Could the 5p coin in your change be worth over £60?

The Kew Gardens 50p, Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland £2 and ANY of the A-Z 10ps are likely to be on your collecting wish-list, but have you ever considered that some of the 5p coins in your change might be worth holding on to?

5p coins.
Credit: eBay

The smallest of our UK coinage – weighing in at just 3.25g, with a diameter of only 18mm – is often overlooked when it comes to collecting. But what if I told you some of them have been known to sell for over £60 on the secondary market?!

What are the rarest 5p coins?

1977 5p

Unlike the Kew Gardens 50p (which has a mintage of just 210,000), 5p coins are often minted in the tens of millions, or even billions! However, the 1977 5p is the rarest with a mintage figure of 24,308,000. Compare this to the 1990 5p which had a circulating mintage of 1,634,976,005 and you’ll see why it’s pretty rare!

1977 5p coin
Credit: The Royal Mint

2008 First 5p with the shield design

In 2008, 40 years after the first decimal coins appeared in circulation, our UK definitive coins had a face lift, with brand new designs being released.

A competition was held, with people submitting their designs for the six key coin denominations, leaving out the £2 coin. Over 4,000 designs were submitted, but graphic designer Matthew Dent won the competition with his heraldic design of six coins, with the 1p-50p coins aligning to form the Royal Shield – shown as a complete design on the £1 coin.

As the first year definitive coins were issued with the shield design, 2008 dated 5ps are somewhat coveted by collectors. Although you’re unlikely to see the 2008 or 1977 5p coins fetch above face value, they are certainly interesting ones to collect.

But the real interest comes if you’re lucky enough to find the error 5p coins

Spot These 5p Error Coins

Inverted effigy 2008 5p

Another reason to keep an eye out for a 2008 dated 5p coins is that an unknown number were released into circulation featuring the Queen’s head on the obverse upside down. These error coins are extremely rare and some have been listed on the secondary market for more than £60!

2008 5p with Queen’s head upside down.
Credit: eBay

‘Struck twice’ 1979 5p ‘Error’

On this larger specification ‘New Five Pence’ which is no longer in circulation, but a suspected error was found, where it appeared to have been struck twice on the same side in error. This would mean both the Queen’s head from the obverse and the design on the obverse would be merged together on the same side of the coin.

This ‘error’ hasn’t been confirmed as genuine by The Royal Mint and with closer inspection, it looks as though the reverse design is from a 2p coin – suggesting it might have been tampered with after it was struck.

However one collector sold theirs for £73 on eBay, meaning it always worth looking out for any unusual coins you might have lying around! Just remember, you should always get your error coins confirmed by the mint to prove they are genuine.

1979 Error 5p.
Credit: eBay

The 5p Coins Not Intended for Circulation

From time to time, coins that were never intended for circulation find their way into our change.

They might have been issued in collector sets, broken open and accidentally spent before finding their way into your pocket!

There are two dates to look out for when it comes to 5p coin that shouldn’t be in your change – 1993 and 2018.

Prior to 1990, the 5p coins were issued in the larger specification and so these ones should also no longer be found in your change.

Have you come across any rare or error 5p coins in your change? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. Paul Thompson on August 10, 2023 at 2:35 pm

    Isn’t the monarch always the right way up and the design on the other side considered wrong if not aligned as it should be?

  2. Charles Atkinson on August 10, 2023 at 10:24 am

    I have more inverted 5ps than the correct way with the date above the head!
    Dozens of them!

  3. Andrew on August 8, 2023 at 12:56 am

    I have a 1994 5p which is upside down perfectly each way and in great condition.

  4. Ian, County Durham on August 7, 2023 at 8:01 pm

    The 5p overstruck on a 2p definitely looks like either a fake, or some “fun” by a Royal Mint worker! The “2”, the feathers (with “Ich Dien”) and the “Pence” are back to front, which is conceivable if this is a brockage and the 2p details are all incuse (hard to tell from the picture) – but I’ve never heard of a “mixed-coin” brockage. How could a large 2p fit into a smaller 5p die and get stuck there? The only way I could imagine this happening legitimately is a “double error” with a 2p being struck on a 5p flan and this same coin then causing a brockage – and this on a 5p that had already been struck once. This seems most unlikely! It would be useful to see what the other side looks like.
    For those who may not know, a brockage is when a coin gets stuck in the die after minting, and itself becomes the die for the next coin which will then have 2 heads (or 2 tails) sides, one of which is incuse (i.e. inset instead of raised) and back-to-front.

  5. Noel on August 7, 2023 at 5:05 pm

    I’ve got a 5p with no date on it. Clearly a minting error

  6. Ray H on August 7, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    would it not have been easier to explain the 2008 “upside down” 5p thus – “there are some 2008 strikes which have a rotation alignment up to 180 degrees making the coin appear to have coin alignment”. Instead of just showing a photo of an ordinary 5p upside down.

    • Steve on August 7, 2023 at 11:58 pm

      Look closely. It’s not an ordinary 5p
      The coin is the correct way up aligned with the writing.
      The head isn’t

  7. Alan Marshall on August 7, 2023 at 12:31 pm

    A 1977 5p is not likely to be in your pocket, is it!

  8. Graham Morrison on August 7, 2023 at 11:59 am

    Never new that there was some 5p with errors?

    • Roger Crossley on August 7, 2023 at 5:11 pm

      I think you’ll find it’s ‘ Never knew there were 5p’s with errors’ Graham.