The old system of British coinage or pre-decimal coins (Old Coins for short), dated back to Roman times, and it was known as £.s.d. Back in those days, a pound (£) of silver was divided into 240 pence (d) or denarius which is where the ‘d’ in £SD comes from (librum, solidus, denarius). There were 20 shillings to a pound and 12 pence to a shilling.
In 1971 the pre-decimal coinage was replaced by the decimal coinage now in use, the last circulating coins of this system were the Crown, Half Crown, Florin, English Shilling, Scottish Shilling, Sixpence, Brass Threepence, Penny and Halfpenny. But before that many other denominations existed, including some very peculiar ones like the Guinea (worth 21 shillings or £1.05 in decimalised currency), which had aristocratic overtones and survived as a unit of account in professional fields, prices of land, horses, art, bespoke tailoring and other luxury items until a couple of years after 1971. All of these services would often be quoted and invoiced in Guineas.
Of course not all of the denominations survived until 1971 - Nobles and Angels for example, did not survive the change over from hammered coinage to milled coinage. So it would be almost impossible to have all of the denominations here, but below you can find all of the old pre-decimal British milled coin denominations:
Although our stock of Old coins has very limited availability, contrary to many companies ‘selling coins’ online, we actually own the stock presented in the product pages, and in seldom occasions will you see an item published on our website that is not available immediately for purchase. With us you won’t receive the usual ‘sourced to order’ message. What also differentiates us from other online coin dealers is that we do not sell anything as an investment.
We have put together a unique collection of the old pre-decimal coins. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, the old £SD or pre-decimal coins were replaced by the coins that we use today. We have compiled a set of Uncirculated coins containing the Crown, Half Crown, Florin, English Shilling, Scottish Shilling, Sixpence, Brass Threepence, Penny and Halfpenny, all the coins that were circulating before the decimal coins.
This is a fantastic new collection of coins, stamps and a banknote from World War II. It is exclusive to Coincraft and there were only 5,000 sets made. They make excellent gifts and are rather handsome. You get a set of 4 British coins of King George VI that actually circulated during the Second World War; all coins are dated 1937-1945. They consist of the Brass Threepence, Penny, Halfpenny, and Farthing. You also get the 1943 United States Cent struck in steel; it was only ever struck for one year. Plus a Cent dated 1944-1946 which was made from melted down shell cases. You get a Churchill crown, as he was our wartime Prime Minister. You also get a large-sized 1 Lire coin from Italy dated 1940, the year they declared war against Great Britain. Plus you get a pair of mint stamps for the Liberation of the Channel Islands with King George VI’s portrait. Plus two mint stamps from the United States showing the overrun nations of The Netherlands and Luxembourg. Plus a stamp issued by this country just after the War, where they reduced the colour to save ink. Finally, you get a large-sized 10 Rupee note from Burma, issued while it was under Japanese occupation. Don’t miss out on this fantastic collection.
Forget 1971 Britain’s first attempt at a decimal coin was under Queen Victoria in 1849. It worked but they screwed up as well. They issued the first Florin in 1849 which was exactly 1/10th of a pound or 0.1 pounds. That denomination still exists today we call it a 10 Pence Piece. But there were some problems. They forgot to have ‘Dei Gratia’ – by the grace of God on the coin. So they quickly had to withdraw the coin and issued the Gothic Florin until two years later in 1851. The 1849 Florin is known as the ‘Godless’ Florin for that reason. It is only a one-year type coin and very important as our first decimal coin in over a thousand years. The coins on offer have seen considerable wear and are in Very Good condition. It has taken us two years to put this small group together, but we know they won't last that long in stock...
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