- Half crown (British coin)
The half-crown was a denomination of British money worth two
shillings and sixpence, being one-eighth of a pound. The half-crown was first issued in 1549, in the reign of Edward VI. No half-crowns were issued in the reign of Mary, but from the reign of Elizabeth I half-crowns were issued in every reign except Edward VIII, until the coins were discontinued in 1967. The half-crown was demonetised (ahead of other pre-decimal coins) on 1 January 1970, the year before the United Kingdomadopted decimal currency.
English Interregnumof 1649-1660, a republican half-crown was issued, bearing the arms of the Commonwealth of England, despite monarchist associations of the coin's name. When Oliver Cromwellmade himself Lord Protector of England, half-crowns were issued bearing his semi-royal portrait.
The half-crown did not display its value on the reverse until 1893.
In the 1800s, the silver half-crown coin was (very roughly) convertible into an American fifty-cent piece, and was sometimes nicknamed the "half-dollar" in North America.
History of the Half-crown by Reign
Henry VIII of England1526: The first British Half Crown was struck in gold.
Edward VI of England1551: Issued the first Half Crown in silver. The coin was dated and showed the king riding a horse.
Mary of Englandmarried Philip II of Spainand the Half Crown was struck but was never issued for circulation. Three specimens exist.
Elizabeth I of Englandgold Half Crowns were issued again. At the end of the reign silver half crowns were issued.
James I of Englandgold Half Crowns were issued again. During the reign silver half crowns were issued.
Charles I of EnglandSilver Half Crowns were issued, including those struck as OBSIDINAL money, money of necessity during the Civil War period.
Commonwealth of EnglandOliver Cromwell silver Half Crowns were issued. During years 1656 and 1658 Milled Half Crowns were issued of Oliver Cromwell
Charles II of England1663-1685 silver Half Crowns were issued, and this period saw the end of the hammered issue of half crowns.
James II of England1685-1688 silver Half Crown
*William & Mary of England 1689-1694 silver Half Crown
William III of England1694-1702 silver Half Crown
Anne of Great Britain1702-1714 silver Half Crown
George I of Great Britain1714-1727 silver Half Crown
George II of Great Britain1727-1760 silver Half Crown
George III of Great Britain1760-1820 silver Half Crown
George IV of Great Britain1820-1830 silver Half Crown
William IV of the United Kingdom1830-1837 silver Half Crown
Victoria of the United Kingdom1837-1901 silver Half Crown
Edward VII of the United Kingdom1902-1910 silver Half Crown
George V of the United Kingdom1910-1936 silver Half Crown Sterling silver(92½% silver) until 1919, then 50% silver
Edward VIII of the United Kingdom1936 50% silver Half Crown Not issued for circulation.
George VI of the United Kingdom1937-1952 50% silver Half Crowns were issued until 1946 when the metal was changed to cupro-nickel
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom1952 - The last Half Crown was issued in 1970 at the time of decimalisation
Irish half-crown coin
* [http://www.coinsgb.com British Coins] - Free information about British coins. Includes an online forum.
* [http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/halfc.html Coins of the UK] - A full history of the half crown.
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