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Decimal Day 2021

Decimal Day UK

On 15th February 2021 it will be exactly 50 years since the UK moved from pounds, shillings and pence to decimal currency.

Count down to the 50th anniversary:
. . .

This is . . . . . seconds.

. . . old pennies is equal to . . .

Pound Notes
Pre-decimal coins

The pound (£) was divided into shillings (s) and pence (d).
The "L S D" stands for the Latin words "libra", "solidus" and "denarius".

For example:
    Fifteen pounds, eight shillings and fourpence ha'penny would be written as £15/8/4½d.
    Seventeen shillings and tenpence three-farthings would be written as 17/10¾d.

There were
    20 shillings in a pound
    12 pennies in a shilling
    240 pennies in a pound

Coins in circulation before decimalisation:
Half-crownTwo shillings and sixpence2/6d
FlorinTwo shillings2/-
ShillingTwelve pennies1/-
SixpenceSix pennies6d
Threepenny bitThree pennies3d
PennyOne penny1d
HalfpennyHalf a penny½d
FarthingA quarter of a penny (until 1960)¼d

Coins which stopped being minted in the nineteenth century were:
    Groat - value four pence - last issued in 1855.
    Double florin - value four shillings - issued from 1870 to 1890.
    Guinea value twenty-one shillings - last issued in 1816.

The threepenny bit was originally made of solid silver, then 50% silver and finally in 1937 it was replaced by a twelve-sided nickel brass coin.

The crown worth five shillings (25p) is still minted today but only as a commemorative coin although it is legal tender. You could spend it in a shop.

Although the coin is no longer in circulation the guinea is still used in auctions for horses and sometimes in professional fees with a value of £1.05.
A £1 coin was called a Sovereign and was made of gold.

The ten shilling note (10/- or 10s.) was issued by the Bank of England for the first time in 1928 and continued to be printed until 1969.
The one pound note was issued by the Bank of England for the first time in 1797 and continued to be printed until 1984.

Just imagine how difficult arithmetic was when dealing with pounds, shillings and pence.
Would you be able to do these sums?

£sd  £sd  £sd
127 127  127
104 -104      x 5
+17511  
 

 
 

 

Decimal Day leaflet

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