Coin collectors call for 1p coin to be saved as the penny faces getting scrapped

30 January 2024, 01:00

As the Isle of Man becomes the first part of the British Isles to scrap the penny coin, collectors have urged to save the 1p copper
As the Isle of Man becomes the first part of the British Isles to scrap the penny coin, collectors have urged to save the 1p copper. Picture: Getty
Sukhmani Sethi

By Sukhmani Sethi

As the Isle of Man becomes the first part of the British Isles to scrap the penny coin, collectors have urged to save the 1p copper despite economists determining that inflation eaten away its value.

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Coppers will remain legal tender on the island but businesses will round prices up to the nearest 5p to get ready of the eventual shortage of the 1p and 2p coins.

The Economist Magazine has asked for the UK government to follow suit and get rid of the penny after working out that the 1p coin now holds only a tenth of its original value, since decimalisation was introduced in 1971.

This also comes during the continuing trend which has seen a decline in the use of cash, with physical money being spent in only one in five transactions.

But, while its economic value has plummeted, the penny has managed to keep its sentimental value with collectors urging the bank to not consider phasing it out entirely.

Dr Alex Allinson, the Isle of Man’s treasury minister, said: “Part of it is the overall move towards a cashless society. Part of it is just the economics — that to make a 1p coin now costs more than a 1p coin is worth.”

He added: “Even the 5p pieces, we calculate now that each one is about 20p. It is getting more and more expensive to produce currency. We’ve also got significant quantities in storage in various banks, which has an extra cost.”

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This also comes during the continuing trend which has seen a decline in the use of cash, with physical money being spent in only one in five transactions
This also comes during the continuing trend which has seen a decline in the use of cash, with physical money being spent in only one in five transactions. Picture: Getty

Kate Morgan, who runs the community blog at ChangeChecker.org, told The times: “You can’t deny that cash usage has significantly decreased in the last 10 years, and especially so since the pandemic, with some establishments even refusing cash payments, so there is generally less need for cash and small change.

“However I personally think that the joy of coin collecting cannot be replicated with digital payments, and it would be a real shame to lose any of our definitive currency.

“I’d also love to see the new 1p featuring the hazel dormouse and the 2p featuring the red squirrel, both with King Charles III on the obverse, enter circulation. The designs of the new UK coinage are amazing and I think it will really refresh people’s view on coins.”

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