In March 2015, the UK treasury confirmed that 1p and 2p coins will continue to be used “for years to come”. However, it has recently been suggested that due to a cash usage slump, The Royal Mint is set to go ten years without producing anymore 2p coins!

But it’s not just our coppers at stake.. The same applies for £2 coins, as it has been revealed that in March 2020, The Royal Mint was sitting on 26 times as many £2 coins as it needed to.

According to the National Audit Office’s report into Britain’s cash usage, the number of coins produced each year by The Royal Mint fell by nearly two-thirds between 2011 and this year.

Less than a quarter of all payments were made by cash last year, according to figures released in June by the banking trade body UK Finance.

It’s fair to assume that even less cash has been used since the start of 2020 due to the coronavirus leading to fears of cash usage and a move to more contactless payments.

However, The Mint told Britain’s spending watchdog that there had been ‘sharp increases in demand’ for change ‘as many businesses and consumers hoarded coins in the early months of the pandemic’.

As a result, the Treasury ordered The Royal Mint to strike 60 million additional 1p coins over the summer to meet this new demand. So make sure you keep your eyes peeled for these new 1p coins, especially if you’re collecting dateruns!

The Royal Mint are required to forecast the demand for small change to ensure it keeps enough coins in stock without striking too few or too many, but with significant fluctuations in consumer behaviour in recent years, this has no doubt been a challenge.

Round Pounds

In 2017, after the introduction of the new 12-sided £1, The Royal Mint saw a swell in its coin stocks as people rushed to return their round pounds, ending up returning loose change of other denominations at the same time.

Source: National Audit Office

According to the NAO, at the end of March, The Royal Mint aimed to hold 700,000 £2 coins, but actually held 18.7million. And rather than holding its target of 15.9million 2p coins, it held 127.1million.

As a result, in March of this year, The NAO said The Royal Mint had estimated ‘it did not envisage producing any new 2p or £2 coins for at least 10 years’.

We haven’t seen a £2 enter circulation since 2016, so, could this mean that those 2016 dated £2s and 2017 dated 2p coins are the last of their kind? We certainly hope not.

But what about our coppers? Do you think we still need 1p and 2p coins in circulation? Have your say by voting in our poll on Facebook.

And what could the future for Britain’s definitive coinage be if the 1p and 2p coins were removed? Currently the definitive coins from 1p to 50p come together to create The Royal Shield, but with two key pieces missing, could this lead to a complete re-design?

We’d love to hear what you think about the use of cash vs card and the demand for our smaller denominations, so leave us a comment below to share your thoughts.


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

January 2019 eBay Tracker Update

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

46 Comments

  1. Tony on October 1, 2020 at 12:51 am

    We live in very strange times where technology is being hailed as a great achievement , but I fear bit by bit we are being led down a path that only benefits those who want greater control, gradually we are being cajoled into doing all the things that once companies would do on our behalf, we are being told to use online banking so eventually money will be phased out ,it means cheaper overheads less staff more profit and because you now own a computer you are now doing their work for them, same with our health service which is going the same way . At one time you spoke to a human being now it’s a answering machine, at the supermarket most of the till staff have been replaced by machines, is this progress, on line you have to fill in all your own forms with no one available to help you if you get stuck, this is all ok but what if you are in some way disabled or too old to understand computers. Getting rid of money is just part of the plan, once everything is bought and done online your preferences will be traded between companies who then will bombard you with products and who will access you as a liability or a potential profit, but maybe it’s me just dreaming.



  2. Dave on September 27, 2020 at 3:01 am

    Hi Tony I think this is all down to Globalism, and Bill gates with his cronies, who want and are planning to get rid of cash all over the globe,but this is just my own opinion.
    Dave



  3. Dave Radford on September 27, 2020 at 2:56 am

    One of the reasons this issue has risen is as we all know down to the Covid -19 virus if they ever find a cure for this wretched disease things will go back to the way they were maybe ? we would be handling less coinage too, but an even bigger issue is rearing its ugly head, how many people who voted to get rid haven’t thought this through properly and seen the bigger picture, yes the cost of living, food, petrol, diesel, clothing, gas, electricity, our homes, in fact every thing we buy to live will be rounded up to the nearest full 5 pence that is a big hike in prices, 5p you say that’s not much but it is for those who have to constantly watch the pennies and money they need to live a healthy life with a roof over their heads, food on the table, and a warm bed to sleep in, seriously think about it, and remember prices are always rounded up and never rounded down.
    I vote to keep the 2 pence and the 1 pence coins.
    HELLO ADMIN, I HAVEN’T ALREADY SAID THIS ON GMAIL, BUT I HAVE ON FACEBOOK !!!



    • Craig Harley on October 8, 2020 at 5:34 pm

      I voted to keep the copper coins, only partly because I’m a collector. In australia they have already got rid of 1 & 2 cent coins but when buying goods if the total is less than 2 1/2 the cost is rounded down and obviously if it’s more than 2 1/2 it’s rounded up. I still prefer the small coins though.



  4. Dave Radford on September 27, 2020 at 2:52 am

    One of the reasons this issue has risen is as we all know down to the Covid -19 virus if they ever find a cure for this wretched disease things will go back to the way they were maybe ? we would be handling less coinage too, but an even bigger issue is rearing its ugly head, how many people who voted to get rid haven’t thought this through properly and seen the bigger picture, yes the cost of living, food, petrol, diesel, clothing, gas, electricity, our homes, in fact every thing we buy to live will be rounded up to the nearest full 5 pence that is a big hike in prices, 5p you say that’s not much but it is for those who have to constantly watch the pennies and money they need to live a healthy life with a roof over their heads, food on the table, and a warm bed to sleep in, seriously think about it, and remember prices are always rounded up and never rounded down.
    I vote to keep the 2 pence and the 1 pence coins.



  5. Tony on September 24, 2020 at 3:01 am

    MOVING TO GRADUALLY PHASE OUT COINS AND EVENTUALLY CASH ALTOGETHER IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE WE COULD ALL MAKE, I WORK IN A SHOP AND NOTICE MORE AND MORE PEOPLE PAYING BY CARD BECAUSE OF THE COVID CRISIS WHICH I THINK IS DAFT AS THE MACHINE YOU TOUCH TO PUT IN YOUR PIN NUMBER IF NOT DISINFECTED IS WORSE THEN JUST PAYING WITH MONEY BETWEEN 2 PEOPLE. ALSO WE FIND CARD MACHINES CRASHING AND CUSTOMERS UNABLE TO PAY BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO CASH AND SO YOU CAN LOSE A SALE. ALSO AS A RETAILER HAS TO PAY THE CARD MACHINE COMPANIES AND THE BANKS FOR EACH CARD TRANSACTION THAT COST IS THEN ADDED ON TO THE TOTAL PRICE SO THEN YOU ARE PAYING MORE, ONCE ALL CASH IS PHASED OUT YOU WILL PAY THE EXTRA ON EVERYTHING YOU BUY THE BANKS ARE MAKING A PROFIT ON EVERY SINGLE SALE ITS A HIDDEN COST PEOPLE ARE NOT SEEING, AND AS ALL YOUR MONEY IS IN A BANK WHY WOULD A BANK WANT TO EVER AGAIN PAY YOU INTEREST ON YOUR SAVINGS, AND IF YOUR MONEY WAS AT RISK AS IN 2008/2009 YOU WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO WITHDRAW IT BECAUSE WHATS THE POINT YOU WOULD HAVE TO PUT IT INTO ANOTHER BANK, SO I THINK FOR THE REASONS MENTIONED ABOVE ITS BETTER TO KEEP CASH AS A PLAN B , OTHERWISE WE ARE ALL DIGGING A HOLE FOR OURSELVES.



