Half crown (British coin)

Last updated
Half crown
United Kingdom
Value£0.125
Two shillings and sixpence
Mass(1816–1970) 14.14 g
Diameter(1816–1970) 32.31 mm
EdgeMilled
Composition(1816–1919) 92.5% Ag
(1920–1946) 50% Ag
(1947–1970) Cupronickel
Years of minting1707–1970
Obverse
British half crown 1967 obverse.png
DesignProfile of the monarch (Elizabeth II design shown)
Designer Mary Gillick
Design date1953
Reverse
British half crown 1967 reverse.png
DesignVarious (crowned Royal Shield shown)
DesignerEdgar Fuller and Cecil Thomas
Design date1967

The British half crown was a denomination of sterling coinage worth 1/8 of one pound, or two shillings and six pence (abbreviated "2/6", familiarly "two and six"), or 30 (old) pence. 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 that of Edward VIII, until the coins were discontinued in 1970.

Contents

The half crown was demonetised (ahead of other pre-decimal coins) on 1 January 1970, the year before the United Kingdom adopted decimal currency on Decimal Day. During the English Interregnum of 1649–1660, a republican half crown was issued, bearing the arms of the Commonwealth of England, despite monarchist associations of the coin's name. When Oliver Cromwell was made Lord Protector of England, half crowns were issued bearing his portrait depicting him wearing a laurel wreath in the manner of a Roman Emperor. The half crown did not display its value on the reverse until 1893.

History of the half crown by reign

Gold half crown of Elizabeth I, 1580/81 Post Medieval Coin, Half crown of Elizabeth I (obverse and reverse) (FindID 734368).jpg
Gold half crown of Elizabeth I, 1580/81
This Charles I half crown was struck from a piece of hammered silver plate during one of the Civil War sieges of Newark, Nottinghamshire. English Half-Crown Newark 1646.jpg
This Charles I half crown was struck from a piece of hammered silver plate during one of the Civil War sieges of Newark, Nottinghamshire.

Size and weight

From 1816, in the reign of George III, half crown coins had a diameter of 32 mm and a weight of 14.14 grams (defined as 511  troy ounce [1] ), dimensions which remained the same for the half crown until decimalisation in 1971. [2]

Mintages

The mintage figures below are taken from the annual UK publication COIN YEARBOOK. [3] Proof mintages are indicated in italics.

     
Victoria(Jubilee)   
 1887
1,438,046
1,084
  1890
3,228,111
 1888
1,428,787
  1891
2,284,632
 1889
4,811,954
  1892
1,710,946
     
Victoria(Old Head)   
 1893
1,792,600
1,312
  1898
1,870,055
 1894
1,524,960
  1899
2,865,872
 1895
1,772,662
  1900
4,479,128
 1896
2,148,505
  1901
1,516,570
 1897
1,678,643
   
     
Edward VII    
 1902
1,316,008
15,123
  1907
3,693,930
 1903
274,840
  1908
1,758,889
 1904
709,652
  1909
3,051,592
 1905
166,008
  1910
2,557,685
 1906
 2,886,206
   
     
George V    
 1911
2,914,573
6,007
  1924
5,866,294
 1912
4,700,789
  1925
1,413,461
 1913
4,090,169
  1926
4,473,516
 1914
18,333,003
  1927
 6,837,872
15,000
 1915
 32,433,066
  1928
 18,762,727
 1916
29,530,020
  1929
17,632,636
 1917
 11,172,052
  1930
 809,051
 1918
29,079,592
  1931
11,264,468
 1919
 10,266,737
  1932
 4,793,643
 1920
 17,982,077
  1933
 10,311,494
 1921
23,677,889
  1934
 2,422,399
 1922
16,396,724
  1935
7,022,216
 1923
 26,308,526
  1936
7,039,423
     
George VI    
 1937
 9,106,440
26,402
  1945
 19,849,242
 1938
 6,426,478
  1946
 22,724,873
 1939
 15,478,635
  1947
 21,911,484
 1940
 17,948,439
  1948
 71,164,703
 1941
 15,773,984
  1949
 28,272,512
 1942
 31,220,090
  1950
 28,335,500
17,513
 1943
 15,462,875
  1951
 9,003,520
20,000
 1944
 15,255,165
  1952
 1 [4]
     
Elizabeth II    
 1953
 4,333,214
40,000
  1961
 25,887,897
 1954
 11,614,953
  1962
 24,013,312
 1955
 23,628,726
  1963
 17,625,200
 1956
 33,934,909
  1964
 5,973,600
 1957
 34,200,563
  1965
 9,778,440
 1958
 15,745,668
  1966
 13,375,200
 1959
 9,028,844
  1967
 33,058,400
 1960
 19,929,191
  1970
 750,000

See also

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References

  1. Kindleberger, Charles P. (2005). A Financial History of Western Europe. Taylor & Francis. p. 60. ISBN   9780415378673.
  2. Tony Clayton. "Coins of the UK - Thirty Pence". coins-of-the-uk.co.uk.
  3. "Coin, Banknote and Medal Collector's Magazines. Token Publishing Numismatic Interest". tokenpublishing.com.
  4. "Welcome to Colin Cooke Coins - Numismatics, Coins, Rarities - 1952 Halfcrown". colincooke.com.