The British decimal five pence (5p) coin - often pronounced five pee - is a unit of currency equaling five one-hundredths of a pound sterling. Its obverse has featured the profile of Queen Elizabeth II since the coin’s introduction in 1968. Four different portraits of the Queen have been used on the coin, with the latest design by Jody Clark being introduced in 2015. The second and current reverse, featuring a segment of the Royal Shield, was introduced in 2008.
The coin was first issued in 1968 before the currency was decimalised, to circulate in parallel with the one shilling coin it eventually replaced. Its dimensions were the same as those of the shilling, and the shilling remained current after 1970, re-denominated as five new pence. In 1990, this original (large) version of the five pence coin was demonetised together with the shilling and replaced with a smaller version, which retained the original design by Christopher Ironside. The reverse design was changed to the current version by Matthew Dent in 2008; coins of the old design are still current and circulate together with the new ones.
The five pence coin was originally minted from cupronickel (75% Cu, 25% Ni), but since 2012 it has been minted in nickel-plated steel due to the increasing price of metal. From January 2013, the Royal Mint began a programme to gradually remove the previous cupro-nickel coins from circulation with replacement by the nickel-plated steel versions. This will have the side effect of leaving only one circulating reverse and observe combination.
Five pence and ten pence coins are legal tender only up to the sum of £5; this means it is permissible to refuse payment of sums greater than this amount in 5p and 10p coins to settle a debt.