Framed Coins of the 1950s
We have a unique and intimate relationship with the coins and notes of our currency and there is often sadness when they are withdrawn from circulation – to be replaced by something else in our wallets, purses and pockets. Those around in the early Seventies will remember the demise of the predecimal coins and notes, in favour of the new decimal money, which is still with us today (albeit in an altered form). These genuine coins, in common use in the fifties, Sixpence, Threepence, Shilling and Half Crown, are presented with an informative backing card, rather beautifully, in a solid black frame. It’s a wonderful way of remembering, reflecting on, and perhaps even celebrating, a little piece of British heritage.
Dimensions: 10.6 x 21.8cm
The coins and notes we used to hold in our hands, keep in our pockets, purses, wallets and moneyboxes, justifiably have a special place in our hearts. In a world where plastic money and electronic payment were in their infancy, ‘hard cash’ was king.
For those not familiar with decimalisation, it was a radical overhaul of the monetary system which happened on “Decimal Day” - 15 February 1971. Almost overnight the UK moved from 240 pence in the pound to 100 pence in the pound. Previously there were twelve pence in a shilling and twenty shillings in a pound and values were expressed in pounds, shillings and pence (£/s/d – the latter two are from Latin: solidus and denarius). After decimalisation only pounds and pence remained (£p – p being penny).
The sixpence coin (6d) was worth six ‘old’ pence and was usually called a tanner or sixpenny bit. First issued under Edward VI, it was circulated until 1980, but following decimalisation in 1971 its value changed to 2.5p (‘new’ pence). It was a silver coin until 1947 when it became cupronickel.
The threepence coin (3d) was worth three ‘old’ pence but was usually called a threepence or threepenny bit. Three pence was pronounced quite differently in different regional accents – so was often heard as THROOP-nee, THREPP-nee or THRUPP-nee bit. First issued under Edward VI, it was withdrawn in 1971 as part of decimalisation. It was produced as a silver coin until 1946 but a nickel-brass version replaced it gradually from 1937.
The shilling coin (1/-) was worth twelve ‘old’ pence but was usually called a ‘bob’ when in multiples (e.g. ten bob note). First issued (as the ‘testoon’ under HenryVII, it was circulated until 1990, but following decimalisation in 1971 its value changed to 5p (‘new’ pence). It was a silver coin until 1947 when it became cupronickel.
The half crown coin (2s 6d) was worth two shillings and six ‘old’ pence. First issued under Edward VI, it was circulated until 1967 and withdrawn in 1970, ahead of decimalisation.