50 New Pence
Posted by Ruth on July 27, 1998 at 16:04:29:
In response to New Pence, written by Barbara on July 18, 1998 at 02:00:23
i have a coin that has ElizabethII on the front. around the edge it hasDC
REG Fd1969. on the back it has a lady who appears to be sitting on a lion
with a 3 pronged rod in her and. it says New Pence and a 50 is under the
lady. Can you identify this coin where is it from and what is the value? it is silver Thank you, Barbara ]
In answer to your question about your "50 new pence coin", I am almost certain that it is a UK coin. It isn't really silver (unless it is a special edition of a 50 pence piece), but a silver coloured alloy, probably what Canadian and American quarters are made of. It is called fifty "new" pence, to distinguish it from 50 pence under the non-decimal system, in which there were 240(!) pence in a pound. This system was in place in Britain until sometime in the 1960s (I'm not sure of the exact date). Britain then joined the rest of the world in using decimal coinage. It was not the value of the pound that changed, just the value of the pence. Under the old system, 50 pence would have been about 1/5 of a pound (or 2/10 - that's two shillings and ten pence), whereas now it is half a pound, or about $1.10 Canadian or about 75 cents US - I'm not sure where you're writing from. Shillings were no longer minted after the conversion to decimal, but when I was in the UK briefly in 1987, I still saw a few of them in circulation. When I asked people what to do with them, they suggested that I treat them as though they were worth 5 pence, or 1/20 of a pound, which I suppose is what they always were really, even when they were worth 12 pence in a 240 pence pound. It seems so strange and complicated to a North American!
The lady on the reverse of the coin, dressed in a long robe, helmet, etc. and holding the shield and the three pronged thing (called a trident) is Britannia, a long time symbol of all things British. I believe that she was created in the likeness of Frances Stuart, a mistress of Charles II.
As for the strange letters on the perimeter of the reverse, I have no idea what they are.
I hope that this helps.
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