  6. Chaz on September 21, 2020 at 11:25 am

    The penny and the pound are the deffinitive units of currency in the UK and it is important that we retain even a token issue of 1p coins or the concept of a baseline unit of currency becomes abstract. Something the Royal Mint should consider is using the current circumstances to do a phased withdrawl of the Bronze 1p coins as there intrinsic value as base metal has increased, this could easily be achieved through the use of magnets to separate the post 1992 cupro-nickel issues. Many of these early coins are worn and damaged and of little interest to most UK decimal collectors and this action would result in a return of initial expendature on the production of these coins and would standardise the coins in circulation. In a similar vein, there are significant numbers of pre-decimal farthing, penny and halfpenny coins in cupboard draws of homes around the country most of which are also probably worth more in scrap value than there original face value (many in similarly uncollectable condition). An amnesty on these coins (perhaps to the benefit of a particular charity in the same way that Blue Peter used to raise money, perhaps on a penny for penny basis) could result in a return of useable resources to the Royal Mint and have the advantage of increasing the value of coins in individual collections (so everyone would win). As for the two pound coins – the reason the reserves are currently so high is perhaps because they are not being released into circulation enough. I prefer them in my change to one pound coins but these days rarely seem to find them. I appreciate that many special issues are being hoarded by collectors but even the standard issue seems to have disapeared from circulation?



  7. Adrian Charlton on September 19, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    There’s a difference between demonetising some coins and not issuing new coins into circulation. I believe we should retain all the denominations, but only issue them as needed. My guess is that the Royal Mint has now hit a problem having switched from bronze (easily melted down and re used) to cheap and nasty copper plated steel (hard to recycle). Otherwise excess stocks would not be too much of a problem. It’s noticeable that the coins mentioned are either copper plated steel or bi-metal. There is no mention of the other denominations which are just one metal. Never mind, the Royal Mint will cover their backs by minting ever more commemoratives to sell at huge profit to collectors who will keep buying to ensure no gaps in their collections. As far as shop pricing is concerned, if you look on the continent, many countries have huge numbers of products priced in 1 Euro or 50 Euro-cents. I can see this happening here over time, look at the growth in pound shops. Finally, a grumble, please will garages stop the point 9 pricing. Do they think we are so stupid to tell the difference between 117.9p and 118p?



  8. Jo Beard on September 19, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    I feel a lot of charities would suffer if we got rid of our 1p and 2p coins. I think the majority of us, if we buy something for 99p or when in a shop and your change is coppers we say oh shove it in the charity box and don’t bat an eye. The silver coins however we tend to put in our purses and pockets. I know they are only coppers but those coppers add up and for those charities I feel itd make a big difference especially for those most reliant on their help.
    I also feel the shops would be the only ones to gain because all the prices would be rounded up. So instead of giving our copper to something worthy we’d be lining the pockets of those making profits for themselves and there shareholders.



  9. Michael Eustace on September 19, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Chris EUSTACE there’s a mother EUSTACE IN BRITISH ISLES LOL 😝 should keep penny and strap 2p makes sense may b scrap £2 no demand for the coin since 2016



  10. Richard Read on September 19, 2020 at 10:21 am

    Maybe the time to re-consider is after HM Queen passes on. The coins will need a new design then anyway at that time so it would be an appropriate time to eradicate the 1p and 2p coins. Australia manages with supermarkets still pricing as if the small denomination coins exist but rounding up or down at the checkout depending on how near to the nearest 10c the total comes to.



  11. Michael Bentley on September 19, 2020 at 9:38 am

    Australia scrapped the 1 cent and 2 cent coins in 1991. You poms are so far behind it’s not funny. You don’t need 1p and 2p coins. Prices won’t go up if you get rid of them, they will stay the same. Prices are rounded at the till to the nearest 5p. if the final amount ends in a 6 or 7 it is rounded down, if it ends in an 8 or 9 it is rounded up. In the long run it evens out. But from a collector point of view I hope you keep them.



  12. Shaun Cosgrove on September 19, 2020 at 7:46 am

    Hi. Has anybody seen a 2017 2p in circulation? I have been looking for one for my collection and have been unable to find any. The Royal Mint insist there are millions out ther. I would be interested to know if anyone has seen one in circulation.



  13. neil Coomber on September 18, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    As the royal mint will stop minting £2 coins. What’s the situation with the uncirculated commemorate £2 coins that they release every year on new years day will they still mint them for their annual coin sets cause I’m a big coin collecting fan and have all £2 coins from 1986 to date



    • Alexandra Siddons on September 21, 2020 at 1:36 pm

      Hi Neil,

      This is purely in relation to circulating £2 coins. Commemorative £2 coins will still be available in collector qualities as and when they are issued by The Royal Mint.

