What Are Some Old British Coins?


Quick Answer

Old British coins include the farthing, halfpenny (or ha'penny), crown, shilling, guinea, sovereign, florin and groat. These coins ceased to exist when the United Kingdom switched to a decimalized monetary system in 1971, though some of the terms persist to refer to decimalized amounts of similar value.

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Full Answer

Before and after decimalization, British money centered around the pound, which at the time of its introduction by King Henry II was equal to 1 troy pound of sterling silver. Aside from the £1 coin, which the British called a sovereign, money was measured in shillings and guineas. Shillings were one-twentieth of a pound, and guineas were equal to one pound and one shilling. Guineas were considered a more civilized coin, often used as payment between gentlemen.

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