Robert Murray Stamp Shop, Edinburgh
Established 1977
Retail shop, auctioneers, mail order

United Kingdom
Two Pence Coins
An "Urban Myth" Stories are circulating about the scarcity of certain decimal two pence (2p) coins, to the effect that those inscribed "New Pence" are scarce. This is not true. Here are the simple facts.
In 1971 when decimal currency was intruduced, all coins (½p, 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 50p) had the denomination in words including the word ("NEW").
two new pence coin
In 1982, the design was changed so that the text said "TWO PENCE" rather than "NEW PENCE", and the same change was made on the other denominations (which now also included 20p).
two pence coin
The only exception to this is for some of the 1983 2p peices. These were not put into normal circulation, but were only issued in collectors' sets. Sufficient sets were produecd to satisfy normal collector demand (about 637,000 sets). However, some of these sets (possibly only about 450) included coins which had the "new pence" inscription in error - all the others said "two pence".
A 1983 2p coin inscribed "two pence" is of a little value, but not a great deal.
A 1983 2p coin inscribed "new pence" is rare, and one appearing in auction might fetch in the region of £100 or £200.
Just as a matter of interest, over 1.4 billion twopences were issued in 1971, and in total 3.1 billion 2p coins were issued inscribed "2 NEW PENCE". It is clear that they are not scarce.
Any stories suggesting that they are anything but common have been passed on by people who have heard the story and then been willing to pass it on without checking the facts. The incorrect details have appeared on UK television, and in newspapers, even having been repeated by "experts".

Robert Murray Stamp Shop, Edinburgh

Page written Saturday 6 December 2003. Updated Tuesday 7 December 2004. Copyright Robert Murray.