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How can I dispose of commemorative crowns? And why do some have a higher face value than others?

At the time of decimalisation the United Kingdom five-shilling crown was redenominated as a 25p coin and pieces struck prior to 1990 - all the way back to 1818 - continue to be legal tender for that amount. The face value of new issues of the coin from 1990 was increased to £5 because this was considered to be more consistent with the weight and size of the coin.

Crowns are issued to mark special occasions rather than for use in general circulation. They are legal tender – for £5 or 25p as described above – but contrary to popular belief this does not mean that banks and retailers automatically have to accept them. Indeed you will probably find that most banks and retailers refuse. Please be aware, however, that the Post Office has agreed to exchange them for goods and services.