What Is a British Halfpenny?


Quick Answer

According to The Victorian Web, a site about history, culture and literature of the Victorian era, British halfpenny coins are coins worth one-half of 1 pence. It takes 480 halfpenny coins to equal 1 British pound sterling.

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Full Answer

The halfpenny, traditionally pronounced hay-p'ny, was originally minted in 1717. It was not the lowest denomination coin at the time. The farthing represented one-quarter of a penny, and even smaller denominations were issued during the 19th century. When the United Kingdom switched to decimal currency in 1971, the halfpenny was the least valuable coin to survive the switch. Ultimately, inflation rendered the halfpenny almost useless, and the government removed it from circulation in 1984.

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