Are Old 10p Coins Worth Anything?

A 10p coin is usually worth about 10p. Never a particularly rare or valuable coin, there are still some 10p coins that are worth significantly more than face value. Owners and collectors that possess old 10p coins may therefore wonder if their coins are worth anything more than face value.

Old 10p coins are usually not worth much more than face value, although some 10p coins have been sold for up to 140 times face value – or around £14. Old 10p coins are therefore usually not that lucrative, but it still might be worth looking through your change to see what’s worth saving.

Many factors are involved in determining the worth of any coin. Barring a misprint or deformity, of which there are no famous ones, a 10p coin’s worth is generally based on condition, scarcity, and desirability. Below, we discuss the values of various 10p coins in more detail.

History Of The 10 Pence Coin

The 10 pence coin, frequently shortened to 10p, is not an old coin. It was first minted in 1968 to replace the florin, or two shilling coin, as Britain moved to a decimalized currency. To ease the transition, it was made to be the same size as the florin coin.

In 1992, the 10p coin was redesigned to be the smaller size and lighter weight coin seen in circulation today. This is not the only redesign since the coin’s inception. All 10p coins have a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse side, but there have been four different portraits, with the latest introduced in 2015.

Originally the coins were made of a mixture of copper and nickel, with 75% copper and 25% nickel. In 2012, the coin was redesigned to be made of nickel-plated steel. Beginning in 2013, the Royal Mint began to withdraw the older coins from circulation in favor of the newer version.

The First Obverse

From the 10p’s introduction until 1984, like all the new decimalized coins, the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II was designed by Arnold Machin. The Queen was shown wearing the famous ‘Girls of Great Britain and Ireland’ tiara, a gift from her grandmother, Queen Mary, who was given it at her marriage.

The Second Obverse

From 1985 until 1997, the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II as designed by sculptor Raphael Maklouf was used. The Queen was shown wearing the George IV State Diadem, also known as the Royal Diamond Diadem. This design remained as the 10p coin changed in size.

The Third Obverse

From 1998 until 2015, the 10p featured the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley. Underneath the portrait, the signature mark IRB can be spotted. Once again, the Queen is shown wearing the ‘Girls of Great Britain and Ireland’ tiara.

The Fourth Obverse

Slowly coming into circulation since its design in 2015, the newest iteration of coins feature Jody Clark’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen is once more shown wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem crown, the crown she wore at her coronation and at the annual State Opening of Parliament.

The Ironside Reverse

From 1968 until 2008, the reverse of the coin featured a crowned heraldic lion, with the number 10 below it. From 1968 to 1981, above the lion were the words ‘NEW PENCE’. From 1982 until the design was retired, the words ‘TEN PENCE’ instead appeared above the lion. This design was created by artist Christopher Ironside.

The Dent Reverse

In 2005, the Royal Mint decided on the idea of hosting a competition to find an artist to create a new reverse design for all circulating coins, with the only exception being the £2 coin. Matthew Dent won the contest with a unified plan. The various pence coins would each form a portion of the Royal Shield. The £1 coin would feature the entire shield.

The 10p coin has the top quarter of the shield containing two lions. Over the picture are the words ‘TEN PENCE’. These coins were first minted in 2008, along with a small selection of the Ironside reverse coins.

This design also got rid of the beading, or the rim of dots that surrounded the edge of the coin, on both the obverse and reverse.

Specialty Reverses

The standardized reverses are certainly the most common by far, but there have been a few special commemorative designs. The most famous of which are the Alphabet coins that were minted in 2018 and 2019 (more on those later).

A variant of the 1992 coins is the Bailiwick of Jersey 10p, which was part of the Jersey Pound collection. One of these in good condition can be worth a couple of pounds, with some listed on auction sites for tens of pounds.

Other Details

The 10p coin is milled, with between 90 and 94 ridges currently, with an average of 92. Until 2008, both sides of the coin had beading.

The old coins had a diameter of 28.5 mm, a thickness of 1.85 mm, and a weight of 11.31 grams. The newer coins, from 1992 onward, have a diameter of 24.5 mm, a thickness of 2.05 mm, and a weight of 6.5 grams. They are close enough in size that it may be easier to tell them apart by the year or in comparison to another coin.

Like all current British coins, they carry an abbreviated form of the Latin inscription Elizabeth II Dei Grati Regina Fidei Defensatrix or ‘Elizabeth II, by grace of God, Queen and Defender of the Faith’. Until 2015, the abbreviation was ‘Elizabeth II D.G.REG.F.D.’ Since 2015, the abbreviation is ‘Elizabeth II DEI GRA REF FID DEF.’

When Did The Old 10p Go Out Of Circulation?

The old 10p went out of circulation in 1993. The newer 10p was minted in September of 1992, and it was minted in very high numbers, more than three times as many as any other year, allowing it to circulate quickly and easily.

At the end of June 1993, the older version was withdrawn from official circulation. As people went to the banks, the banks would take the older coins and give out newer ones.

The larger 10p coins were only released in mint sets, not for circulation, for a decade prior to this point. These coins are now considered demonetized and are no longer acceptable for official payments. With that said, some stores and individuals will still accept them.

