Pre-Decimal Coins of the Realm – Part One.

Decline of the British Silver Coinage…


Silver .925…

100_0074In the reign of good Queen Bess it was decided that from 1582, British silver coins would be  composed of .925 fine silver… that means the coin is then made up of . 925 parts silver per 1000 parts of material, with the remaining balance being copper. resulting in a standard silver product renowned worldwide whether it is coins or artefacts as sterling silver, this .925 standard was maintained for coinage until 1919, whilst all coins issued prior to 1582 had various amounts of silver due to the economy of the time…

Silver .500…

100_0072In 1920, two years after the Great War it was decided most British silver coins, like the half-crown, florin, & shilling were debased to .500 fine, that is it contained only 50% silver, with the rest made up with 50% copper. if you are lucky you might still find a .925 sixpence or threepence as these two denominations were struck in both alloys for 1920,  after then all “silver” coins from 1921 to 1946 were minted in .500 fine silver..

1947 Onwards…

100_0073Two years after the Second World War, from 1947 going forward all the silver coins were replaced & made in cupro-nickel, an alloy of copper and nickel, cupro-nickel, is an alloy of copper that contains nickel with iron and manganese to give the alloy added strength… The copper content typically varies from 60 to 90 percent, although the coins have a high copper content the nickel allows the coins to maintain the colour of silver…

Thank you for the follow Meg Baines

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: