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British coin One Penny

This article discusses the British decimal penny, issued from 1971, only. For the pre-decimal penny, issued between approximately 750 AD to 1970, please see English/British coin Penny.
The British decimal Penny (1p) coin was issued on 15 February 1971, the day the British currency was decimalised. In practice it had been available from banks in bags of 1 for some weeks previously. The coin was initially minted from bronze, but since 1992 it has been minted in copper-plated steel. As this is less dense than bronze, post-1992 coins have been slightly thicker. The coin weighs 3.56 grams and has a diameter of 20.32 millimetres.

The reverse of the coin is a crowned portcullis with chains, the emblem of Parliament with the numeral "1" below the portcullis, and either NEW PENNY (1971-1981) or ONE PENNY (1982-date) above the portcullis.

During the history of the coin, three different obverses have been used so far - between 1971 and 1984 the head of Queen Elizabeth II by Arnold Machin was used, between 1985 and 1997 the head by Raphael Maklouf was used, and since 1998 one by Ian Rank-Broadley has been used. In all cases, the inscription used is ELIZABETH II D.G.REG.F.D. date.

See also British coinage.



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