British Money

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For those still left wondering, here's a definitive outline of the pre-decimalization British monetary system:

bulletPre- 1971
12d = 1/-
20/- = 1 Pound
bulletPost 1971
100p = 1 Pound
bullet1/4d x 2 = Two farthings = One Ha'penny
bullet1/2d x 2 = Two Ha'pennies = One Penny = In 1971 1d became 1/2p (2.4d = 1 New penny)
bullet1d x 3 = Three pennies Or A Thru'penny Bit
bullet3d x 2 = Two Thrupences = A Sixpence = A "Tanner". In 1971 6d became 2 1/2p "Two and a Half Pence"
bullet6d x 2 = Two Sixpences = One Shilling or "Bob." In 1971 1/- became 5p
bullet2/- = Two Bob = A Florin. In 1971 2/- became 10p
bullet2/6d = One Florin and One Sixpence = Half a Crown= "Arf a Dollar" In 1971 2/6d became 12 1/2p
bullet2/6d x 4 = Four Half Crowns = Ten Bob Note = gave way to the 50p Bit
bullet10/- x 2 = Two Ten Bob Notes = One Pound (or 240 pennies). One Pound still equaled one pound in 1971
bullet1/1/0d = One Pound and One Shilling = One Guinea (occasionally still used in auctions = One Pound Five pence)

Remember, the British resisted decimalized currency for many years because a change was too complex.

You might like to know that the Florin (or 2 Shilling Piece) was introduced in Victorian times as part of an early plan for decimalization.

In the old LSD system, there were 20 shillings in a pound, so that means there would be 10 florins. The idea was that the Farthing or 1/4 penny, of which there are 96 in a florin; would be devalued slightly (and possibly renamed as cents) so that there would be 100 of them in a Florin and 1000 of them in a pound.

The basis of the currency would have been: 1 Pound = 10 Florins and 1 Florin = 100 Farthings/Cents.

This didn't happen and hence the current unpopularity of the idea of adopting the Euro in the UK.


- Many thanks to Steven and Colin, who contributed to the information used on this page.



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Revised: Tuesday, September 07, 2004 03:54:48 AM