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Wednesday 15 February 2012: One New Penny

On this day in 1971 the UK and the Republic of Ireland changed from their previous antique currency system to a brand new decimal system - that the smart countries had adopted more than a century previously...

To confuse people it was decided to keep the units of penny and pound abandoning the shillings* in the middle. As the new and old pennies had differing values, the new coins were redesigned and carried the words NEW PENNY in case you mistook it for and old penny. After 1981 they decided it wasn't required to say NEW PENNY and they changed the words to ONE PENNY on the coin.

My plan for today was to blip a old 10p coin I had in my box of old coins, but I found this 1p on my way into work and thought that was more interesting. It's a bit worn and bashed - it's been in circulation since 1981 and so I had to give it a wash before blipping it. It's made of 97% copper bronze, unlike modern ones which are copper plated steel. Depending upon the value of copper it could be worth more as metal than as money.

* Though the Shilling and two shilling/Florin coins lived on as 5p and 10p coins until 1980...

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