Can I use Commemorative Crowns as ordinary coins? Why are some of them worth more than others?
These coins, as the name suggests, are issued to commemorate special occasions of national importance usually, but not exclusively, royal in theme. They are intended to be souvenirs rather than ordinary circulation coins and are consequently seldom found in everyday circulation.
Traditionally crowns had a face value of 25p (or 5 shillings prior to decimalisation in February 1971). In 1990 the face value was increased to £5 to give the coin a value consistent with its weight and size in relation to those of in the then current range of coins.
Each crown issue is authorised by Royal Proclamation in accordance with the requirements laid down by the Coinage Act 1971. This means that - in common with other coins in general circulation - a crown has legal tender status.
Most people would not wish to exchange a crown piece, but in recognition of the fact that some people may wish to do so, some post offices have agreed to accept crowns in exchange for goods and services.