Web Page No 2378
10th June 2017
Top Picture: The Half Penny and Farthing
Second Picture: A Bun Penny
Third Picture: A Florin
Forth Picture: A White Fiver
When we were kids there seemed to be far more money about. I do not mean amounts but physically as in coins and notes of the Realm. If and when we started to receive pocket money a shilling seemed a fortune and a half crown was more money than we could of dreamt about. How many hours did we spend in learning how many pence to a shilling or half a crown or even a pound, no wonder foreign visitors became confused
The smallest denomination coin we had was, of course, the farthing (¼d) , from "fourthing", one quarter of a penny, or one nine hundred and sixtieth of a pound. Minted in bronze it replaced copper farthings and was used during the reign of six monarchs: Victoria, Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, George VI and Elizabeth II, ceasing to be legal tender in 1960. It featured two different designs on its reverse during its years in circulation from Britannia and from 1937 onwards a wren. Like all British coinage, it bore the portrait of the monarch on the obverse.
The halfpenny (½d) was 1/480th of a pound. Like the fathing it was originally minted in copper, but after 1860 in bronze. It ceased to be legal tender in 1969, in the run-up to decimalisation. The halfpenny featured two different designs on its reverse during its years in circulation. From 1672 until 1936 the image of Britannia appeared on the reverse, and from 1937 onwards the image of the Golden Hind.
The Penny; Its symbol was d, from the Roman denarius. It was a continuation of the earlier English Penny. The penny was originally minted in silver, but from the late 18th century it was minted in copper and then after 1860 in bronze. This nickel brass version of the penny was made obsolete in 1971 by decimalisation, and was replaced by the decimal penny that we see today. When we handle an old penny today we wonder at the size and weight of them. One way of children saving was to collect ‘Bun Pennies’, ie penny coins with a portrait of Queen Victoria wearing her hair in a bun. They became increasingly rare as they were started to be withdrawn because of wear.
From here on we progressed into silver coins. The sixpence (6d) the tanner or sixpenny bit, was worth 1/40th of a pound. It was first minted in the reign of Edward VI and circulated until 1980. Following decimalisation in 1971 it had a value of 2 1⁄2 new pence. The coin was made from silver from its introduction in 1551 to 1947, and thereafter in cupronickel.
The British two shilling coin, also known as the "two bob bit", was issued from 1849 until 1967. It was worth twenty-four old pence. In 1968, in the run-up to decimalisation, the two shilling coin was superseded by the decimal ten pence coin, which had the same value and initially the same size and weight. It continued in circulation, alongside the ten pence coin, until 1992, when the 10p was reduced in size.
The Florin: Except for the short period during the reign of Edward III when a gold florin was struck by the Royal Mint, the florin did not feature as part of the British coinage until 1849. It was introduced as a concession to enthusiasts for a decimal system of coinage, being one-tenth of a pound in value. It owed its name not to any resemblance in shape or value to the gold florins but to the fact that it was about the same size as Dutch and Austrian florins current at that time. Its first issue aroused public indignation owing to the omission of the words DEI GRATIA and FIDEI DEFENSOR from Queen Victoria’s titles, the coin thereby commonly being known as the Godless or Graceless florin. This omission was soon corrected and the florin proved to be a useful addition to the silver circulation, if sometimes troublesome because of its close similarity in size to the half-crown.
The goal when we were kids and trying to save was to get as many half crowns in your money box as possible. A half crown was equivalent to two shillings and sixpence, or one-eighth of a pound. The half crown was first issued in 1549, in the reign of Edward VI. No half crowns were issued in the reign of Mary, but from the reign of Elizabeth I half crowns were issued in every reign except Edward VIII, until the coins were discontinued in 1967. The half crown was demonetised (ahead of other pre-decimal coins) on 1 January 1970.
Well there we go a quick look at the coins we all used to have in our pockets. Maybe another time I will look at 10/-, £1, £5 (including white fivers) and the £10 notes. One thing I remember from my childhood is receiving, as presents, Postal Orders, but that is an entirely different subject.
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On this day 10th June 1960-1965
On 10/06/1960 the number one single was Cathy's Clown - Everly Brothers and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 10/06/1961 the number one single was Surrender - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 10/06/1962 the number one single was Good Luck Charm - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was England lose World Cup Quarter Final 3-1 to Brazil.
On 10/06/1963 the number one single was From Me To You - The Beatles and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Buddhist monk burns himself alive as protest.
On 10/06/1964 the number one single was You're My World - Cilla Black and the number one album was Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was 1st World Book Fair in London
On 10/06/1965 the number one single was Long Live Love - Sandie Shaw and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was 750th anniversary of Magna Carta.