Why do English coins not have numbers?


So, we have started giving our 5 year old some pocket money, which gave rise to some interesting conversations (e.g. I bought something for 3.25 and paid with a £5 note*. How comes I now have “more money” than before :laughing:)

But the one thing that’s really annoying is that UK coins don’t have numbers on them. It’s very tourist unfriendly, but even more so its child unfriendly.

So, what moron thought its a good idea to remove those numbers?!

* before someone judges us: he didn’t get that one from us :wink:


British coins are great.


To be honest Iike the design a lot. And once you know them even just a bit, they are very easy to distinguish by shape, colour, size alone, which is great (far easier than EUR coins, I think, despite using them regularly too).

But they are still very tourist- and child-unfriendly…

Paricularly that “FIVE PENCE” is virtually unreadable, unless you have absolutely perfect lighting and eyesight, and know where to look for it…


My friend is blind, our coins make it so easy for her compared to in other countries and she has traveled the world.

(Liam) #5

I think some of them used to have numerals on them. I am sure that the 20p and 50p pieces did at least.

I’m always confused with American coinage. 10¢ has ‘one dime’ written on it and 25¢ is labelled ‘quarter dollar’.

The quarter makes sense, but I’m always confused as to whether a dime is 5 or 10 cents.

(Liam) #6

Yeah, here you go…
All of the coins in the previous design had the value described with numerals, except for the £1 (and possibly the £2 - I cant remember)


I fully agree: the coins are brilliant once you know them.

I can count a handful of coins by just looking at them in my hand. Something I never managed with the EUR, despite having worked in retail for years, and having counted countless tills at the of the shift, nor the ‘Pfennig’ I grew up with.

But am I the only one who thinks that adding a number in an easily readable way would’ve made them even better?

Apparently I am, so there we go… :man_shrugging:

(Adrian) #8

To be honest, never even thought about it - but I do know I’d struggle using foreign currencies if they didn’t have numbers on them.


Don’t need to worry about foreign coins if you live in Europe I guess. Everywhere will accept contactless if they accept MasterCard (by 2020, is MasterCard’s goal)