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Demonetized U.K. coins

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Hello,

 

I am wondering if anybody can help clarify a situation about U.K. coins. I have read that the older, larger 50 pence coins (minted for circulation from 1969-1994 or so) are demonetized but can still be exchanged at banks. Is that true? Is it only certain banks that they can be exchanged at? Also, what about the older, larger demonetized 5 and 10 pence coins? Can they also still be exchanged at banks?

 

Hoping someone can definitively answer these questions,

 

Bruce

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I don't think mainstream banks are actually under any obligation to take the old 5p, 10p and 50p coins (demonetised 1990, 1993 and 1998 respectively). Some may accept them, but I think it is very, very unlikely. The only exception I can think of that might realistically take them is the Bank of England. I know for a fact that the Bank of England will redeem any of it's previous issues of banknotes (as they are the institution that manufactures them), whether or not they take demonetised coins (which originate from the Royal Mint instead), is something you'd have to ask them about.

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I don't think mainstream banks are actually under any obligation to take the old 5p, 10p and 50p coins (demonetised 1990, 1993 and 1998 respectively). Some may accept them, but I think it is very, very unlikely. The only exception I can think of that might realistically take them is the Bank of England. I know for a fact that the Bank of England will redeem any of it's previous issues of banknotes (as they are the institution that manufactures them), whether or not they take demonetised coins (which originate from the Royal Mint instead), is something you'd have to ask them about.

 

I actually had emailed both the Royal Mint and Bank of England before I posted on this forum. I'll let y'all know if they are kind enough to respond to my questions.

 

Bruce

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It is my understanding that even the £SD coinage can be redeemed, albeit in significant quantities and by talking to the right people. But in reality you would get more money for the £SD coinage by scraping it.

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you would get more money for the £SD coinage by scraping it.

 

Clipping it you mean...? (sorry, I'll get me coat)

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BoE's responsibility is limited to redeeming/exchanging notes.

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Clipping it you mean...? (sorry, I'll get me coat)

 

 

Sorry, meant to type scrapping - ie selling for metal content.

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OK. I think I have what will be about the best answers we can get to this question. First, here is the response from the Bank of England:

 

Hello, thank you for your enquiry. May I first explain that the Bank of England is responsible for the issue of banknotes in the UK and it is the Royal Mint which is responsible for coinage. However, we have been given the following advice by the Mint. To exchange withdrawn coins which are, consequently, no longer legal tender, members of the public should approach their own bankers. If the bank refuses to do so or if the individual has no bank account he/she must be prepared to accept that there maybe no means of obtaining value for them. The banks may exchange demonetised coin for non-customers at their absolute discretion, although they may charge for this service if provided. In respect of old coins, the Royal Mint now only deals with the Cash Centres of the major banks and the Post Offices. They do not deal direct with members of the public.

 

 

Next, the response from the Royal Mint:

 

Several months advance notice is provided before a coin is demonetised (i.e. it is no longer legal tender). This happened, for example, when the new, smaller 5p and 10p were introduced in 1990 and 1992 respectively and the old, larger versions of these coins were withdrawn from circulation. However, once a coin has been demonetised, banks are under no obligation to accept them. Nevertheless, many banks will accept demonetised coins from members of the public providing they have a bank account with them. Policy may vary from bank to bank, and some may charge a handling fee.

 

If the coins are in good condition, it also worth considering approaching a coin dealer who may be prepared to offer more than face value. It should be possible for you to locate a coin dealer by contacting the British Numismatic Trade Association. You can visit their website at: www.bnta.net

 

 

Thus, I take these responses to mean that although it is not impossible to get them exchanged, it would probably be difficult for someone without an account at the right bank to do so. Also, who knows how much exchange value would be lost to a handling fee. If anybody reading this has an account at a bank in the UK, could you ask them what their policy is just for the sake of completely exhausting this topic?

 

Thanks!

 

Bruce

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its unlikly you will get more then face (unless high grade or 1985-92/93 50p's) i have bought one with a thin planchet at face.

having exchanged the previous edition five pound note (demonitised) i went to my bank and handed it over for no fee whatsoever and no questions asked

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having exchanged the previous edition five pound note (demonitised) i went to my bank and handed it over for no fee whatsoever and no questions asked

 

I would hope so, given that the BoE will exchange old notes at its office for anyone without charge.

 

The main question pertains to the demonitized coins.

 

 

 

Myself, I sold £50 face in obsolete nickel coinage several months ago for $20 after getting no takers. (junk coin at $2/ pound weight)

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I think the short answer to your question is therefore, no. Which is pretty much what I expected. I wasn't sure of the BoE position on the matter until now, but I know that most high street banks are very, very unlikely to accept them because the coins are of no use to the banks once they've taken them, they presumably then have to go about arranging said coins' disposal, which will cost them money unless they get a bulk load for scrapping.

 

I'm not sure of the legality of it but maybe it would be better selling them to scrap merchants. I think it is illegal to scrap current coinage, but demonetised coinage probably falls outside of this, because its legal status as money has been revoked leaving them as mere lumps of metal. Although I'm happy to be corrected on this.

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