The British decimal five pence (5p) coin - often pronounced five pee - is a unit of currency equaling five one-hundredths of a pound sterling.
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.
After a review of the United Kingdom coinage in 1987, the Government announced its intention to issue a smaller 5p coin, which was first issued on 27 June 1990. The original (large) version of the five pence coin was demonetised in 1990 together with the shilling and replaced by the smaller version, which retained the original design by Christopher Ironside.
These small five pence coins were minted from cupronickel (75% Cu, 25% Ni). In 2008, a new 5p design by Matthew Dent was introduced, initially in copper-nickel as well, then in nickel-plated steel after 2012. However, the old-type small coins are still legal tender; coins issued in 2008 have now been circulating for 11 years. The 5p coin is legal tender for amounts up to £5.
From January 2013, the Royal Mint began a programme to gradually remove the previous cupro-nickel coins (of both designs) 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.