20 Feb 2014
Legal tender has a very narrow and technical meaning in the settlement of debts. It means that a debtor cannot successfully be sued for non-payment if he pays into court in legal tender. It does not mean that any ordinary transaction has to take place in legal tender or only within the amount denominated by the legislation.
Both parties to a transaction are free to agree to accept any form of payment whether legal tender or otherwise according to their wishes. In order to comply with the very strict rules governing an actual legal tender transaction it is necessary, for example, to offer the exact amount due because no change can be demanded.
Coins are legal tender throughout the United Kingdom for the following amounts:
£5 (Crown) - for any amount
£2 - for any amount
£1 - for any amount
50p - for any amount not exceeding £10
25p (Crown) - for any amount not exceeding £10
20p - for any amount not exceeding £10
10p - for any amount not exceeding £5
5p - for any amount not exceeding £5
2p - for any amount not exceeding 20p
1p - for any amount not exceeding 20p