      Thanks,
      Alex



  14. Les kent on September 18, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    If we loose the 1 & 2p coins, as a collector of coins, I like most other collectors would have two FINISHED completed collections to add to the round pound set, also there is no chance the retail trades will NOT drop the price of good as we all know it will only go up, BUT IF and that’s a big if they came down to the 95p mark that might help untill we need to buy something for 94p Where does it stop ?, it’s a tough one Isn’t it.
    NOW as for the £2 coins it will be a shame to loose them but then again we have already haven’t we because all we keep getting is the coins that won’t be going into circulation, so we are now buying the coins and no longer collecting. It will be a great shame because I have been coin collecting for years and apart from 4 coins I have every decimal the coin you could think off and every form , it may be time to stop I think, but I want to buy the two 2016 edge error coins that have just come to light, you know the underground and the Shakespeare skull.
    Good luck all. Les.



  15. Nick Healey on September 18, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    New Zealand scrapped their 1, 2 and 5 cent pieces many years ago go when using cash, prices are rounded up or down to the nearest dollar. If paying on card, the amount remains unchanged.

    Personally I prefer we keep our coins but nevertheless it’ll be interesting to see how things pan out.



  16. Rob Vines on September 18, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    Hopefully the 1p and 2p coins will survive. The coins have a right to exist and many charity tins etc would suffer as a consequence. If not though will the shield design need a revamp as it would be incomplete?



  17. Bob Chandler on September 18, 2020 at 4:56 pm

    Working in Retail, I have noted a significant increase in the amount of cash now being tendered, compared to the decrease found at the start of national lock down. Whilst card payment will be a growing payment by many, there is a similarly large percentage of customers who like, and are returning to, the ‘feel’ of note and coin.

    If, when, small value coins are abolished, an increase will occur across all types of purchases, as shops will simply round up their prices, as has already happened with several major business, enjoying the windfall of minor, but extra and pure profit on each transaction.



  18. Philip Marsh on September 18, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    We still need cash to pay for small things like papers and a few sweets for the kids. I’m still looking for my first 10p with the alphabet on them. It’s always the same down south we only get the new coins when they are old and worn.



  19. Peter Crossgrill on September 18, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    Whilst retail keeps using the 99p price, as a marketing ploy, we need 1p’s otherwise the cost of living will go up as it has in the past. It will also affect a lot of people who only use cash, why should their lives be upset, we all have enough problems on our plates as it is.



  20. Chris Eustace on September 18, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    The continuing use of Tap and Go etc cashless use due to the covid crisis change in shopping habits will probably result in the decision to recycle ever more old coinage to leave just the current steel based ones, benefiting from high copper and cupro nickle scrap prices in what is in effect a devaluation of monetary coinage.
    It would be interesting to learn of any current or proposed withdrawal and recycling plans by The Mint of any coins in use today.

    This would make a very interesting evaluation project if someone were ale to ascertain all the information fom the Mint or their recycling partners.

    This would of course augment the value of remaining “old counage”.



    • Michael Eustace on September 19, 2020 at 4:52 pm

      R u in the British isle



  21. ANDREW JONES on September 18, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    IF THEY STOP MAKING 2 PENCE’S AND £2 POUND COINS ETC. THEN THE SHOPS WILL ROUND UP THE NEAREST PRICE CAUSING THE AMOUNT SPENT ON FOOD AND CLOTHING TO BE DEARER.AS THEY DID WHEN THEY SCRAPED THE 1 PENCE PIECES.SO NO WE SHOULD KEEP OUR COINS AS THEY ARE.



