Today’s website post is a little different as it does not relate to either World War One or World War Two but it is an item we have in the Museum store that we found interesting. The item in question is a Britain’s First Decimal Coins set which explains the changeover to decimal currency and what date it will be happening, it also includes five of the new coins which were being introduced.
The five coins which it includes are the Half penny, one pence, two pence, 5 pence and the ten pence. The day the United Kingdom changed to decimal currency was called Decimal Day and was on Monday 15th February 1971 and was nicknamed D-Day. These coins include designs which were made by Christopher Ironside who won the competition to have his designs on the new decimal coins.
Inside the booklet includes a list of information about how and when the new coins will be introduced into circulation and what the new system means with 100 pennies making up the new pound. Although the new coins were released from 1968 onwards the planning of the decimal coins started in 1961 when a special committee was set up by the Government to think about whether Britain should introduce a decimal currency. The committee decided in favour of decimalisation. So, on 1 March 1966 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, James Callaghan, announced that pounds, shilling and pence would be replaced by a decimal currency, with a hundred units in a pound.