20p Coin Designs and Specifications


First Issued 9 June 1982
Diameter 21.4mm
Weight 5.0g
Thickness 1.7mm
Composition Cupro-nickel 
(84% copper,16% nickel)

Obverse Designers


1982-1984 Arnold Machin
1985- 1997 Raphael Maklouf
1998-2015 - Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS
2015-2022 - Jody Clark
2022 to date - Martin Jennings 
1982-2008 - William Gardener
2008-2022 - Matthew Dent
2022 to date - The Royal Mint
Edge Plain

Background Information

By the end of the 1970s, it had become apparent that the new decimal coinage was in need of change. This was because it was widely regarded as much too heavy. After a review of the coinage, it was proposed that the introduction of a 20p piece would substantially reduce the weight of coins in the system, by decreasing the number of 10p coins in use.

To help identification and avoid confusion with similar sized coins, the 20p is seven sided and, like the 50p, an equilateral curve heptagon. The shape, with its constant rolling diameter, means that it is readily acceptable in vending machines.

The 20p coin is legal tender for amounts up to £10.

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