British Money

I am fascinated by British currency pre-decimalisation. "Decimal Day" was on February 15th, 1971.

The denominations of guinea, pound, crown, florin, shilling, tanner, groat, pence, and farthing. In addition there were coins of various quantities and fractions of quantities thereof. I'm sure to those having grown up there these seem natural and intuitive. In my case however they are anything but.

I have to make a chart with the denominations (multipliers thereof) of the various named quantities clearly stated. If the 'penny' was considered the base unit the chart would look like this:


This program lets you enter in a money amount using these terms. It will then show several ways to break this down into commonly stated quantities.

For example, how does one break down

1-1/2 pound, 3-1/3 tanner, and 10 groat?

That can be stated as: £1 15s 0d (1 pound, 15 shilling) or

35 shilling or

7 crown.

Simple, right? I thought so.

Even with the above table and program I still remain confused.

There were also coins having other values.

1/4 Florin ("Helm") (in the year 1344)

Quarter Guinea (in the years 1718, 1762)

Quarter Nobel (equivalent to 20 pence, or 1 shilling and 8 pence) around the year 1352)

Quarter Ryal (equivalent to 30 pence, or 2 shillings and 6 pence) in the 15th century.

Mark (2/3 of a pound, or 13 shillings and 4 pence) - "Although never minted as a coin, the British used a mark as a unit of account."

DiCamillo British Money Guide including Amazing Historical Facts

List of British banknotes and coins

Revised 6 Oct 2019