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Twenty Pound Coins and Legal Tender Laws Crowns IndexChard 24 Carat Home Page

Reverse of Twenty Pound Coin
Reverse of 2013 Silver 20 Coin
Obverse of Twenty Pound Coin
Obverse of 2013 Silver 20 Coin
2013 St. George & Dragon Silver Twenty Pound Coin in Presentation Pack
2013 St. George & Dragon Silver Twenty Pound Coin in Presentation Pack
Tesco Sign at Petrol Pump
Sign at Tesco petrol pump. Picture courtesy of Brett Chamberlain.

If you've read our blog, you will know the controversy over the new £20 coins and whether - as legal tender - they should be accepted or not.

Can You Spend Them?

We've heard from a few people who have had trouble spending them, one of whom is Brett Chamberlain, who you may remember was previously unable to pay for his petrol using £1 coins. The Royal Mint lists the £20 coins as legal tender and specifies no limit on the amount of coins that may be accepted in a single transaction. Surely there should be no issues in spending them?

What Does Legal Tender Mean?

By law, shops do not have to accept large denomination coins, even if they are legal tender. The Royal Mint website specifies that "both parties are free to agree to accept any form of payment whether legal tender or otherwise according to their wishes."

Tesco Bans £20 Coins...

Mr Chamberlain attempted to pay for £87.49 worth of petrol using five of the £20 coins at a Tesco store in Tiverton, Devon. When staff refused to accept them he was told that they had consulted with their legal team and could not accept the coins as payment. When Mr Chamberlain was unable to pay using an alternative method, they called the police and banned him from the premises.

A sign was later placed on the pumps, stating the following.

"We are no longer excepting [sic] commemorative coins i.e. £20.00 coins. Please make sure you have sufficient funds to pay for your fuel. Sorry for any inconvenience."


... Then Changes Their Minds

It seems that they have had a change of heart as the branch have now removed the signs and are accepting the coins as payment.

What is Legal Tender?

The Royal Mint lists the current legal tender coins and the amount that can be accepted as follows:-

"£20 - for any amount

£5 (Crown) - for any amount

£2 - for any amount

£1 - for any amount

50p - for any amount not exceeding £10

25p (Crown) - for any amount not exceeding £10

20p - for any amount not exceeding £10

10p - for any amount not exceeding £5

5p - for any amount not exceeding £5

2p - for any amount not exceeding 20p

1p - for any amount not exceeding 20p"

£5 crowns do not have to be accepted but some banks may allow you to deposit them into your account and Post Offices accept them.

 

Why not read our blog? When is Twenty Pounds Not Worth Twenty Pounds

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