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Eldergays Tell Me About Decimal Day

Were you ascared when your pounds and crowns and pences and hay pennies and guineas and farthings and shillings and sovereigns and such became dollars but not called dollars but they were really dollars anyway.

How did the old money work?

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by Anonymousreply 16October 14, 2021 7:20 AM

£1 = 12 shillings = 240 pence. It was all so perfectly simple!

by Anonymousreply 1October 13, 2021 4:09 PM


"I don't hold with the Metric system and all E, C, Channel/Tunnel nonsense."

by Anonymousreply 2October 13, 2021 4:23 PM

I’ll never understand why there was ever a unit of currency (the guinea) that was worth 21 shillings, or £1.05 in today’s money. Seems so random.

by Anonymousreply 3October 13, 2021 4:30 PM

I worked for many years with people who had dementia . “New money”, although a reality for decades, could cause terrible confusion, with people not recognising it, or thinking it couldn’t be legal tender. I remember decimalisation day because I had a new 5 pence piece to go to the sweet shop with. I was five.

by Anonymousreply 4October 13, 2021 4:46 PM

I didn't know that at all r3 so I looked it up! Back in the 1700s a guinea was originally 20 shillings, but it was made out of gold, and when gold prices changed, the value of the coin changed. Eventually they settled on 21 shillings.

There were no guinea coins after 1816 but the term was still used in accounting, I guess they still do when dealing in horses. Weird.

[quote]Bids are still made in guineas for the sale of racehorses at auction, at which the purchaser will pay the guinea-equivalent amount but the seller will receive only that number of pounds. The difference (5p in each guinea) is traditionally the auctioneer's commission (which thus, effectively, amounts to 5% on top of the sales price free from commission). Many major horse races in Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia bear names ending in "Guineas", even though the nominal values of their purses today are much higher than the £1,050 or £2,100 suggested by their names.

by Anonymousreply 5October 13, 2021 4:52 PM

As an Anglophile, I am so thankful they went decimal before my first trip. I would never have been able to figure it out.

by Anonymousreply 6October 13, 2021 4:57 PM

Likewise, r4, in France after they redenominated the franc in 1960 (a new franc being worth 100 old francs). I visited France in 1977 and people were still reckoning in “anciens francs.”

by Anonymousreply 7October 13, 2021 4:59 PM

I sometimes read old British books and they'll show the money as something like 1//10d- and I don't even TRY to figure out what that means.

by Anonymousreply 8October 13, 2021 5:00 PM

The slash/apostrophe means “shillings”, and “d” means “penny” (from the Latin “denarius”). So, “two shillings and sixpence” would be either 2/6 or 2s 6d.

by Anonymousreply 9October 13, 2021 5:03 PM

or half a crown, R9.

by Anonymousreply 10October 13, 2021 6:30 PM

or 12.5p in today’s terms.

by Anonymousreply 11October 13, 2021 6:34 PM

R5 there is a scene in Mapp & Lucia (1985 series) where there is a problem about offering Miss Mapp 2000£ for her house and Georgie resolves the impass by telling Lucia "Make the 2000£ guineas!" Scene at 9 minute mark.

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by Anonymousreply 12October 13, 2021 9:02 PM

The British fill their cars up via kilograms and the cars list mile per gallon.

by Anonymousreply 13October 13, 2021 9:36 PM

And British weather maps display temperatures in °C and wind speeds in mph.

by Anonymousreply 14October 14, 2021 3:10 AM

does the queen have her mug on all the old money too?

by Anonymousreply 15October 14, 2021 6:31 AM


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by Anonymousreply 16October 14, 2021 7:20 AM
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