Nearly 34 years ago, the first £1 coin entered circulation; its design has just been changed to a 12-sided coin which has caused people to reminisce about the old threepenny bit.

Shortly after the first £1 coin was being introduced, another coin was removed from circulation namely the half penny coin. In its final iteration, it was one of the new coins created for the decimalization of our currency in 1971, so when it was withdrawn in December 1984 it had lasted just under 13 years before inflation eroded its value to be uneconomical to produce and use. Yet the current penny coin is now worth less than the half penny was back in 1984 so should it too be withdrawn?

Opinion is mixed judging by our recent research among the UK population.

We have a choice on how we regardthe penny coin. If we don’t like using them then we are not forced to. Simply take them out of your purse, wallet or pocket and put them in the dish, jar or whatever and let them accumulate out of circulation and in turn this will force the Mint to produce more of the little alloy discs.

Businesses too can choose.If a business enjoys bagging up pennies or likes to request pennies from the bank to use in its float, then fine. Alternatively, businesses could round their prices to the nearest x pence, where x is somewhere between convenient and competitive.

If the penny coin is withdrawn would we miss it and reminisce like with the threepenny bit or would we quickly forget it even existed like the half penny coin?

For more information go to data tables in our Public Opinion online data sets or contact Richard Lindsay.

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This public opinion data has been collected and analysed by NEMS from a survey of a representative sample of UK adults conducted through NEMS Market Research’s telephone omnibus, a national survey of 1000 adults conducted every week. More details of our omnibus service can be found at: