List of British banknotes and coins

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List of British banknotes and coins, with commonly used terms.

Contents

Coins

Pre-decimal

Prior to decimalisation in 1971, there were 12 pence (written as 12d) in a shilling (written as 1s or 1/-) and 20 shillings in a pound, written as £1 (occasionally "L" was used instead of the pound sign, £). There were therefore 240 pence in a pound. For example, 2 pounds 14 shillings and 5 pence could have been written as £2 14s 5d or £2 14/5.

The value of some coins fluctuated, particularly in the reigns of James I and Charles I. The value of a guinea fluctuated between 20 and 30 shillings before being fixed at 21 shillings in December 1717. These are denominations of British, or earlier English, coins Scottish coins had different values.

CoinPre-decimalisation valuePost-decimalisation valueDates of useNotes
Mite [1] 124d; see notes£0.0001736; see notes Tudor dates, back to Anglo-Saxon England, at least.In Tudor times, mites weren't minted but were used in accounting; one mite was one twenty-fourth of a penny or one sixth of a farthing. [2] In older times, a mite could be worth half a farthing or 18d; [3] or about one-third of a farthing or about 112d [4]
Quarter farthing 116d£0.000261839–1868.see note 1 below
Third farthing 112d£0.00034721827–1913.see note 1 below
Half farthing 18d£0.000520831828–1868.see note 1 below
Farthing 14d£0.00104167c. 1200–1960.The word "farthing" means "fourth part" (of a penny).
Halfpenny 12d£0.00211272–1969.Often called a "ha'penny" (pronounced HAY-p'nee), plural halfpennies ("ha'pennies") for the coins, halfpence ("ha'pence") for the monetary amount.
Three farthings 34d£0.00311561–1582.
One penny 1d£0.0042757–1970 (and thereafter only for Maundy).Commonly called a "copper"; plural "pennies" for the coins, "pence" for the monetary amount
Three halfpence 1 12d£0.00631561–1582, 1834–1870.see note 1 below. Pronounced as "three-ha'pence"
Half groat 2d£0.00831351–1662.
Twopence 2d£0.0083silver 1668–current (for Maundy); copper 1797–1798.Pronounced "tuppence".
Threepence 3d£0.0125silver 1547–1945 (and thereafter only for Maundy), nickel-brass 1937–1970.Sometimes called "thripp'nce", "thrupp'nce", "threpp'nce" or "thripp'ny bit", "thrupp'ny bit". Referred to as a "joey" after the groat was no longer in circulation, as featured in George Orwell's Keep the Aspidistra Flying .
Groat 4d£0.0167silver 1279–1662, 1836–1862 (and thereafter only for Maundy).Referred to as a "joey" after Joseph Hume, the economist and Member of Parliament until it stopped being issued in 1885. [5]
Sixpence 6d£0.0251547–1970; circulated from 1971 to 1980 with a value of two and a half decimal pence.Also called "tanner", sometimes "tilbury", [6] or "joey" after the groat was no longer in circulation.[ citation needed ]
Shilling 1/-£0.051502–1970, circulated from 1971 to 1990 with a value of five decimal pence.Also called a "bob", in singular or plural.
Quarter florin or helm 1/6£0.0751344Gold coin demonetized within one year. see note 2 below
Gold penny 1/8 to 2/-£0.0833 to £0.11257–1265.Gold. Undervalued for its metal content and extremely rare.
Quarter noble 1/8£0.08331344–1470.
Quarter angel 2/-£0.11547–1600.Gold.
Florin or two shillings 2/-£0.11848–1970, circulated from 1971 to 1993 with a value of ten decimal pence.see note 2 below
Half crown 2/6£0.1251526–1969.Sometimes known as "half a dollar" (see Crown below).
Half florin or leopard 3/-£0.151344Gold; extremely rare. see note 2 below
Half noble 3/4 to 4/2£0.1667 to £0.2083minted 1346–1438.increased in value in 1464
Half angel 3/4, later 5/6£0.1667, later £0.2751470–1619.
Double florin 4/-£0.21887–1890.Silver. see note 2 below
Crown of the rose 4/6£0.2251526–1551.
Crown 5/-£0.251526–1965.Sometimes known as "a dollar" – from the 1940s when the exchange rate was four USD to the GBP.
Quarter guinea 5/3£0.26251718, 1762.
Florin or double leopard 6/-£0.31344.Gold; demonetized within one year. see note 2 below
Noble 6/8, later 8/4£0.3333, later £0.41671344–1464.Increased in value in 1464.
Angel 6/8£0.33331461–1643.
Half mark 6/8£0.333[medieval period]A unit of account, not a coin. Convenient as it was exactly one-third of a pound.
Third guinea 7/-£0.351797–1813.
Rose noble or ryal 10/-, later 15/-£0.5, later £0.751464–1470, 1487, 1553–1603.Increased in value from 1553.
Half sovereign 10/-£0.51544–1553; 1603–1604; 1817–1937A bullion coin since 1980.
Halfpound 10/-£0.51559–1602; 1642–1644
Double crown 10/-£0.51604–1619; 1625–1662.
Half laurel 10/-£0.51619–1625.
Half unite 10/-£0.51642–1643.
Half guinea 10/6£0.5251669–1813.
Mark 13/4£0.667[medieval period]A unit of account not a coin, but widely used.
Spur ryal 15/-£0.751604–1625.
Sovereign 20/-£11489–1604; 1817–1937A bullion coin since 1957.
Unite 20/-£11604–1619; 1649–1662.
Laurel 20/-£11619–1644?
Carolus 20/-, later 23/-£1, later £1.15reign of Charles I.
Broad 20/-£11656.
Guinea 21/-£1.051663–1799, 1813.
Rose Ryal 30/-£1.501604–1625.
Two pounds 40/-£21823–1937.Gold; "double sovereign".
Two guineas or double guinea originally 40/-, later 42/-originally £2, later £2.101664–1753.Originally known as a "forty-shilling piece"; value changed to forty-two shillings after the Proclamation of 1717 finally settled the value of a guinea.
Fifty shillings 50/-£2.501656.
Triple unite 60/-£31642–1644.
Five pounds 100/-£51826–1990.Gold.
Five guineas originally 100/-, later 105/-originally £5, later £5.251668–1753.Originally known and valued as five pounds, but became five guineas when the guinea was standardised at one pound and one shilling in 1717.
Visualisation of some British currency terms before decimalisation British predecimal currency.svg
Visualisation of some British currency terms before decimalisation

