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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