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

For decades, UK coinage has celebrated some of the most influential and significant people in British history.

However, a lack of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic figures (BAME) being recognised on legal tender has led to campaigning for greater inclusivity.

This comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak stated he was considering proposals from a campaign group. He has since asked the Royal Mint to come up with new designs honouring BAME figures who have served the nation – such as military figures and nurses.

Will Mahatma Gandhi be the first to feature?

It has been confirmed that the first figure to be considered in a new series of UK coins that will recognise and celebrate BAME figures on UK currency will be Mahatma Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Gandhi is most well known for leading the successful campaign for India’s independence, using nonviolent resistance which inspired human rights movements across the world.

However, he also has strong ties with London, having attended the University College of London law school in 1888.

Despite leaving for India after being called to the bar in 1891, he continued to return to London, right up until his final visit in 1931 where he attended a conference on the future of India.

Military nurse Mary Seacole and spy Noor Inayat Khan also being considered

The Jamaican-born business woman and nurse, Mary Seacole is being considered as one of the figures to feature on a British currency.

Mary Seacole (1873). Credit: Wikimedia Commons

At the outbreak of the Crimean War, Seacole travelled to England hoping to join Florence Nightingale’s famous team of nurses.

However, she was turned down and instead travelled to Crimea herself where she established the “British Hotel”, intended to be somewhere soldiers could rest and eat.

With the location of her hotel being so close to the conflict, she was able to visit the battlefield, sometimes under fire, to nurse the wounded. Indeed, she nursed sick soldiers so kindly that they called her ‘Mother Seacole’.

In May, a community hospital was named after the pioneering nurse and there is also now a trust in her name, which aims to educate and inform the public about her life, work and achievements.

Noor Inayat Khan (1943). Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Noor Inayat Khan is also another figure in consideration. Khan was a wartime British secret agent of Indian descent who was the first female radio operator sent into Nazi-occupied France in 1943, by the Special Operations Executive (SOE).

Many members of the same network were arrested not long after entering France, but she spent the summer moving from place to place, trying to send messages back to London while avoiding capture.

In November 1943, she was sent to Pforzheim prison in Germany where she was kept in chains and in solitary confinement. Despite repeated torture, she refused to reveal any information about British Intelligence.

2014 Walter Tull £5

2014 Walter Tull Silver Proof £5 Coin. Credit: The Royal Mint

In 2014, a commemorative Silver Proof £5 coin was issued within a series of coins commemorating the First World War.

Recognised as the first black officer in Britain’s Armed Forces, Walter Tull is celebrated on this £5 coin as a hero and famous figure from the war.

However, coins such as this celebrating BAME figures on UK coins are few and far between, and when issued as higher specification precious metal coins, they end up being less accessible to the general public.

Banknotes of Colour Campaign

A ‘Banknotes of Colour’ campaign is currently being led by former Conservative parliamentary candidate, Zehra Zaidi in efforts to see the better representation of non-white peoples on British currency.

She said, “We must tell the story of inclusive representation as it matters for cohesion and it matters in the narrative of who we are as a nation.”

We look forward to hearing more as the story unfolds as Rishi Sunak considers these proposals which would recognise and celebrate BAME figures on UK currency.


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

Built during the Norman Conquest in 1066, Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and fortress of the Tower of London has been used as a prison, jewel house, mint and even a menagerie.

It’s been home to kings and queens, thieves and traitors and lions and bears.

In tribute to the Tower, The Royal Mint issued a four coin series throughout 2019 celebrating the history of the Tower of London, one of Britain’s most iconic attractions. The series included coins depicting the following:

  • The Legend of the Ravens
  • The Yeoman Warders
  • The Ceremony of the Keys
  • The Crown Jewels

The collection continues in 2020 with four new £5 coins featuring original designs, each exploring a different element of the Tower of London’s history. The series will include coins depicting the following:

  • The Royal Menagerie
  • The White Tower
  • The Royal Mint
  • The Notorious Prison

2020 Royal Menagerie £5

The second coin in The Royal Mint’s 2020 Tower of London series has JUST been released and it celebrates the Royal Menagerie.

There was once a time when monkeys, elephants and even polar bears roamed the Tower of London, in an area of the castle called The Royal Menagerie.

Heraldic artist Timothy Noad has designed this brand new Royal Menagerie £5 with some of the castle’s old inhabitants – lions! This coin also features the second jigsaw-style section of the Norman arched window which will be seen in full when all four 2020 Tower of London £5 coins are placed together.