Notes:

Decimal

Since decimalisation on "Decimal Day" in 1971, the pound has been divided into 100 pence. Originally the term "new pence" was used; the word "new" was dropped from the coinage in 1983. The old shilling equated to five (new) pence, and, for example, £2 10s 6d became £2.52 12. The symbol for the (old) penny, "d", was replaced by "p" (or initially sometimes "np", for new pence). Thus 72 pence can be written as £0.72 or 72p; both were commonly read as "seventy-two pee".

Post-decimalisation British coins.
NameValueNotes
Half penny 12pSometimes written "ha'penny" (pronounced HAY-p'nee), but normally called a "half-pee"; demonetised and withdrawn from circulation in December 1984.
One penny 1p
Two pence 2p
Five pence 5pA direct replacement for the shilling. The coin was reduced in size in 1990.
Six pence 6pMinted uniquely in 2016 as a commemorative coin. [7]
Ten pence 10pA replacement for the florin (two shillings). The coin was reduced in size in 1992.
Twenty pence 20pIntroduced in 1982.
Twenty-five pence 25pA commemorative coin issued between 1972 and 1981 as a post-decimal continuation of the old crown. From 1990 it was replaced in the commemorative role by the £5 coin.
Fifty pence 50pIntroduced in 1969, just prior to decimalisation, to replace the ten shilling note ("ten bob note"). It was initially sometimes called a "ten bob bit". The coin was reduced in size in 1997.
One pound £1Introduced in 1983 to replace the one pound note.
Sovereign £1Gold bullion coins, available in four other sizes too: quarter sovereign (25p), half sovereign12), double sovereign (£2) and quintuple sovereign (£5).
Two pounds £2Issued as a commemorative coin from 1986 and in general circulation from 1998 (dated from 1997).
Britannia various valuesGold and silver bullion coins, either one — or multiples, or fractions of — troy ounces.
Five pounds £5Introduced in 1990 as a commemorative coin, as a continuation of the old crown, replacing the commemorative role of the twenty-five pence coin.
The Valiant £10Bullion / collectors' coins issued in 2018 and 2019; 10 troy ounces of silver. [8]
Twenty pounds £20Introduced in 2013 as a commemorative coin. [9]
Fifty pounds £50Introduced in 2015 as a commemorative coin. [10]
One hundred pounds £100Introduced in 2015 as a commemorative coin. [11]

Banknotes

Main articles: Banknotes of the pound sterling and Bank of England note issues.

Note: The description of banknotes given here relates to notes issued by the Bank of England. Three banks in Scotland and four banks in Northern Ireland also issue notes, in some or all of the denominations: £1, £5, £10, £20, £50, £100.

British bank notes:
Pre-decimalisation British Notes:
NameValueCirculationNotes
Five shilling note5/-(£0.25)Red x.svg non-circulatingOriginally issued by the treasury in 1914-1928. Not replaced by Bank of England notes.
Ten shilling note10/-(£0.5)Red x.svg non-circulatingOriginally issued by the treasury in 1914. Replaced by Bank of England notes from 1928. Commonly known as "ten bob note" or "half a quid". 1914–1970.

