Coins of England and Great Britain

('Coins of the UK')

by Tony Clayton


7 - Decimal Twenty Pence


Decimal Ten Pence <<-- : -->> Decimal Fifty Pence

Values of Decimal 20p and 50p coins
Pictures of Decimal Twenty Pence coins


The Seven-sided Coins


Both the 20p and 50p coins are seven-sided to aid identification. The sides are not straight, but curved, with the centre of curvature being the opposite apex. This means that when used in slot machines they always appear to have exactly the same diameter regardless of the orientation of the coin when it is put in.


Twenty Pence


The Twenty Pence coin was introduced in June 1982 to fill a very evident need for something to fill the gap between 10p and 50p. It was very quickly accepted by the population as a whole. It is arguably the most common of the 'silver' coins found in change.

While the 5p, 10p and 50p coins are made from a 75% Cu 25% Ni alloy, the 20p is made from an 84% Cu 16% Ni alloy. I am grateful to Robert Matthews for confirming that the reason for the use of this alloy is to alter the electrical conductivity to allow discrimination by vending machines. It uses the maximum amount of copper while retaining a 'silver' appearance. Despite this the alloy is slightly yellower than the usual 75% Cu alloy.

The twenty pence coin weighs 5.00 grams and has a diameter of 21.40 mm.

There are five types of this coin.

  1. First type

    Obv: First Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II above D. G. REG. F. D. below
    Rev: Crowned Tudor Rose, 20 below, date above and inscribed TWENTY PENCE
    .
    The border is raised and the border inscriptions are incuse.
    Issued from 1982 to 1984.
    Proofs: silver piedfort in 1982.

  2. Second type

    Obv: Second Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II above D. G. REG. F. D. below
    Rev: Crowned Tudor Rose, 20 below, date above and inscribed TWENTY PENCE
    .
    The border is raised and the border inscriptions are incuse.
    Issued from 1985 to 1997. The 1986 coin did not enter circulation and is only available in Mint or Proof Sets. During 1992 the effigy was enhanced, becoming slightly larger.
    Proofs: silver in 1996.

  3. Third type

    Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II above D. G. REG. F. D. below
    Rev: Crowned Tudor Rose, 20 below, date above and inscribed TWENTY PENCE
    .
    The border is raised and the border inscriptions are incuse.
    Issued from 1998 to 2008.
    Proofs: silver in 2000, 2006 and 2008; gold in 2002 and 2008; platinum in 2008.

  4. Fourth type

    Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D. G. REG. F. D. (date)
    Rev: Right side of the Royal Arms, TWENTY PENCE to the right.
    The border is raised and the border inscriptions are incuse. Note that the date has been moved to the obverse.
    Issued from 2008. 2008 to 2014 seen in circulation. 2015 only available in sets at present.
    Proofs: silver in 2008, 2009 and 2010; gold in 2008; platinum in 2008; silver piedfort in 2008.

  5. Fifth type

    Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II above D. G. REG. F. D. below
    Rev: Right side of the Royal Arms, TWENTY PENCE to the right.
    The border is raised and the border inscriptions are incuse.
    This is a scarce mule of the old type obverse and new type reverse. As a result there is no date on the coin. A short run with the incorrect obverse die meant that a moderate quantity of these coins has entered circulation.

The full designation of the 1982-2008 reverse is 'The Badge of England, a royally crowned double rose', and it was designed by William Gardner.


Acknowledgements

See my Main Coins Index page for acknowledgements


Links

Decimal Ten Pence <<-- : -->> Decimal Fifty Pence

Main History Index
Values Index
Values of 20p and 50p coins.
Pictures Index
Pictures of Decimal Twenty Pence Coins

Help and Advice


Decimal Coins of the UK - 7 - 20p
Copyright reserved by the author, Tony Clayton
v26 14th December 2014
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