Are UK £5 coins legal tender?

We get asked this question a lot… so let’s look at the big picture!

Legal tender has a very specific meaning when taken by the letter of the law. It means that a debtor cannot successfully be sued for non-payment if he pays into court in legal tender.

It does not mean that any ordinary transaction has to take place in legal tender or only within the amount denominated by the legislation. So for example, if you are buying a car off someone and choose to part exchange your own car with them as part payment, this is ok. You can both agree a value and pay the remainder in legal tender cash, or by any other means you choose.

In order to comply with the very strict rules governing an actual legal tender transaction it is necessary to offer the exact amount. No change can be demanded. Part of the service shops offer is to return change to customers who do not have the correct legal tender amount!

Kilo coins

The Royal Mint recently requested a change to UK Legislation – specifically an amendment to the 40-year-old 1971 Coinage Act, a clause which limited the weight to which UK coins could be made. This was in order to mint UK kilo coins, the first kilo coins of the realm. The Gold and Silver kilo coins have face values of £1000 and £500 respectively, but you’re unlikely to ever see them in circulation!

Other legal tender coins:

£100 – for any amount
£20 – for any amount
£5 (Crown) – for any amount
£2 – for any amount
£1 – for any amount
50p – for any amount not exceeding £10
25p (Crown) – for any amount not exceeding £10
20p – for any amount not exceeding £10
10p – for any amount not exceeding £5
5p – for any amount not exceeding £5
2p – for any amount not exceeding 20p
1p – for any amount not exceeding 20p

Yes, this means that if you want to pay for something with more than 20 1p pieces, it is up to the seller to decide whether or not to accept. They don’t have to, though most will!

For more information and to get in touch with The Royal Mint, why not follow us on Twitter or find us on Facebook?

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  • Genaro

    Superb information, stylish blog template, continue the great work

  • royalmint

    At this present moment, you can get the Official London 2012 Olympic £5 coin for just £5 with free P&P at:

    A great opportunity to grab a lasting 2012 commemorative!

  • Hussein

    Are 10, 25, 50 and 100 £ Brittanias legal tender? They aren’t on the list!

    • Martin

      Yes all Britannias are legal tender. However, most shops and businesses would not recognise them.

  • Zoe

    The queen kinda looks old in the £5 coin… Like, REALLY old…

    • Dom

      she has been queen for 60 years so…

    • Ed

      She is 86… That is quite old…

      • dingobiscuits

        it’s only 43 in Queen years.

        • doesn’t she have two birthdays a year though… which would make her 172

          • connor c

            Older i think, you have to start from when she was ade queen not how old she is now

    • “Charles, does this coin make me look old?”

  • Americunt


    • Major ButtSechse

      Thank you for that contribution 9gag poster.

      • lulz

        lol they were called this long before 9gag, on 4chan.

  • Guest

    Where can i get a 25p coin?

  • Som

    There shouldn’t be a limit on tender.

    • Bobson

      Hope you don’t mind your wages being paid in 1p coins then.

      • RldotlJ

        at the rate copper is going, that just might be a good idea

  • Slugger570

    You can tell it’s reliable because of the 25p coin.

  • Pingback: £1000 ‘Kilo’ Coin | Suggymoto Blog()

  • Anon

    That’s not quite true. A seller does not have to accept legal tender at all; for example, they might specify credit card only. The law on legal tender only comes into play only if a debt is involved. So if you are purchasing an item in a shop, the shopkeeper has the right to refuse to sell you the item. However, if you dine in a restaurant where the bill is to be paid at the end of a meal, the customer now owes a debt to the owner, and thus the owner is obligated to accept legal tender.

  • U.S.A.#1

    There is no such thng as a £5 coin. That is a photoshoppe

    • DigitalCyndaquil

      I have a £5 coin. Learn your shit before you post.

    • lelboy

      Fool – I have two £5 coins in front of me now – 1999-2000. Why post crap – you’re an idiot.

  • Agg

    Interesting, i was given a £5 coin and gave it to my staff in wages as im nasty like that! He came back and said the banks wouldn’t accept it. Looks like i will have to go and see what they say.

  • J

    Where can I change my commemorative £5 coins for £5 cash will UK post offices still accept them. ?

    • Hi J, your bank may exchange them for you – Post Offices tend not to these days, but it’s entirely up to them!

    • Jim Young

      Only If You Can Find A Post Office.

  • sami maarawi

    where can I Get a GBP.20 Coin

  • Andrew Al-Adwani

    Is VAT charged exchange of legal tender, as in when the mint is paid to supply coinage? If so, how can this justified since legal tender is meant for exchange of value, not, in itself, to add value.

  • laurence g

    This is embarrassingly badly written for a government organisation’s blog. The grammar is poor and the punctuation wrong. It gives the appearance of having been written by a child.

  • pacman32

    what about the so called £20 coin sold to me as legal tender from royal mint? not listed here

    • roki3263

      it is legal tender.

  • CheckTheDate

    This was written two years ago prior to the £20 coin being minted. Use some common sense. If you do a google search I’m sure you can find an old article proclaiming Tony Blair as Prime Minister, it doesn’t mean it’s true, it means it’s out of date. Moron.

    • CheckTheMardyGit

      What is the matter with you? So needlessly abrasive.

  • roki3263

    i am an avid coin collector and wish to help as much as i can
    all UK coins minted 1997 or later are legal tender
    all UK maundy money is legal tender
    the crown, pound, 20p, 2p and 1p from 1971 or later are legal tender
    the 5p and 10p made in 1992 or later are legal tender
    all coins struck 1970 or earlier are not legal tender
    decimal 1/2p, 1991 or earlier 10p and 5p and 1996 or earlier 50p and £2 are not legal tender
    any questions?