How Much Is The 1992 10p Coin Worth?

The value of 1992 10p coins is usually around face value. The newer, smaller coin was minted in larger numbers than any other 10p coin before or since. More than 1 billion coins were made that year. This means, despite the historical importance of the coin, it really isn’t rare or valuable.

However, one final set of the large size 10p coins was minted for collectors. A brilliant uncirculated coin of that variety might be worth a few pounds. Both large and small coins were released in silver for proof sets. It is not known how many of those were minted.

What 10p Coins Are Rare?

In most years, 10p coins are minted for circulation and distribution. But there were some years that the only coins minted were for mint sets, primarily for collectors. These years are 1972, 1978, 1982-1991, 1993-1994, 1998-1999, and 2018.

Of coins that were distributed, the rarest are the various alphabet coins, most of which have only about 500,000 in existence. The majority were minted in 2018 with smaller runs in 2019. Honorable mention would go to the 2008 Ironside design, with fewer than 10 million in existence. In comparison, the 2008 Dent design was released at the same time on more than 71 million coins.

What Is The Rarest 10p Coin?

The rarest 10p coins are the 2018 mint sets, which barely broke 33,000 minted coins. Of the coins intended for circulation, the rarest seems to be the 2019 R- robin design which only had 64,000 coins. This is not to be confused with the 2018 R- robin design which had 369,000 coins made.

This is, of course, all related to the normal coins. If you somehow acquired a silver proof set, these would definitely be much rarer. Pay attention to the year, especially if it was a year that did not produce any coins for distribution. Also pay attention to any commemorative coins. Finally, keep in mind that a coin that is no longer made can only get rarer.

What Is The Most Valuable 10p Coin?

The most valuable 10p coin is the 2019 R- Robin design that sold recently for £14. Not a fortune, by any means, but this is still 140 times face value. Other alphabet coins have also been sold for ranges of £6-11, and some 10p coins can be seen to be listed for hundreds or thousands of pounds.

Whether they sell for these prices is another matter. The older 10p coins can sell for a couple pounds, especially if they are of a rarer mintage and in good condition, but so far, there isn’t much market for them. Collectors showed little interest in the 10p coin until the alphabet coins came along.

A caveat to keep in mind is that these coins are not particularly old anyway. Even the oldest 10p coin is just over half a century old. As time passes, some will be lost, and their value may increase.

What Are Alphabet 10p Coins?

In 2018, and in 2019 to a lesser extent, the 10p coins released had a reverse that included a letter of the alphabet and something associated with that letter that was considered “very British.” The selection was chosen by public polls.

Many of the more valuable 10p coins belong to this set, as the number of variants made means that there are fewer of each of these coins than there would be of coins released other years. In addition, many collectors want the full set of as fine quality coins as they can get. Some variants are more desirable than others.

The Alphabet 10p Guide

In order, the list of alphabet 10p coins is as follows:

  • A is for Angel of the North
  • B is for Bond… James Bond
  • C is for Cricket
  • D is for Double Decker Bus
  • E is for English Breakfast
  • F is for Fish and Chips
  • G is for Greenwich Mean Time
  • H is for House of Parliament
  • I is for Ice Cream
  • J is for Jubilee
  • K is for King Arthur
  • L is for Loch Ness
  • M is for Mackintosh
  • N is for NHS
  • is for Oak Tree
  • P is for Post Box
  • Q is for Queuing
  • R is for Robin
  • S is for Stonehenge
  • T is for Tea
  • U is for Union Jack
  • V is for Village
  • W is for World Wide Web
  • X is for X Marks the Spot
  • Y is for Yeoman Warder
  • Z is for Zebra Crossing

Are Alphabet 10p Coins Rare?

As a whole collection, the alphabet coins aren’t particularly rare at all. Almost all the 10p coins minted in 2018 and 2019 are alphabet coins. But because there are 26 letters in the alphabet and each letter has to be represented, any individual alphabet coin is rare.

The majority of alphabet coins were minted in 2018, with slightly fewer than 400,000 coins of each variant created. A smaller selection was minted in 2019, with usually fewer than 100,000 of each type. As mentioned earlier, the R-Robin is the rarest of the alphabet 10p coins.

Other popular coins have been the J-Jubilee, T-tea, Y-Yeoman Warder, and Z-Zebra Crossing. But popularity fades, and at least one previous favorite, W-World Wide Web, has dropped from the most sought-after list.

What If I Have A Counterfeit 10p Coin?

Having a counterfeit 10p coin is a definite possibility. The Royal Mint estimates one in four of the old £1 coins are fake. While it might not seem worth it to counterfeit a 10p coin, it’s an almost sure bet that some of them are indeed fake as well.

If you have an older 10p coin, you may wish to take it to the Royal Mint or a bank for evaluation. While they can’t provide a value for your coin, they can at least tell you whether it’s genuine or counterfeit. Then, if it is a rarer one, you can choose to have it evaluated to find out its true value.

Final Thoughts

Old 10p coins usually aren’t worth anything more than face value. While some rare 10p coins do sell for a little more than face value, it’s usually not a very notable sum of money. However, some rare 10p coins do list on auction sites for tens of pounds, so it’s still worth checking your collection.

Scroll to Top