No new 1p and 2p coins were produced by the Royal Mint last year.
It is the first time in decades that it stopped making the coins, as the Treasury said there were already enough in circulation.
There are an estimated 10.5 billion 1p coins and around 6.3 billion 2p coins in use across the UK.
The government said it is not changing the mix of coins and notes, and it is not phasing copper coins out.
The last year that no 1p coins were produced was 1972.
For 2ps, the last year the UK went without new ones was 1984.
The Mint is owned by the Treasury, which requests that coins be made to meet the needs of the economy.
In some years there are enough of a certain coin value in circulation so there is no need to produce any more.
The Treasury said no £2 coins were produced either last year, because "there are already enough".
Cash use has fallen across the UK, and some feared the end of copper coins when the government announced a consultation on the mix of cash in circulation earlier this year.
But the Treasury concluded that the coins were still needed, and said they would continue to be used "for years to come".
Over 2 million people are estimated to be almost entirely reliant on cash in their daily lives, with the elderly, vulnerable and those in rural communities likely to be hardest hit by any decline in cash availability.