English Money in the 1960s

Back when I was a boy living in England during the 1960s, the money in circulation was TOTALLY different to what it is today. There were bank notes and coins with widely used nicknames like the ten bob note, the tanner, the florin and the half-crown. In a handful of change I could often find coins that were over 50 years old and occasionally one as old as hundred years. Alas, the scurge of decimalization in 1971 swept all of that historic English money away. In early 2019 I collected examples of banknotes and coins from the 1960s. There's an explanation of the 1960s money system at the bottom of this page.


Bank notes - Ten Pounds, Five Pounds, One Pound, Ten Shillings



Examples of Coinage (left to right from top to bottom) - Crown, Half Crown, Florin, Bob, Tanner, Groat, Thrupence, Penny, Ha'penny, Farthing, Half Farthing and Third Farthing


Quarter Farthing, Third Farthing, Half Farthing and Farthing


Examples of Pennies

This is a collectors set of the last minting of Pounds-Shillings-Pence in 1967 and the replacement decimal coins.


Explanation of 1960s English Money

Pound: A pound has been the basic unit of English currency since 1817. It came in the form of a paper note.

Shilling: There were 20 shillings to the pound. The shilling was the workhorse of the currency. It was used to buy food and household necessities.

Penny: The smallest unit of currency, the plural of which was pence. There were 12 pence to a shilling and 240 pence to a pound.

  10 Quid:  A banknote worth 10 pounds
  5 Quid:  A banknote worth 5 pounds 
  Quid:  A banknote worth 1 pound
  Ten Bob Note:  A banknote worth 10 shillings
  Crown:  A coin worth 5 shillings or 5 bob
  Half-crown:  A coin worth 2 and 1/2 shillings
  Florin:  A coin worth 2 shillings or 2 bob
  Bob:  A coin worth 1 shilling
  Tanner:  A coin worth 6 pence                      
  Thrupence:  A coin worth 3 pence
  Penny:  A coin worth 1 penny
  Ha’penny:  A coin worth 1/2 of a penny

Other English Coins not in Circulation in the 1960s

Guinea: a gold coin worth one pound and one shilling, no longer in use after 1816. The slang term for guinea was yellowboy. The guinea was used in professional transactions. A gentleman paid his tailor in shillings, but his barrister in guineas.

Sovereign: a solid gold coin struck from 1817 to present. Its nominal value is one pound. It was originally a circulating coin in the 1800s but it is now a bullion coin worth at least the price of the gold in it, currently $310.

Groat: A coin worth 4 pence. It was minted from around 1300 until 1856.

Twopence: A coin worth 2 pence. It was first minted in 1797 and from 1818 to 1820. It was withdrawn from circulation in 1861. 

Farthing: A coin worth 1/4 of a penny. It was not used after 1960.

Half Farthing: A coin worth 1/8 of a penny. Half farthings were first minted in 1826 for use in Ceylon but in 1842 were declared to be legal tender in the UK. They were demonetized in 1870.

Third Farthing: A coin worth 1/12 of a penny. Third farthing coins were first minted in 1827 for use in Malta but they are considered to be part of British coinage as Malta was considered to be part of Britain and not a colony. The last minting was in 1913.

Quarter Farthing: A coin worth 1/16 of a penny. It was first minted in 1839 for Ceylon but is considered to be part of British coinage because there was no indication on the coin of what country it was minted for. It was last minted in 1853. In 2017 values, the quarter farthing would have a purchasing power of between 3p and 4p (4 to 5 USA cents).


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