    • Andy on September 20, 2020 at 3:02 pm

      Yep your bang on there matey



  22. J HARDING on September 18, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    AS A WAR BABY I’VE NOTICED OVER THE YEARS WHEN THE LOWEST COIN WITHDRAWN
    COST OF LIVING GOES UP
    SO A DEFINITE NO TO SCRAPPING THE LOW VALUE COINS,
    THE INCREASE IN PRICES NORMALLY OCCURS WITH THE LOWEST VALUE COIN
    IF THE LOWEST VALUE COIN IS TWENTY PENCE AD SO ON



  23. brian johnson on September 18, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Its ok to scrap the one and two pence Just as long as the shops etc bring down the price, normally they put it up



  24. philip yates on September 18, 2020 at 12:49 pm

    It’s fair to say that the use of physical coins in circulation has dropped in the last 6 months, and that contactless has been used more widely for that reason, but the question is why both cash and card should still be available in the future as it is now. Believe it or not, there are still many elderly people out there who only rely on using cash. Where would that leave this generation. I hope the Royal Mint comes to this consideration, otherwise this will make this country just a little less Great.



  25. Nigel garmston on September 18, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    If an item is 95p and you have got 94p you can not buy the item unless you pay 1pound and have 5p change



  26. Tim Tostevin on September 18, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    Nobody really wants 1p and 2p coins these days. It would be inflationary if we abolished them as prices in shops would probably rise to the nearest 5p rather than reduce but with low inflation at the moment we can probably stand that.



    • Michael Eustace on September 19, 2020 at 4:50 pm

      R u from Guernsey 🇬🇬



  27. GARY Hoskin on September 18, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    Contactless is impersonal, paying with cash, receiving your goods and cash in return as change is just so satisfying.



  28. Lew Fink on September 18, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    Does this mean the mint will not produce any £2 commemoratives ,even smaller amounts for collectors for 10 years ?



    • Alexandra Siddons on September 18, 2020 at 2:26 pm

      Hi there,

      It means that we could see no £2 or 2p coins issued for circulation in the next 10 years. Commemorative, non-circulating issues could continue for collectors though.

      Thanks,
      Alex



  29. Helen Lefoyer on September 18, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    I need my 2p fix at the slot machines! 10 p ones are to expensive!



  30. Jim Moffat on September 18, 2020 at 11:53 am

    Cash will always be king what happens when you have power cut can’t use your card but you can use cash the lights will not always be on electronics need constant power



    • Andrew on September 18, 2020 at 5:38 pm

      Our card machine went down today, not for first time during Covid as not allowed to do cash but had to rely on cash from customers, thank heavens!!



  31. Guy on September 18, 2020 at 11:48 am

    Are they sitting on all the good £2 coins as I only ever seem to get the technology ones 😂



  32. Peterhdendy on September 18, 2020 at 11:43 am

    I don’t like the 1p or 2p in my pocket so it gos into a charity box



  33. Murray Telfer on September 18, 2020 at 11:42 am

    We need a 1p but not a 2p. The 2p could easily be demoneterised and withdraw from circulation.



    • Murray Telfer on September 18, 2020 at 11:47 am

      As for £2 coin, personally I think it is needed but is being handled wrongly in as much as it needs at least some commemorative coins need to be released into circulation so that collectors are not held to ransom by retailers if they want to add them to their collection. It is a handy coin to cut down on the amount of change in your pocket.



  34. MRS RACHEL PURNELL on September 18, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Why keep 1 p and 2p going ? I say no because the way life has been over the passed year more and more are using bankcards and less money
    In shops I think why 99p round up to £1.00
    Make it life whole lot easier I say



    • Andy on September 18, 2020 at 6:11 pm

      Sounds simple to say round every 99p up to £1, but if that happened to every item you bought, you would soon notice a huge increase in how much you are spending. Not sure how it would make life ‘easier’, it doesn’t cause me any difficulties to drop a 1p coin into the charity tin that is next to almost every till these days.



  35. Andrew on September 18, 2020 at 11:21 am

    This is all very bad news for us coin collectors. The government should be pushed to do more to protect cash. I have read reports that something like eight million people in this country don’t have a bank account. We can’t rely on technology not to go down, which happens regularly in shops. Cash hasn’t been proven to spread Covid and WHO have said the same. If a business tries to push us to a cashless society by not giving the consumer a choice on how to pay then I have no interest in giving my cash to them.



    • calvin on September 19, 2020 at 10:51 am

      Very true i would do the same



    • Paul on September 21, 2020 at 1:23 pm

      I agree with your post👍👍