No new one and two pence coins produced last year

Billions of 1p and 2p coins are in circulation

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The Royal Mint said it produced no new one and two pence coins last year for the first time in decades.

It’s the first time since 1972 no new 1p coins were struck for circulation, and the first time since 1984 for 2p coins.

There are already around 10.5 billion 1p coins in circulation, and 6.3 billion 2p coins clogging up wallets, piggy banks and the back of couches.

The Treasury also said no new £2 coins were minted as there were already 494 million coins in circulation.

“We didn't ask the Mint to issue any £2 or 1p/2p coins this past year because there are already enough of these in circulation,” a Treasury spokesman said.

“Our coins are of the highest quality and the amount we ask the Royal Mint to produce every year depends on demand from banks and post offices.”

In May the government stressed there were no plans to remove 1p and 2p coins from circulation, despite a sharp drop in the use of cash.

It has also hosed down calls to phase out the £50 note over fears they were mainly used by criminal gangs.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney said earlier this year “there will be demand for cash in this country for a very long period of time”.

A new £20 note will be released next year, and a new £50 note featuring scientist Alan Turing will enter circulation in 2021.

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