World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Old pence

Article Id: WHEBN0008311549
Reproduction Date:

Title: Old pence  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: On the Origin of Species, 12 (number), Branwell Brontë, Paisley canal disaster
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Old pence

For the historic penny of England, see Penny (English coin). For the British penny in current usage, see Penny (British decimal coin). For silver pennies produced after 1820, see Maundy money.
Template:Infobox Coin

The penny of the Kingdom of Great Britain and later of the United Kingdom, was in circulation from the early 18th century until 15 February 1971, Decimal Day.

Twelve pence (pennies) made one shilling, a shilling was  120 of a pound, and a penny was  1240 of a pound. To express an amount, "penny" was abbreviated to "d," from the first letter of the Roman term denarius.


The coin's predecessor, the English silver penny, weighed 24 grains of sterling silver in 1279. Over the centuries that weight had declined to 12 grains and lower.

British silver pennies were minted until about 1750, then occasionally until about 1820; thereafter, they were only minted for Maundy money.

From 1797, pennies for general circulation were minted in copper and were extremely heavy.


Pre-decimal penny coins continue to be used to adjust the timing of the pendulum of the clock in the Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster, commonly known as "Big Ben".

In the United States, other than the known uses in numismatics, British Pennies are also used in coin magic, because they are at contrast with the just slightly smaller US half dollar (the half dollar is 30.61 mm in diameter compared to the 31 mm in British Pennies), with their copper sheen compared to the silver in half dollars. Indeed, many routines involve a copper-silver transposition, in which a British Penny and a half dollar change places.

Pennies by period



  • Coincraft's Standard Catalogue English & UK Coins 1066 to Date, Richard Lobel, Coincraft. ISBN 0-9526228-8-2

External links

  • British Coins - information about British coins (from 1656 to 1952)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.