Post-decimalisation British Notes:

NameValueCirculationNotes
£1 note£1Red x.svg non-circulatingWithdrawn in 1988, it is still issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Ireland and still used in some of the Channel Islands.[ citation needed ]
£5 note£5Green check.svg in circulationThe original "large white fiver" five pound note was known as "five jacks" and replaced in 1957 by the blue £5 note. Now also known as a "fiver".
£10 note£10Green check.svg in circulationAlso known as a "tenner", or an "ayrton", from Ayrton Senna
£20 note£20Green check.svg in circulationAlso known as a "score".
£50 note£50Green check.svg in circulationAlso known as a "bullseye".
£100 note£100Red x.svg not in circulationIssued by Scottish and Northern-Irish banks only.
£1,000,000 note£1,000,000Red x.svg non-circulatingAlso known as a "Giant". Used as backing for banknotes issued by Scottish and Northern Irish banks when exceeding the value of their 1845 reserves. The amount to be covered is over a billion pounds. [12] Also issued in 1948 as a temporary measure during the postwar reconstruction in the Marshall Plan. [13]
£10,000,000 note£10,000,000Red x.svg non-circulatingUsed as backing for banknotes issued by Scottish and Northern Irish banks when exceeding the value of their 1845 reserves. The amount to be covered is over a billion pounds.
£100,000,000 note£100,000,000Red x.svg non-circulatingAlso known as a "Titan". Used as backing for banknotes issued by Scottish and Northern Irish banks when exceeding the value of their 1845 reserves. The amount to be covered is over a billion pounds. [12]

Bank of England notes are periodically redesigned and reissued, with the old notes being withdrawn from circulation and destroyed. Each redesign is allocated a "series". Currently the £50 note is "series F" issue whilst the £5, £10 and £20 notes are "series G" issue. Series G is the latest round of redesign, which commenced in September 2016 with the polymer £5 note, September 2017 with the polymer £10 note, and February 2020 with the polymer £20 note. [14]

Related Research Articles

Coins of the pound sterling British current and historic coinage

The standard circulating coinage of the United Kingdom, British Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories is denominated in pounds sterling, and, since the introduction of the two-pound coin in 1994, ranges in value from one penny to two pounds. Since decimalisation, on 15 February 1971, the pound has been divided into 100 (new) pence. Before decimalisation, twelve pence made a shilling, and twenty shillings made a pound. British coins are minted by the Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales. The Royal Mint also commissions the coins' designs.

Shilling Unit of currency formerly used in the United Kingdom, Australia, and other British Commonwealth countries, as well as much of the British Empire

The shilling is a historical coin, and the name of a unit of modern currencies formerly used in Austria (Schilling), and in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and other British Commonwealth countries.

The Australian dollar is the currency of Australia, including its external territories: Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Norfolk Island. It is officially used as currency by three independent Pacific Island states: Kiribati, Nauru, and Tuvalu. It is legal tender in Australia. Within Australia, it is almost always abbreviated with the dollar sign ($), with A$ or AU$ sometimes used to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. The $ symbol precedes the amount. It is subdivided into 100 cents.

Florin (British coin) British coin issued from 1849 until 1970, worth two shillings (one tenth of a pound sterling)

The British florin, or two-shilling coin, was issued from 1849 until 1967, with a final issue for collectors dated 1970. Equivalent in value to one-tenth of a pound, it was the last coin circulating immediately prior to decimalisation to be demonetised, in 1993, having for a quarter of a century circulated alongside the ten-pence piece, identical in specifications and value.

Pound sterling Official currency of the United Kingdom and other territories

Pound sterling, known in some contexts simply as the pound or sterling, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the British Antarctic Territory, and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence. The Pound sterling is the oldest currency in continuous use. Some nations that do not use sterling also have currencies called the pound.

Irish pound

The Irish pound was the currency of Ireland until 2002. Its ISO 4217 code was IEP, and the usual notation was the prefix £. The Irish pound was replaced by the euro on 1 January 1999. Euro currency did not begin circulation until the beginning of 2002.

Decimal Day 15 February 1971, when the UK and Ireland adopted decimal currency

Decimal Day in the United Kingdom and in Ireland was on 15 February 1971, the day on which each country decimalised its respective £sd currency of pounds, shillings, and pence. Before this date, in the United Kingdom, the British pound was made up of 20 shillings, each of which was made up of 12 pence, a total of 240 pence. With the decimalisation, the pound kept its old value and name, and the only changes were in relation to the subunits. The shilling was abolished, and the pound was subdivided into 100 "new pence", each of which was worth 2.4 "old pence". In Ireland, the Irish pound had a similar £sd currency structure and similar changes took place.

