can prevent it getting any worse it’s difficult as it is to buy coins

    • Rachel Hooper on August 19, 2019 at 10:10 am

      Unfortunately it can be very hard to police. We hope that by giving collectors all the facts they need to know this should arm them against being fooled by fraudsters.

      • Rena Griffiths on August 19, 2019 at 4:13 pm

        Is it true that the 1971 2p is worth that much or am I reading the article all wrong?

      • Rachel Hooper on August 21, 2019 at 8:11 am

        Hi Rena, unfortunately the 1971 2p is not the rare one. In fact, nearly 1.5 billion 1971 2p coins were struck. The 2p you should be looking for is the 1983 ‘New Pence’ 2p, as this was struck in error and should say ‘Two Pence’.

      • Debra Belton on August 20, 2019 at 12:37 pm

        Hi Rachel, I have a 1983 2 pence coin, I had it in change .

      • Rachel Hooper on August 21, 2019 at 8:05 am

        That’s very lucky Debra. It must have been broken out of a commemorative set. Do you still have the coin?