The Royal Menagerie £5 is available in a number of specifications, including Brilliant Uncirculated quality for JUST £10.99! (+p&p)

Click here to secure yours >>

The Royal Menagerie

From the 1200s to 1835, the Tower of London housed a menagerie of exotic wild animals, never before seen in London, including Elephants, Lions, and Polar Bears.

The Royal Menagerie began as a result of medieval monarchs exchanging rare and strange animals as gifts (Historic Royal Palaces). In 1235, Henry III was presented with three leopards by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, inspiring him to open a zoo at the Tower.

Although many of the animals had brand new houses and dedicated keepers, they did not survive in the cramped conditions.

Therefore, Edward I (1239-1307) created a permanent new home for the Menagerie, known as the Lion Tower, named after the beasts kept there. During this time, visitors to the Tower would have first crossed a drawbridge to the Lion Tower, experiencing the terrifying sounds and smells of the animals.

Today’s world-famous London Zoo in Regent’s Park was founded by the original 150 animals moving from the Tower Menagerie.

The animals of the menagerie are commemorated by 13 wire sculptures around the Tower, by artist Kendra Haste.

The Royal Menagerie. Source: AAJ Press

2020 White Tower £5

The first £5 coin to be released in the 2020 Tower of London series celebrates the White Tower.

2020 UK White Tower of London £5

Designed by heraldic artist, Timothy Noad, the reverse of the coin depicts the model of the White Tower, which sits on top of the mace that the Chief Yeoman Warder carries.

In a nod to the previous collection, when all four coins are placed together, a full image of a Norman arched window can be seen, framing the design of each coin.

The White Tower £5 is available in Gold Proof, Silver Proof and Brilliant Uncirculated quality and I’m sure collectors will be eager to add this representation of our royal history to their collection.

Click here to secure your coin in Brilliant Uncirculated quality for just £10.99 (+p&p)

The White Tower

Built 1078-1097 under William the Conqueror’s rule, the White Tower is the oldest part of the Tower of London and is the most famous castle keep in the world.

Built to awe, subdue and terrify Londoners, the White Tower’s ramparts, which are 90ft high, would have cast dark shadows over the wooden buildings of medieval London.

In 1674, the skeletons of two children were discovered in the White Tower, during the demolition of a staircase leading to the chapel of St. John. The bones have, for years, been speculated as the remains of the Princes in the Tower, Edward V and his younger brother Richard, Duke of York. Richard III is the name most associated with the mystery of the two little princes. It is believed that he had them killed as their right to the throne was stronger than his… Whilst this mystery is still yet to be solved, one thing’s for definite, this Tower really is a centre-piece of British History.

Now, the White Tower showcases the awe-inspiring historic and world-class Royal Armouries collections, including the royal armours of Henry VIII, Charles I and James II.

The White Tower. Source: Britannica

Royal Mint

From 1272 until 1810, the Tower of London was home to The Royal Mint. Coins of the realm were produced in a dedicated area in the outer ward known as ‘Mint Street’. This dangerous task involved working with scorching furnaces, deadly chemicals and poisonous gases and many Mint workers suffered injuries including loss of fingers and eyes from the process.

In the 1600s, coins were no longer made by hand, but instead a screw-operated press was introduced. However, risk still befell the Mint workers, as they faced severe punishments should they be caught tampering with or forging coins.

In 1810, the Mint moved from the Tower to a new site at Tower Hill and eventually on to its present location in Wales to allow for expansion.

The Royal Mint. Source: hrp.org.uk

Infamous Prisoners

From the late 15th century and during its peak period as a prison in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Tower housed some of Britain’s most notorious criminals, including Guy Fawkes, Anne Boleyn and even Elizabeth I before she became queen. 

For those in a position of wealth, serving time at the Tower could be relatively comfortable, with some captive kings allowed to go out on hunting or shopping trips and even allowed to bring in their servants. However, for those less fortunate, the phrase “sent to the Tower” would conjure up gruesome images of torture and execution, such was its fearsome reputation.

Despite this reputation, only 7 people were executed at the Tower before the World Wars of the 20th century, where 12 men were then executed for espionage.

Tower of London. Source: hrp.org.uk

The 2020 Tower of London series is already proving to be a huge success with collectors. We can’t wait to see the designs for the other coins!


Secure your 2020 Royal Menagerie £5 Today!

Don’t miss out,secure the BRAND NEW 2020 UK Royal Menagerie £5 in Brilliant Uncirculated quality for JUST £10.99 (+p&p) by clicking here >>