What is a 20 Pence Coin?

If you’re from the UK, you’ve probably encountered a 20 pence coin before. But if you’re not familiar with British currency, you might be wondering, “What is a 20 pence coin?” Well, a 20 pence coin is a small, circular coin that is worth 20 pence, equivalent to 0.27 US dollars.

Design and Features

A set of limited edition 20 pence coins with unique designs and engravings.
A set of limited edition 20 pence coins with unique designs and engravings.

The front of the coin depicts a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, while the back displays a segment of the Royal Shield, surrounded by the twelve stars of the European Union. The coin is made up of a nickel-plated and a copper-nickel alloy, resulting in a distinctive silver and gold color combination.

The 20 pence coin is relatively small, measuring only 21.4mm in diameter and weighing 5 grams. Despite its size, it has a ridged edge that makes it easy to distinguish from other coins.

The design of the 20 pence coin has remained relatively unchanged since its introduction in 1982, with only minor alterations to the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II over the years.

Value and Use

A person counting and organizing a stack of 20 pence coins for exchange or collection.
A person counting and organizing a stack of 20 pence coins for exchange or collection.

The 20 pence coin is widely accepted in the UK and is frequently used in everyday transactions, including buying groceries, paying for public transportation, and purchasing small items.

In addition to its use as a means of exchange, the 20 pence coin is also a popular choice for collecting. Some people collect 20 pence coins for their rarity, while others collect the coins as a hobby or for sentimental reasons.

If you’re traveling to the UK, it’s important to note that you can exchange your local currency for 20 pence coins at most banks or currency exchange offices. Additionally, many shops and restaurants will accept major credit cards or other forms of electronic payment, making it easy to pay for purchases without cash.

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Value and Use

While the 20 pence coin may not seem like a valuable coin, some rare editions can fetch a high price among coin collectors. For example, a 2008 undated 20 pence coin with no date on either side was accidentally released into circulation, and it is now worth hundreds of pounds.

The 20 pence coin can be used in various places, from small shops to large supermarkets, as well as in vending machines, parking machines, and public transport. It’s important to note that the 20 pence coin is not widely accepted outside of the UK, so if you’re traveling abroad, you should exchange your coins for local currency before leaving the country.

If you have extra 20 pence coins that you don’t need, you can exchange them for other currencies at most banks or currency exchange offices. You can also sell your coins to coin dealers or collectors, although the price you’ll get will depend on the rarity and condition of the coins.

Collecting 20 Pence Coins

Collecting 20 pence coins can be a fun and rewarding hobby. While the coins are not particularly rare or valuable, collecting them can be an enjoyable way to learn about British history and culture.

Some collectors focus on finding rare or limited edition coins, while others simply collect every 20 pence coin they come across. Some people also collect coins based on their condition, with uncirculated coins being the most valuable.

If you’re interested in collecting 20 pence coins, you can start by checking your change for interesting coins. You can also purchase coins from coin dealers or online auction sites. When buying coins, it’s important to ensure that they are authentic and in good condition.

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If you have a collection of 20 pence coins that you’re interested in selling, you can sell them to coin dealers or collectors. However, keep in mind that the value of the coins will depend on their rarity and condition, so it’s important to do your research before selling.

Variations and Errors

Like many other coins, the 20 pence coin has several variations that make it unique and valuable to collectors. Some of the variations include different designs, mint marks, and metal compositions.

Errors can also occur during production, resulting in coins with unique characteristics that make them highly sought after by collectors. Some of the most common errors include misaligned dies, off-center strikes, and double strikes. These errors can significantly increase the value of a 20 pence coin, especially if they are rare.

In addition to variations and errors, some 20 pence coins are considered rare due to their limited mintage. For example, the 2008 undated 20 pence coin has become highly collectible due to an error in the minting process that resulted in the coins being released without a date.


In conclusion, the 20 pence coin is an important part of British currency and culture. Its unique design and features make it easily recognizable, while its value and use in everyday transactions have made it a staple in the UK economy.

Furthermore, the 20 pence coin has significant value to collectors due to its variations, errors, and limited mintage. Whether you’re a collector or just someone interested in British currency, the 20 pence coin is a fascinating and valuable piece of history.

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