2p Coins in Circulation

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The 2p was first issued in 1971 (although 1971 coins were actually made available earlier in blue folders to enable the public to become familiar with them). With the penny, it is one of only two denominations that has been made to the same size specifications from decimalisation in 1971 right up to the present day.

Specifications are shown at the bottom of this page.

Obverse Type 1, used 1971 – 1984 (bust design by Arnold Machin):

twopencemachin

Reverse Type 1, used 1971 – 1981 (and 1983 in error) (design by Christopher Ironside):

twopencenewpence

Edge: Plain.

The design:

The badge of the Prince of Wales with his motto ‘Ich Dien’ (I serve). ‘NEW PENCE’ above, ‘2’ below.

Dates:

1971, Mintage 1,454,856,250.
1972, None for circulation, an unknown amount for annual proof sets only.
1973, None for circulation, an unknown amount for annual proof sets only.
1974, None for circulation, an unknown amount for annual proof sets only.
1975, Mintage 145,545,000.
1976, Mintage 181,379,000.
1977, Mintage 109,281,000.
1978, Mintage 189,658,000.
1979, Mintage 260,200,000.
1980, Mintage 408,527,000.
1981, Mintage 353,191,000.

Collectability/Scarcity: 1 for the high mintage coins, 2 for 1972-1974 (for scale details see here)

 

Obverse Type 1, used 1971 – 1984 (bust design by Arnold Machin):

twopencemachin

Reverse Type 2, used 1982 – 2008 (design by Christopher Ironside):

twopencetwo

Edge: Plain.

The design:

The badge of the Prince of Wales with his motto ‘Ich Dien’ (I serve). ‘TWO PENCE’ above, ‘2’ below.

Dates:

1982, None for circulation, 205,000 for annual sets only.
1983, None for circulation, 631,000 for annual sets only.
1984, None for circulation, 158,820 for annual sets only.

Collectability/Scarcity (all): 2 (for scale details see here)

 

Obverse Type 1, mismatched with Reverse Type 1 for some 1983 coins

This rare coin, dated 1983 and with the ‘NEW PENCE’ reverse (type 1) was produced in error and appears to have only found its way into promotional packs of 1983 coins branded as either Heinz or Martini. It wasn’t actually noticed until decades later! To find one in circulation would be very rare indeed, in fact I don’t know of any confirmed examples that have been removed from their sets and circulated. There is still a lot of confusion and people getting the wrong end of the stick with the ‘NEW PENCE’ 2p reverses! It’s just the 1983 dated coin with the ‘NEW PENCE’ reverse that is rare. All the others were produced in  high numbers.

Collectability/Scarcity (1983 NEW PENCE): 8 (for scale details see here)

 

Obverse Type 2, used 1985 – 1997 (bust design by Raphael Maklouf):

twopence1986obv

Reverse Type 2, used 1982 – 2008 (design by Christopher Ironside):

twopencetwo

Edge: Plain.

Dates:

1985, Mintage 107,113,000.
1986, Mintage 168,967,500.
1987, Mintage 218,100,750.
1988, Mintage 419,889,000.
1989, Mintage 359,226,000.
1990, Mintage 204,449,700.
1991, Mintage 86,625,000.
1992, Mintage 102,247,000 in plated steel, 78,421 in bronze*.
1993, Mintage 235,674,000.
1994, Mintage 531,628,000.
1995, Mintage 124,482,000.
1996, Mintage 296,276,000.
1997, Mintage 496,116,000.

Collectability/Scarcity: 1 for all with the high mintage numbers, 2 for the bronze 1992 (for scale details see here)

*In 1992 the metal composition was changed from bronze to copper-plated steel (which is magnetic). The coins that went into the annual sets used bronze blanks and all of the coins issued for circulation were made of copper plated steel.

Note that there are also minor die differences concerning the reverses of two pence coins dated 1986-2008. Coins that went into BU annual sets often have minor differences in comparison to the coins that were for general circulation. More info here: http://www.predecimal.com/forum/topic/8211-portcullis-varieties-on-decimal-penny/?p=90600

 

Obverse Type 3, used 1998 – 2008 (bust design by Ian Rank-Broadley):

twopenceIRB

Reverse Type 2, used 1982 – 2008 (design by Christopher Ironside):

twopencetwo

Edge: Plain.

Dates:

1998, Mintage 231,830,000*.
1999, Mintage 353,816,000.
2000, Mintage 583,643,000.
2001 Mintage 551,886,000.
2002, Mintage 168,556,000.
2003, Mintage 260,225,000.
2004, Mintage 356,396,000.
2005 Mintage 280,396,000.
2006, Mintage 170,637,000.
2007, Mintage 254,500,000.
2008, Mintage 10,600,000.

Collectability/Scarcity (all): 1 (for scale details see here)

*In 1998 the Royal Mint seem to have had some bronze blanks leftover that needed to be used up and this date occurs both in the standard copper-plated steel and in the earlier (pre 1992) bronze alloy. Also, the 1999 coins that were made for proof sets are also known in copper-plated steel and bronze.

 

Obverse Type 4, used 2008 – 2015 (bust design by Ian Rank-Broadley):

2p2008dentobv

Reverse Type 3, used 2008 onwards (design by Matthew Dent):

2p2008dentrev

Edge: Plain.

The design:

The obverse is very similar to the previous but no longer has rim beads. The reverse is the upper right section of the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom.

Dates:

2008, Mintage 241,679,000.
2009, Mintage 150,500,500.
2010, Mintage 99,600,000.
2011 Mintage 114,300,000.
2012, Mintage 67,800,000.
2013, Mintage 40,600,000.
2014, Mintage 247,600,020.
2015, Mintage 89,900,000.

 

Obverse Type 5, used 2015 onwards (bust design by (Mr) Jody Clark):

2pobv

Reverse Type 3, used 2008 onwards (design by Matthew Dent):

2p2008dentrev

Edge: Plain.

Dates:

2015, Mintage 139,200,000.
2016, Mintage not yet known.
2017, Mintage not yet known.

 

Specifications for all current 2p coins:

Size: 25.91mm
Width: 1.85mm (bronze), 2.03mm (copper-plated steel)
Metal Composition 1971 – 1992 (and some 1998 coins): Bronze (97% copper, 2.5% zinc, 0.5% tin)
Metal Composition 1992 – date (except some 1998 coins): Steel core plated with copper.
Weight: 7.13 grammes

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