One penny coins were back in production last year after none were minted for general circulation in the previous two years, Royal Mint figures show.
Because of the Covid lockdown, many coins were hoarded at home, necessitating the production of some for use in the economy.
Following the pandemic’s impact on fundraising, banks recently encouraged people to donate unused loose change to charities.
In 2020, 88 million new 1p coins were minted, which was still far below the levels seen prior to the two-year pause.
According to the data, no new £2 coins have been minted for four years in a row, and no new 2p coins have been produced for three years.
The Royal Mint previously stated that it had no plans to restart production of these coins for the next ten years due to a coin mountain that exists while demand has decreased.
For practical reasons, many more one-penny coins have been produced over the years than two-penny coins. The overall trend is downward, thanks in part to the increased use of contactless cards for low-value purchases.
In October, the single purchase limit on a contactless card will be raised from £45 to £100.
According to a Royal Mint spokeswoman: “Demand from UK banks and post offices determines the volume and variety of coins that enter circulation. When demand increases, we consult with the HM Treasury before producing more coins.”
The Mint has published full details of the variety of coins produced during 2020.
It said that 330 million coins were released into circulation, which is well down on production levels seen in recent history.
Among them were new 50p designs commemorating “Diversity Built Britain” and the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. Ten million of each of those designs entered circulation, making them relatively widely accessible.
The most desirable coin for collectors is still the 2009 Kew Gardens 50p.
Christopher Le Brun created the design, which features the famous Chinese Pagoda at Kew with a decorative leafy climber twining in and around the tower.
Only 210,000 were made available for purchase.
Almost all of them are now in collectors’ hands, so the chances of coming across one in your change are slim.