Ten pence (British coin)
|Value||10.0 pence sterling|
|Thickness||cupro-nickel (1992-2011): 1.85 mm
nickel-plated steel (2011- ): 2.05 mm
|Composition||75% Cu, 25% Ni;
nickel-plated steel from January 2012
|Years of minting||1992–present|
|Design||Queen Elizabeth II|
|Design||Segment of the Royal Shield|
The British decimal ten pence (10p) coin – often pronounced "ten pee" – was issued on 23 April 1968 in preparation for the 1971 decimalisation of the currency. At that time it had the same value, size, and weight as the existing florin (two-shilling coin), and it may be viewed as a continuation of the older coin. Between 1968 and 1971 it circulated, with a value of two shillings, alongside the pre-decimal two-shilling coins – the aim being to gradually familiarise the public with the new decimal coinage. After decimalisation the old two-shilling coins continued to circulate, with a value of 10p, until finally withdrawn in 1993.
Until 2012, the 10p coin was minted from a cupronickel alloy of 75% copper and 25% nickel. The 1968 version of the coin weighed 11.31 grams and had a diameter of 28.50 millimetres. On 30 September 1992 a smaller version weighing 6.50 grams and with a diameter of 24.50 millimetres was introduced. Apart from the reduction in size, the coin's design remained essentially unchanged. This downsizing took place a year after a similar reform of the five pence coin, and the new ten pence was in fact only a gram heavier and half a millimetre larger than the previously withdrawn five pence. The current version has a similar size to the quarter in both the U.S. and Canada. All the older 10p and florin coins were withdrawn from circulation and demonetised from 1 July 1993. With the earlier withdrawal of the 5p and shilling coins, the 10p was the last of the "historical" coin sizes to be withdrawn. From January 2012 the 10p coin has been minted in nickel-plated steel in order to save costs.
Three different obverses have been used—from 1968 to 1984 the head of Queen Elizabeth II by Arnold Machin, from 1985 to 1997 the head by Raphael Maklouf, and since 1998 the head by Ian Rank-Broadley. In all cases, the inscription is ELIZABETH II D.G.REG.F.D. followed by the date.
Several varieties of the first small coin dated 1992 exist. There are two varieties each of the obverse and reverse producing four general types, of which two are scarce. There are two edge varieties for the prevalent variety producing a fifth distinct variety.
As of March 2013 there were an estimated 1,598 million 10p coins in circulation.
From January 2012 the coin was composed of nickel-plated steel, and the Royal Mint announced the launch of a programme to replace the older cupro-nickel coins from January 2013, in order to recover the alloy.
The original reverse of the coin, designed by Christopher Ironside, is a crowned lion (formally, Part of the crest of England, a lion passant guardant royally crowned), with the numeral "10" below the lion, and either NEW PENCE (1968–1981) or TEN PENCE (1982–2008) above the lion.
In August 2005 the Royal Mint launched a competition to find new reverse designs for all circulating coins apart from the £2 coin. The winner, announced in April 2008, was Matthew Dent, whose designs were gradually introduced into the circulating British coinage from summer 2008. The designs for the 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p and 50p coins depict sections of the Royal Shield that form the whole shield when placed together. The shield in its entirety is featured on the £1 coin. The 10p coin depicts the first quarter of the shield, showing the lions passant from the Royal Banner of England, with the words TEN PENCE above the shield design.
The coin's obverse remains largely unchanged, but the beading (the ring of dots around the coin's circumference), which no longer features on the coin's reverse, has also been removed from the obverse.
(Figures are for circulation issue only)
- 1968 ~ 336,143,250
- 1969 ~ 314,008,000
- 1970 ~ 133,571,000
- 1971 ~ 63,205,000
- 1972 ~ none
- 1973 ~ 152,174,000
- 1974 ~ 92,741,000
- 1975 ~ 181,559,000
- 1976 ~ 228,220,000
- 1977 ~ 59,323,000
- 1978 ~ none
- 1979 ~ 115,457,000
- 1980 ~ 88,650,000
- 1981 ~ 3,487,000
- 1982-1992 ~ none
- 1992 ~ 1,413,455,170
- 1993-1994 ~ none
- 1995 ~ 43,259,000
- 1996 ~ 118,738,000
- 1997 ~ 99,196,000
- 1998-1999 ~ none
- 2000 ~ 134,727,000
- 2001 ~ 82,081,000
- 2002 ~ 80,934,000
- 2003 ~ 88,118,000
- 2004 ~ 99,602,000
- 2005 ~ 69,604,000
- 2006 ~ 118,803,000
- 2007 ~ 72,720,000
- 2008 ~ 9,720,000 (Ironside)
- 2008 ~ 71,447,000 (Dent)
- 2009 ~ 84,360,000
- 2010 ~ 96,600,500
- 2011 ~ 59,603,850 
- 2012 ~ 11,600,030
- Coins of the UK – Decimal 10p Types
- Coins of the UK – Decimal 10p Values
- Estimated Coins in Circulation, Royal Mint
- "Cupro Nickel Replacement Programme". Royal Mint. 2013.
- "Royal Mint seeks new coin designs", BBC News, 17 August 2005
- "Royal Mint unveils new UK coins", 2 April 2008
- United Kingdom decimal coins issued into general circulation, Royal Mint