The coinage that has been made by the Royal Mint for the people of Britain has been remarkably consistent over the last 1,000 years. Though few of the denominations used throughout history survived decimalisation, and those that did had their value altered, each of these coins is an important strand in the rich fabric of the British coinage. The designs of coins can illustrate how a nation chooses to represent itself, what it values and celebrates, and the denomination and re-denomination of a nation’s coinage links together its history, society, and economic values.
Find out more about the historical denominations of the English and British coinages at the links below.
The modern gold sovereign first made its appearance in the summer of 1817.
It was not until the reign of Henry VIII that a gold coin known as a crown was introduced.
Like the crown, the half-crown was introduced as a gold coin during the reign of Henry VIII.
Like the sixpence, the threepenny piece first appeared as a silver coin in 1551.
Halfpennies and farthings become a regular feature of the currency in the 13th century.
Fractional farthings were struck in the 19th century but did not remain in circulation for long.
The Royal Maundy is an ancient ceremony which takes place on the day before Good Friday.