Posts Tagged ‘United Kingdom’

United Kingdom, 5 pence, 1989

September 25, 2011

Here’s today’s first coin.

United Kingdom, 5 pence, 1989 (KM #937)


For most Britons, this is the youngest large-size five pence coin they’ll ever see, since the denomination was greatly reduced in size starting in 1990. (I say “most” since there was a trace amount of large-size fives struck in 1990, but they were only made for Mint sets.) Technically no longer legal tender in the UK, but possibly worth 7 cents USD if you can get some one to honor its exchange rate.

And of course, 1989 was the beginning of the end for communist rule in Europe, the year the wall came down and the Iron Curtain was torn away.

Mintage is 101,406,000
Metal Copper-nickel
Weight 5.65 g
Diameter 23.59 mm
Thickness 1.78 mm
Engravers Raphael David Maklouf (obverse)
Christopher Ironside (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment
Demonetized 12-31-1990

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United Kingdom, half penny, 1963

September 24, 2011

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

United Kingdom, 10 pence, 1974

August 18, 2011

Fourth coin in a row. I’m on a roll today….

United Kingdom, 10 pence, 1974 (KM #912)


What an opportune time for a 10p coin to come up! In my first post today, I mentioned how the 2 shilling coin and the 10-pence coin were designed to be interchangeable in circulation. Well, here’s a 10p as an example. By holding the two coins together right now, I can easily confirm that they are indeed the same in diameter, weight, color, and edge reeding. Had the 10p not been reduced in size in 1992, and had not the larger old 10p coins been demonetized, this coin would have been worth 16.5 cents USD.

Mintage is 92,741,000
Metal Copper-nickel
Weight 11.31 g
Diameter 28.5 mm
Thickness 2.27 mm
Engravers Arnold Machin (obverse)
Christopher Ironside (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment
Demonetized 07-01-1993

United Kingdom, 2 shillings, 1965

August 18, 2011

My my, this one is large…

United Kingdom, 2 shillings, 1965 (KM #906)


In the pre-decimal days, this coin was worth 2/20ths of a pound, the equivalent of 10 decimal pence. The “new” 10 pence coin introduced in 1968 was sized to match the old 2 shilling coin so that the old ones could circulate alongside their decimal equivalents. I wonder if this happened as intended. Anyway, when the 10-pence coin was reduced in diameter in 1992, it made the issue moot.

The reverse design combines all four emblem plants of the UK’s constituent realms… the English rose, the Scottish thistle, the Welsh leek, and the (Northern) Irish shamrock. It does so in a wonderful radial symmetry here. I think coin designs are at their best when they take advantage of radial symmetry.

Mintage is 48,163,000
Metal Copper-nickel
Weight 11.3 g
Diameter 28.52 mm
Thickness 2.5 mm
Engravers Mary Gillick (obverse)
F.G. Fuller & C. Thomas (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment
Demonetized 07-01-1993

United Kingdom, 1 penny, 2001

March 16, 2011

Same coin as the one from January 23rd, just one year younger, the dawn of the 21st Century.

United Kingdom, 1 penny, 2001 (KM #986)


Mintage is 928,802,000.

Metal Copper plated steel
Weight 3.59 g
Diameter 20.34 mm
Thickness 1.65 mm
Engravers I. Rank-Broadley (obverse)
C. Ironside (reverse)
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment