Unfolding The Sixpence British Coins

Published: 20th March 2012
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Are you knowledgeable about the tanner or the half shilling? Probably you have heard the famous phrase, "Something old, something new, something borrowed. Something blue and a silver sixpence in her shoe". It was an old wedding custom for a bride to own something blue, new, old and borrowed and a coin under the shoe. Most often than not, brides would place a sixpence coin. They say that following such tradition will deliver luck to the marriage. The sixpence coin mentioned in the phrase is also known as the tanner or the half shilling. Previously it was the British pre-decimal coin. It has a value of 1/40th of a pound sterling or six (pre-1971) pence. To understand this old English money better, allow us to discuss its history, specifications as well as other interesting facts about this coin.

History:
The sixpence was the denomination of the old pre-decimal British legal tender system. It circulated around the time of Edward VI. The original design features the image of the king with a rose at the left side. The denomination VI is then located at the right side. The 2nd version of the coin released took place in 1554. That is throughout the reign of Philip and Mary. The versions of the date below the busts are quite rare because most coins have dates appearing above the bust. A typical versions of the sixpence were released during the reign of Elizabeth I. Aside from Britain, the Sixpence coin was used by several other Commonwealth states. The circulation of the said coin continued until it was rendered obsolete by decimalisation in 1971. Similar to the shilling and the florin, the last issuance of the sixpence was in 1967. In 1970 a particular version was struck for inclusion in the farewell proof. Although the sixpence coins were demonetized upon decimalisation in 1971, it remained legal tender June 30 1980 due to problems in coin operated machines.

Specifications
A sixpence measures inch across or 19.3 mm. It is a little larger than the U.S. dime. Ten sixpences weighed an ounce. Moreover, coins minted prior the year 1920 are 92.5% silver (Sterling Silver).In addition those minted from 1920-1946 contain 50% silver. Then again, Sixpence coins manufactured by the year 1947 until 1967 do not contain any silver metal. According to expert coin collectors the Sixpence coin can be worth just about anything from a bullion value to a thousand pounds. Its value depends primarily on the year, condition and method of minting.Interesting

Information about The Sixpence British Coins
As the quantity of of the coins gradually vanished, sixpences are placed into Christmas puddings. Kids would enjoy finding sixpences onto their Christmas pudding. It is utilized by parents and guardians to encourage children to eat their puddings. Certainly, it is amusing to find a surprise included in the dessert. Thus, they would want to eat more. Moreover, the coin serves as lucky charm not merely for brides but also for the Royal Air Force Aircrew. The Royal Aircrew would get their wings or brevets sewn with the coin's design. This was a practice dating back to the Second World War.

Sixpence British coins are very interesting pieces. Some of the sixpences cost around 34.00 to 350.00, depending on the date of issuance, condition and rarity. In case you want to invest in the sixpence coins, you can purchase it online. There are lots of companies selling the coins to passionate coin collectors and investors. Look into the different deals and you may even get good discounts whenever you buy in bulk. Simply be very careful and invest in reputable companies only.

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