£sd

£sd is the popular name for the pre-decimal currencies once common throughout Europe, especially in the British Isles and hence in several countries of the British Empire and subsequently the Commonwealth. The abbreviation originates from the Latin currency denominations librae, solidi, and denarii. In the United Kingdom, these were referred to as pounds, shillings, and pence.

Australian pound

The Australian pound was the currency of Australia from 1910 until 14 February 1966, when it was replaced by the Australian dollar. As with other £sd currencies, it was subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence.

Guernsey pound

The pound is the currency of Guernsey. Since 1921, Guernsey has been in currency union with the United Kingdom and the Guernsey pound is not a separate currency but is a local issue of banknotes and coins denominated in pound sterling, in a similar way to the banknotes issued in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland. It can be exchanged at par with other sterling coinage and notes.

The Bermudian dollar is the official currency of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. It is subdivided into 100 cents. The Bermudian dollar is not normally traded outside Bermuda, and is pegged to the United States dollar at a one-to-one ratio. Both currencies circulate in Bermuda on an equal basis.

Trinidad and Tobago dollar

The Trinidad and Tobago dollar is the currency of Trinidad and Tobago. It is normally abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or alternatively TT$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is subdivided into 100 cents. Cents are abbreviated with the cent sign ¢, or TT¢ to distinguish from other currencies that use cents. Its predecessor currencies are the Trinidadian dollar and the Tobagonian dollar.

Jersey pound

The pound is the currency of Jersey. Jersey is in currency union with the United Kingdom, and the Jersey pound is not a separate currency but is an issue of banknotes and coins by the States of Jersey denominated in pound sterling, in a similar way to the banknotes issued in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It can be exchanged at par with other sterling coinage and notes.

The Manx pound is the currency of the Isle of Man, in parity with the pound sterling. The Manx pound is divided into 100 pence. Notes and coins, denominated in pounds and pence, are issued by the Isle of Man Government.

The Saint Helena pound is the currency of the Atlantic islands of Saint Helena and Ascension, which are constituent parts of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. It is fixed at parity with the British pound sterling, and as such, both currencies are commonly accepted and circulated within Saint Helena. It is subdivided into 100 pence.

The pound was the currency of New Zealand from 1840 until 1967, when it was replaced by the New Zealand dollar.

Jamaican pound

The Jamaican pound was the official currency of Jamaica between 1840 and 1969. It circulated as a mixture of British currency and local issues and was always equal to the British pound. The Jamaican pound was also used by the Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Australian florin was a coin used in the Commonwealth of Australia before decimalisation in 1966. The florin was worth 24 pence . The denomination was first minted in 1910 to the same size and weight as the United Kingdom florin.

Shilling (British coin) British pre-decimalisation coin

The shilling (1/-) was a coin worth one twentieth of a pound sterling, or twelve pence. It was first minted in the reign of Henry VII as the testoon, and became known as the shilling from the Old English scilling, sometime in the mid-16th century, circulating until 1990. The word bob was sometimes used for a monetary value of several shillings, e.g. "ten-bob note". Following decimalisation on 15 February 1971 the coin had a value of five new pence, which was minted with the same size as the shilling until 1990, after which the shilling no longer remained legal tender. It was made from silver from its introduction in or around 1503 until 1946, and thereafter in cupronickel.

The history of Australian currency commences with the first European settlement of Australia on 26 January 1788. At the time, New South Wales was a British colony, and the English currency was in formal circulation, though the supply was insufficient and alternative forms of exchange were resorted to. A national Australian currency was created in 1910, as the Australian pound, which in 1966 was decimalised as the Australian dollar.

References

  1. Mentioned in the King James Bible: Mark 12:41–4, but referring to a European currency. http://www.medievalcoinage.com/denominations/index.htm
  2. Lara E. Eakins. "Coinage". tudorhistory.org. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  3. Francis Sellon White (1827). A History of Inventions and Discoveries: Alphabetically Arranged. C. and J. Rivington, London. p.  218 . Retrieved 22 June 2014. english coin called a mite.
  4. Samuel Maunder (1841). The Scientific and Literary Treasury; A New and Popular Encyclopedia of the Belles Lettres. Longman, Orme, Brown, Green, & Longmans. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  5. "Slang Terms for Money".
  6. "Money Slang".
  7. https://www.royalmint.com/our-coins/ranges/historic-coins/historic-coins/the-windsor-silver-sixpence-set/.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. The Valiant
  9. "£20 Coins". The Royal Mint.
  10. "£50 Coins". The Royal Mint. Archived from the original on 3 December 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  11. "Buckingham Palace 2015 UK £100 Fine Silver Coin". Royal Mint. Archived from the original on 4 October 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  12. 1 2 "Scottish and Northern Ireland Banknotes - The Role of Backing Assets". Bank of England. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  13. "One in a Million". Time. 5 August 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  14. http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/current/index.htm Current banknotes of the Bank of England