Saturday, March 19, 2011

New material for UK 5 & 10 pence coins in 2011

The 5p and 10p coins have always been made from a metal known as cupronickel, an alloy made of 75 per cent copper, 25 per cent nickel. Indeed, all shillings, which preceded the 5p coin, were made from cupronickel following the end of World War II.

However, from 2011 on they are made from steel, with a nickel coating (nickel plated steel). In most respects they look identical and weigh the same, but sharp-eye observers will notice they are 11 per cent thicker, moving from 1.7 mm in depth to 1.9 mm.
They will also become magnetic for the first time:

The change, proposed by the former Labour government, is designed to save the Royal Mint between £7 million and £8 million a year, allowing it to use steel rather than copper, which has surged in price over recent years. Making the cupronickel alloy is also a relatively expensive process.

(information by Pabitra Saha)

LINK: The Telegraph
LINK: The Royal Mint


  1. Presumably the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Ascension and the Falkland Islands will follow suit in due course.

  2. Still no sign of these in my (UK)change, but I have enquired of an eBay seller with the 2011 Manx coins and been told the Manx 5p and 10p remain non-magnetic.