Two old British coins

Exchange pre-decimal Coins

Exchange pre-decimal coins for cash right now!

We get many requests from people just like you who have old pre-decimal coins that they want to exchange for cash. If you have any pre-decimal coins and would like to exchange  them then we’d be delighetd to help. We exchange pre-decimal coins for charities, private individuals, schools, hospitals and businesses – Try us out today.

Why should I exchange pre-decimal coins with Cash4Coins?
We exchange ALL pre-decimal coins AND notes, regardless of age or condition
We exchange ALL old British and Irish coins and notes
We exchange ALL foreign coins and notes
We offer instant payment and we guarantee the BEST exchange rates
Free and subsidised collection
100% Satisfaction guarantee


If you’d like to send us pre-decimal coins go to our page ‘How to send us coins‘.

Pre-decimal coin information

Prior to decimalisation in 1971, British coinage reflected a monetary system dating back to the middle ages. Because of the large number of these coins in circulation prior to 1971, they are still often found. Some even continued in circulation after decimalisation.

The basic unit of British currency during this period was the shilling. Each shilling was made up of 12 pence. 20 shillings made up a pound; the pound was therefore worth 240 pence. Although pound coins, known as sovereigns, had existed historically, by the end of the pre-decimal period they were very rare; the pound was primarily a banknote. The system of coinage consisted of a large number of coins of lower value.

The smallest pre-decimal coin was the halfpenny, worth, as the name implies, half a penny. An even smaller coin, the farthing, representing 1/4 of a penny, was withdrawn in 1960. Unlike modern pennies, pre-decimal pennies were large, heavy coins, over an inch in diameter at 31mm.

The next low-denomination coin was the threepence. Unlike the other pre-decimal coins, the threepence was not circular. Instead, it was a dodecagon, with twelve sides. The threepence was also distinctive in its material; while the penny and halfpenny were bronze and the higher-denomination coins were cupronickel, the threepenny coin was a nickel-brass alloy.

Next in value came the sixpence, a smaller cupronickel coin 19mm in diameter. At 2.88g, it weighed less than a third the weight of the penny.

The shilling was slightly larger at 24mm in diameter. Unusually for pre-decimal coins, the shilling continued in circulation after decimalisation; it was finally phased out when the new 5p coins were introduced in 1990. After decimalisation it had a value of 5p — 1/20 of a new pound, just as 12p had been 1/20 of a pre-decimal pound.

The next coin in value was a two-shilling coin, also called a florin. Like the shilling, it continued in circulation after decimalisation, finally being phased out in 1993. Until that point, it had a value of 10p, 1/10 of a new pound.

The largest of the pre-decimal coins in common use was the half-crown. Slightly larger than the penny at a diameter of 32mm, this coin was worth two shillings and sixpence, or 1/8 of a pound.

As the name implies, the half-crown was worth half the value of the crown, a coin worth five shillings. However, by the end of the pre-decimal period, the crown was not actually issued. Commemorative crowns were struck on special occasions, but they were not in general circulation. Similarly, although coins worth ten shillings and one pound had existed historically, by this period they were no longer in regular use, with their role being taken by notes.

If you would like to exchange pre-decimal coins for cash then we can help – you can see more information on our page ‘How to send us coins‘. We exchange all foreign, british and Irish and pre-decimal coins. Contact our customer services team for more information on how to exchange pre-decimal coins.

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4 Responses

  1. Roger Usherwood says:

    I have about 200 pre decimal one penny coins and about 100 half penny coins, can you give me some idea what you would pay for them.

  2. gerry says:

    hi, my youth group has a large amount of pre decimal cupro nickel coins (post 1947) aprox 10kgs,how much will you be likely to pay for them? if interested. thanks g

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