First Issued 15 February 1971
Specifications
Diameter 20.3mm
Weight 3.56g
Thickness
Bronze: 1.52mm
Copper-plated steel: 1.65mm
Composition Bronze (97% copper, 2.5% zinc, 0.5% tin) - until September 1992
Copper-plated steel - since September 1992
Obverse Designers Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen
1971-1984 Arnold Machin
1985-1997 - Raphael Maklouf
1998 to date - Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS
Reverse
Designers
1971-2008 - Christopher Ironside
2008 - Matthew Dent
Edge Plain
Mintage  260,800,000* 

Background Information

The United Kingdom 1p coin was one of three new coins introduced into general circulation on the 15 February 1971 when the United Kingdom adopted a new decimal currency system. The other two new coins were the 1/2p and 2p coins.

To avoid confusion between the old and new coinage all three coins had the word 'NEW' incorporated into the reverse design. This was later removed in 1982.

The first copper-plated steel 1p coins were struck in 1992. The reason for this change was the increase in the price of metals on the world markets. The coins have a mild steel core and are electroplated with copper - consequently they are magnetic.

The 1p coin is legal tender for amounts up to 20p.

*Mintage figure based on UK decimal coins issued into general circulation during from 01/04/13 to 31/03/14

Every baby deserves a Royal welcome

In a fitting gesture in keeping with an age-old tradition to mark a new birth with a gift of silver for good luck, The Royal Mint gave babies born on the same day as the future monarch a suitably royal welcome by presenting them with a silver penny struck with the year of their birth.

Giving a silver gift to mark the arrival of a new baby is now generally considered to be a keepsake rather than a practical gift for a baby. However, throughout history, crossing the palm of a new born baby with silver or offering them a silver penny was also seen as a way to wish them wealth and good health throughout their life.