Content of the material
- 50p Coin Values
- Why use a non-decimal system?
- How did you write amounts in pounds, shillings and pence?
- How did people say amounts in pounds, shillings and pence?
- Avoirdupois measuring system
- What do the new £1 coins look like?
- Are Horses Still Sold in Guineas?
- How much are shilling coins worth?
- What Is The Rarest Threepence Coin?
- Something Borrowed Related posts:
50p Coin Values
If you are looking for up to date values for commemorative 50p coins, Coin Hunter lists all the circulation 50p coin designs which includes a how much is my 50p worth page to get live prices based on recent eBay sold items.
Comparative Rarity Score is a measure of coins availability in comparison to other £2 coin designs. High scores in themselves do not mean there is a small number of a coin in existence, just that the coins do not come up in general circulation very often.
Other coin related websites have adopted a similar method to rank a coins rarity. The Scarcity Index is based on a combination of mintage and users collecting and swap data.
The number of coins that enter circulation is shown where available. In order to generate rarity scores / listing positions, we make some assumptions in relation to coins in existance, but no longer in general circulation. This is based on the number of years the coin has been in circulation and on 2 pound coin bank bags checked.
The term rare as used on this webpage refers to a coins availibility in active circulation (coins not held in a private collection), not in terms of the number of coins that exist.
Why use a non-decimal system?
The advantage of the system over decimal was that it was easy to divide. You could divide a pound into:
- Half – 120 pence
- One third – 80 pence
- One quarter – 60 pence
- One fifth – 48 pence
- One sixth 40 pence
In the days before computers and calculators, this was useful for trading.
How did you write amounts in pounds, shillings and pence?
You wrote £ for pound, ‘s’ for shilling and ‘d’ for pence.
They are short for the Latin words libra, solidus and denarius, or LSD. You could say ‘how much is that in LSD?’.
Libra meant pound, solidus meant shilling and denarius meant penny. Solidus and denarius were Roman coins, libra was a Roman pound. The origins of pounds, shillings and pence go back to ancient times.
The other common symbol was the slash or oblique (‘/’). People used it to divide amounts in shillings and pence.
15 shillings and 6 pence was 15s 6d or 15/6. If there were no pence you could use /- for a quantity in shillings, so 5/- was 5 shillings.
You could say the symbol for 1 shilling was 1/-.
For example, a jar of instant coffee might cost 2/3 – 2s 3d or two shillings and three pence.
How did people say amounts in pounds, shillings and pence?
For amounts less than a shilling, you said the amount in pence, eg ‘7 pence’ or ‘7 and half pence’.
You could also say penny-ha’penny for 1½d. In older English you could say the amount in farthings, eg ‘You owe me five farthings, Say the bells of St Martin’s’ from the nursery rhyme, ‘Oranges and Lemons’.
For amounts in shillings and pence you said ‘2 and 6’ for two shillings and six pence. For amounts in just shillings, it was common to say ‘2 shillings’.
Avoirdupois measuring system
The avoirdupois ounce is the smallest unit of measure in the weight system. It is an official measuring system in the US, but you can also find it in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and other former UK colonies.
Avoirdupois means ‘goods of weight’ and is derived from the Anglo-Norman French aveir de peis. It signified goods sold wholesale measured on large steelyards and scales.
Even today, you can meet jewelers trying to deceive customers by selling an ounce of gold instead of a troy ounce. Such fraud is not complicated since only a professional can notice such a slight difference in weight.
Luckily, you can quickly convert avoirdupois ounces to troy ounces by multiplying it with 0.91. However, the best option is to buy precious metals with engraved weight and purity or government minted products with a guaranteed weight in troy ounces.
What do the new £1 coins look like?
The new coin is 12-sided, making it much more difficult to counterfeit.
On their website, The Royal Mint said: "Its distinctive shape makes it instantly recognisable, even by touch."
The 12-sided £1 coin also has all new dimensions. It is thinner than the old coin, measuring just 2.8mm in thickness.
It's also lighter, weighing just 8.75g, but it is larger in diameter measuring 23.43mm across.
The new £1 has a bold design, which combines the English rose, Scottish thistle, Welsh leek and Northern Irish shamrock – all of which bloom from one stem within a royal coronet. On the other side, the coin features the fifth coin portrait of the Queen.
Are Horses Still Sold in Guineas?
If you buy a thoroughbred horse at a traditional auction today, the chances are it will be knocked down at a hammer price of ‘£xxx Guineas’. This has been the case for as long as the guinea has existed.
However, you will not be expected to pay in gold coins – a good thing as for one reason, if you do have gold guineas they are worth a lot more than a pound and a shilling, and as we have seen, the guinea is no longer legal tender – but you will pay the full price.
The reason for this is that the seller will take home the value in pounds, with the auctioneer taking the remaining 5p per guinea as commission. Some bloodstock auctions have now settled into selling in pounds, but still take the 5% commission. As coin fans, we like tradition, and are sorry to see this happen!
Before we move on to finally answer the question as to the value of a guinea today, another horse racing related quiz answer for you: the UK ‘Triple Crown’ involves winning the 2000 Guineas Stakes, the Derby and the St Leger Stakes in the same year. The last horse to achieve this was the great Nijinsky, in 1970. Keep that one under your hat too!
How much are shilling coins worth?
Since the shilling has been used in a variety of different forms, designs and across many years and different reigns, the value of the shilling coin can vary dramatically. Notable auctions of shillings in recent months include the following:
The 1850 shilling (pictured below) was recently sold for £2,750 by London Coins (www.londoncoins.co.uk). The lot description noted: 'All 1850 Shillings very rare, with the overdate variety even more so. The second finest example of this type we have offered, only the Andrew Wayne Collection example was superior.'
What Is The Rarest Threepence Coin?
It’s incredibly hard to state with certainty which threepence is the rarest due to the many years that they were produced for Maundy sets, however, there is one particular year that stands out.
Between 1937 and 1945 the silver threepence was minted each year during King George VI’s reign, but it is the 1945 edition that is considered to be extremely rare.
This is because in this year it was ordered that all threepence coins were to be melted down for their silver content due to the decreasing popularity of the silver threepence. Despite this, there are so far two known examples that escaped from the melting process.
At an auction in April 1970 one of these 1945 George VI silver threepence coins sold for the equivalent of £4,000 in today’s money to an unknown buyer, with the other being graded and certified in 2019.
It is without a doubt that the 1945 George VI silver threepences are one of, if not the rarest threepence coins ever.
Gold will always have a particular value. No matter how much its price varies, it will always be a safe investment. When you know the principles of the global gold market and a measuring system you need to use, you can wisely invest in precious metals and keep your money safe for rainy days.
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