Q:

When did the halfpence cease to be legal tender?

A:

Quick Answer

The British halfpenny ceased to be legal tender in 1984, while the previous version was demonetized in 1969. Britain switched to a decimal currency in 1971, and decimal halfpence were worth more than traditional coins of the same name.

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Full Answer

Coins worth half a penny have existed in Britain since the 12th century, though they did not come into general use until the reign of Edward I (1272-1307). These silver coins were replaced by tin, copper and finally bronze. The last traditional bronze halfpence were minted in 1967. In 1971, the Royal Mint introduced new coins based on dividing the pound into 100 parts, including a halfpenny worth 1/200 of a pound. The last decimal halfpence were minted in February 1984.

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