HC Deb 22 March 1993 vol 221 c454W
Sir Terence Higgins

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the next Trial of the Pyx is due to take place; if he will ensure that a selection of new 10p pieces are included in the sample of coins examined; what are the maximum penalties to which he may be subjected if coins are found to be of variable weight or thickness; and if he will make a statement on whether such coins are unsuitable for use in automatic machines.

Mr. Lamont

[holding answer 16 March 1993]The next Trial of the Pyx will be held in February 1994. The 1993 trial, which took place on 11 February 1993, included a selection of new 10p pieces. In accordance with the Trial of the Pyx (Amendment) Order 1990, one out of every 20,000 10p coins was set aside for trial with the result that almost 60,000 were included in the 1993 trial. The delivery of the verdict is expected on 7 May at Goldsmiths' Hall and will be published in theLondon Gazette.

The Coinage Act 1971 and subsequent proclamations, require coins to be made in accordance with certain standards and permitted variations defined in terms of composition, weight and diameter. The legislation prescribes no penalties for variation from these specifications.

The Royal Mint is satisfied, after consultation with machine manufacturers and operators, that the new 10p coins are suitable for use in automatic machines.

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