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Decimal Currency

In 1966, plans were introduced in Britain for conversion to decimal currency.

After five years of planning and with a public fearful of the outcome, the changeover to decimal currency in Britain eventually occurred on ” D Day” (decimalisation day) – Monday 15 February 1971.

It was the beginning of the end for the faithful tanners, bobs and half-crowns of the old system, which was phased out over the next 18 months.

Decimal conversion charts could not be avoided as out went the Libra Solidus Denarius (LSD as the “old” money was known).

Instead of 20 shillings to the pound (240 old pennies to £1) there were now 100 New Pence to the pound.

The 5p and 10p coins were first introduced in April 1968 and were the same size, composition and value as the shillings and florins circulating alongside them.

In October 1969 the 50p coin was introduced and the old ten-shilling note was withdrawn.

This reduced the number of new coins that had to be introduced on the day and meant that the public was already familiar with three of the six new coins.

The Royal Mint devised a cunning method to prevent people hoarding the last of the old money. All old denomination coins minted between 1967 and 1970 were actually dated 1967.

After Britain had made the move to decimal currency, several Commonwealth countries followed suit.