United Kingdom, half penny, 1963

We took a trip on a grand old ship….

United Kingdom, half penny, 1963 (KM #896)


Under the pre-decimal system, this coin was worth 1/2 of a penny, or 1/24th of a shilling, or 1/480th of a pound sterling. That’s almost one fifth of a decimal penny! What a low valued coin! USD $0.0032! People complain enough about one cent being useless. Think of how much grief there would be if we still used thirds of a cent.

But the matter is moot since this coin, since it lost legal tender status decades ago. But it still has 4 or 5 cents of copper in it.

1963 is, of course, the year JFK was assassinated. From Russia With Love and The Great Escape were big at the movies. Alcatraz is shuttered. The Beatles record and release Please Please Me. The USS Thresher is lost with all hands to an unknown cause. Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space.

Mintage is 45,036,000
Metal Bronze
Weight 5.7 g
Diameter 25.4 mm
Thickness 1.3 mm
Engravers Mary Gillick (obverse)
Thomas Humphrey Paget (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment ↑↑
Demonetized 08-01-1969

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