Tuesday, 13 December 2016


Following the previous post, I thought this earlier one on the
same theme might prove interesting to those who've forgotten it
from its first outing.  Remember now, despite the above set being
described as Britain's first decimal coins, the first one was ac-
tually the Florin, first introduced in 1849.  (Like, wow!)


If you're around my age, you'll no doubt remember L.s.d. from back in
the 1960s.  No, not the hallucinogenic drug of which hippies were reputed
to be so fond, but Britain's system of currency (pounds, shillings and pence,
from the Latin, 'librae, solidi, denari') before decimalisation was officially
introduced in 1971.  (Although usually pronounced and written as 'L.s.d.',
apparently the proper way to render it is '£sd'.)  

What most of us tend to forget however, is that two years before 'D-
Day', some decimal coins were introduced into our £sd currency.  In 1968,
the five, ten, and fifty 'new' pence coins were issued, mingling quite happily
with the threeppenny (pronounced thruppenny) bit, sixpences, shillings
and florins (two shilling piece), until the decimal system officially took over.
The old sixpence (tanner) continued in circulation until 1980, and shillings
and florins were interchangable with their counterparts for many years
after, until the size of the new coins was reduced in the early '90s.

When I bought the above set around twenty years ago, I was amazed
by how many of my pals claimed to remember it, saying that they were
given one of these little blue plastic wallets at school.  They can't all be
mistaken, so I can only assume that I was off the day they were handed
out because I definitely never received one.  I didn't even know they
existed until I saw them in a coin catalogue back in the early '90s.

So, if you were one of the lucky ones who received a decimal
coin set as a child, enjoy this look back at a moment in time which
I never got to share - and then feel free to reminiscence about it
in the ever-lovin' comments section.


paul Mcscotty said...

I had forgotten that the 10p 50p etc were in use brfore 71 - I do remember getting that wee set and spending it on sweets and a comic (after asking my mum and dad if it was ok first) - I seem to recall we were also given a palstic converter to work out the New Pence rates against old money rates-

Kid said...

I must've been lying in my bed at home, reading my comics and sipping American Cream Soda on one of my sickies when these sets were given out, PM - 'cos I never got one. (Maybe I was on holiday.)

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