Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Ten pence (British coin)

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Value  0.10 pound sterling
Edge  Milled
Mass  (1968–1992) 11.31 g (1992–present) 6.5 g
Diameter  (1968–1992) 28.5 mm (1992–present) 24.5 mm
Thickness  (Cupro-nickel) 1.85 mm (Steel) 2.05 mm
Composition  Cupro-nickel (1971–2012) Nickel-plated steel (2012–)

The British decimal ten pence (10p) coin – often pronounced ten pee – is a unit of currency equalling ten one-hundredths of a pound sterling. Its obverse has featured the profile of Queen Elizabeth II since the coin's introduction in 1968, replacing the two shilling coin in preparation for decimalisation in 1971. Four different portraits of the Queen have been used on the coin, with the latest design by Jody Clark being introduced in 2015. The second and current reverse, featuring a segment of the Royal Shield, was introduced in 2008.


Five pence and ten pence coins are legal tender only up to the sum of £5; this means that it is permissible to refuse payment of sums greater than this amount in 5p and 10p coins in order to settle a debt.

The ten pence coin was originally minted from cupro-nickel (75% Cu, 25% Ni), but since 2012 it has been minted in nickel-plated steel due to the increasing price of metal. From January 2013 the Royal Mint began a programme to gradually remove the previous cupro-nickel coins from circulation with replacement by the nickel-plated steel versions.

As of March 2014 there were an estimated 1,631 million 10p coins in circulation with an estimated face value of £163.080 million.


To date, three different obverses have been used. In all cases, the inscription till 2015 was ELIZABETH II D.G.REG.F.D. 2013, where 2013 is replaced by the year of minting. In the original design both sides of the coin are encircled by dots, a common feature on coins, known as beading.

As with all new decimal currency, until 1984 the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Arnold Machin appeared on the obverse, in which the Queen wears the 'Girls of Great Britain and Ireland' Tiara.

Between 1985 and 1997 the portrait by Raphael Maklouf was used, in which the Queen wears the George IV State Diadem.

In 1992 the 10p coin was reduced in size and the older coins were removed from circulation. The design remained unchanged.

From 1998 to 2015 the portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley was used, again featuring the tiara, with a signature-mark IRB below the portrait.

As of June 2015, coins bearing the portrait by Jody Clark have been seen in circulation.


The original reverse of the coin, designed by Christopher Ironside, and used from 1971 to 2008, is a crowned lion (formally, Part of the crest of England, a lion passant guardant royally crowned), with the numeral "10" below the lion, and either NEW PENCE (1968–1981) or TEN PENCE (1982–2008) above the lion.

In August 2005 the Royal Mint launched a competition to find new reverse designs for all circulating coins apart from the £2 coin. The winner, announced in April 2008, was Matthew Dent, whose designs were gradually introduced into the circulating British coinage from mid-2008. The designs for the 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p and 50p coins depict sections of the Royal Shield that form the whole shield when placed together. The shield in its entirety is featured on the £1 coin. The 10p coin depicts the first quarter of the shield, showing the lions passant from the Royal Banner of England, with the words TEN PENCE above the shield design. The coin's obverse remains largely unchanged, but the beading (the ring of dots around the coin's circumference), which no longer features on the coin's reverse, has also been removed from the obverse.


Machin portrait
Maklouf portrait
Rank-Broadley portrait


Ten pence (British coin) Wikipedia