Coins of England and Great Britain

('Coins of the UK')

by Tony Clayton


5 - Decimal Five Pence


Decimal Two Pence <<-- : -->> Decimal Ten Pence

Values of Decimal 5p and 10p coins
Pictures of Decimal Five Pence Coins


The five pence coin initially weighed 5.65 grams and had a diameter of 23.59 mm, identical in this respect to the shilling, and also minted in cupronickel.

In 1990 a new smaller version was introduced weighing 3.25g and 18.00 mm diameter.

In 2011 the metal was changed to nickel-plated steel. As the density of steel is less than that of cupronickel, these coins are slightly thicker than previously but have the same diameter and weight.

Proof coins were issued in sets every year from 1971 onwards.

There are seven types of this coin. All except the seventh are minted in cupronickel.

  1. First large type

    Obv: First Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D (date) starting top right
    Rev: Crowned Thistle, 5 below, NEW PENCE above

    Issued from 1968 to 1981 (1972-1974, 1976 and 1981 in Proof only)

  2. Second large type

    Obv: First Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D (date) starting top right
    Rev: Crowned Thistle, 5 below, FIVE PENCE above
    Issued from 1982 to 1984 (All only obtainable from Mint and Proof sets).

  3. Third large type

    Obv: Second Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D (date) starting low left
    Rev: Crowned Thistle, 5 below, FIVE PENCE above

    Issued from 1985 to 1990 (1985-86 and 1990 only issued in Mint and Proof Sets).
    Proofs: silver in 1990

  4. First small type

    Obv: Second Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D (date) starting low left
    Rev: Crowned Thistle, 5 below, FIVE PENCE above

    Issued from 1990 to 1997 (1993 only issued in Mint and Proof Sets).
    Proofs: silver in 1990 and 1996; silver piedfort in 1990.

  5. Second small type

    Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D (date) starting low left. Initials IRB below bust.
    Rev: Crowned Thistle, 5 below, FIVE PENCE above.
    Issued from 1998 to 2008. All dates are in circulation.
    Proofs: silver in 2000, 2006 and 2008; gold in 2002 and 2008; platinum in 2008.

  6. Third small type

    Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D (date) starting low left. Initials IRB below bust. No beading.
    Rev: Central part of the Royal Arms, FIVE PENCE centrally.
    First issued in 2008 (2008 to 2010 in circulation).
    Proofs: silver 2008 to 2010; gold in 2008; platinum in 2008; silver piedfort in 2008.

  7. Fourth small type

    Obv: Third Portrait, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D (date) starting low left. Initials IRB below bust. No beading.
    Rev: Central part of the Royal Arms, FIVE PENCE centrally.
    Issued in plated steel instead of cupronickel.
    First issued in 2011 (2011 to 2014 in circulation.)

The full designation of the 1968 to 2008 reverse is 'The Badge of Scotland, a thistle royally crowned'. It was designed by Christopher Ironside.

With the reduction in size the old larger coins, along with the shillings that circulated alongside, were withdrawn from circulation, and demonetized with effect from 1st January 1991.

There was a delay in the release of plated steel coins due to problems with modifying vending and similar machines so that they will be accepted. They were first seen in circulation in March 2012. The Royal Mint are actively withdrawing cupronickel coins for their metal content, which is still just less than 5p, and replacing them with plated steel versions.


Acknowledgements

See my Main Coins Index page for acknowledgements


Links

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Values of 5p and 10p coins.
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Pictures of Decimal Five Pence Coins

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Decimal Coins of the UK - 5 - Five Pence
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v26 24th July 2014
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