Downing Street has backed away from a plan to scrap copper coins.
The prime minister’s spokesman said there were “no proposals to scrap 1 or 2p coins”.
The Treasury has been consulting on the mix of coins in circulation as card and digital payments gain popularity.
Theresa May’s spokesman said: “The consultation’s call for evidence was simply intended to help the government better understand the role of cash and digital payments.
“One of the elements was whether the denominational mix of coins meets the public need. From the early reaction it looks as if it does.”
Many countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada and Sweden have ditched their low denomination coins.
The Treasury consultation document pointed out that 1p and 2p coins are scarcely used.
It says that surveys suggest six in 10 of UK 1p and 2p coins are only used once before being put in a jar or discarded, while one in 12 is thrown into a bin.