Q:

What are some old British coins?

A:

Quick Answer

Old British coins include the farthing, halfpenny (or ha'penny), crown, shilling, guinea, sovereign, florin and groat. These coins ceased to exist when the United Kingdom switched to a decimalized monetary system in 1971, though some of the terms persist to refer to decimalized amounts of similar value.

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Full Answer

Before and after decimalization, British money centered around the pound, which at the time of its introduction by King Henry II was equal to 1 troy pound of sterling silver. Aside from the £1 coin, which the British called a sovereign, money was measured in shillings and guineas. Shillings were one-twentieth of a pound, and guineas were equal to one pound and one shilling. Guineas were considered a more civilized coin, often used as payment between gentlemen.

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  • Q:

    What are old coins worth?

    A:

    The value of old coins varies with current demand and the maximum amount collectors are willing to pay for them. Metal prices may also be a factor. Some price guides have been established that are widely used by collectors, such as the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) guide.

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  • Q:

    How do I clean old coins?

    A:

    Old coins maintained for collections must be carefully cleaned with non-abrasive materials and a solution that does not damage the metal compounds in the coin. Improperly cleaning a coin can damage it and substantially reduce its value. Specialists knowledgeable in coin cleaning can clean coins without damaging them. Most expert coin collectors advise against cleaning coins at all, as discolorations and dirt may actually increase a coin's value, explains NemisMaster.com.

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  • Q:

    How can you sell old coins for cash?

    A:

    Online auctions, coin shops and in-person auctions are the best ways to sell old coins for cash. There are other ways to sell old coins, but the seller should do detailed research before accepting any cash offers for coins.

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  • Q:

    Where can you sell old coins?

    A:

    Collectors most often buy and sell old coins at auctions, from coin dealers and at coin collecting conventions. Coin valuation companies offer a third-party estimated value for both coin buyers and sellers.

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