£5 Pound Coins Known as Crowns


Chester, United Kingdom

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The British five pound coin (£5) is a redenominated commemorative coin, a continuation of the former crown, being identical with it in size and weight. The crown had continued to be minted occasionally after decimalisation, with a value of twenty-five pence, although, as was the case with most pre-decimal crowns, this was not stated on the coin. The new £5 denomination was introduced in 1990 to give the coin a value consistent with its weight and size.1 The £5 coin has the same dimensions as the crown, having a mass of one ounce (28.28 grams) and having a diameter of one and a half inches,(38.61 millimetres). It is minted in cupro-nickel, an alloy of approximately 75% copper, and 25% nickel, although special versions have also been minted in silver and gold.
Five pound coins are legal tender but are intended as souvenirs and are almost never seen in circulation. The Royal Mint states frankly “most retailers will refuse to accept them”. However, the coins may be spent at all post offices. The coins are sold by the Royal Mint at face value and also, with presentation folders, at a premium to that face value. The 2010 coins, with such folders, were sold for £9.95 each.
Most issues carry the standard obverse design as used on contemporary British coins, such as the effigy of HM The Queen by Raphael Maklouf between 1990 and 1997 and the later design by Ian Rank-Broadley since 1998, but special effigies have also been used on occasion.
The 2007 coins were released individually at face value later in the year by the Royal Mint, as well as in the regular presentation packs.

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