Half crown (British coin)

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 Kingdom adopted decimal currency.

During the English Interregnum of 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 Cromwell made 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 England 1526: The first British Half Crown was struck in gold.
*Edward VI of England 1551: Issued the first Half Crown in silver. The coin was dated and showed the king riding a horse.
*1554 – Mary of England married Philip II of Spain and the Half Crown was struck but was never issued for circulation. Three specimens exist.
*Elizabeth I of England gold Half Crowns were issued again. At the end of the reign silver half crowns were issued.
*James I of England gold Half Crowns were issued again. During the reign silver half crowns were issued.
*Charles I of England Silver Half Crowns were issued, including those struck as OBSIDINAL money, money of necessity during the Civil War period.
*Commonwealth of England Oliver Cromwell silver Half Crowns were issued. During years 1656 and 1658 Milled Half Crowns were issued of Oliver Cromwell
*Charles II of England 1663-1685 silver Half Crowns were issued, and this period saw the end of the hammered issue of half crowns.
*James II of England 1685-1688 silver Half Crown
*William & Mary of England 1689-1694 silver Half Crown
*William III of England 1694-1702 silver Half Crown
*Anne of Great Britain 1702-1714 silver Half Crown
*George I of Great Britain 1714-1727 silver Half Crown
*George II of Great Britain 1727-1760 silver Half Crown
*George III of Great Britain 1760-1820 silver Half Crown
*George IV of Great Britain 1820-1830 silver Half Crown
*William IV of the United Kingdom 1830-1837 silver Half Crown
*Victoria of the United Kingdom 1837-1901 silver Half Crown
*Edward VII of the United Kingdom 1902-1910 silver Half Crown
*George V of the United Kingdom 1910-1936 silver Half Crown Sterling silver (92½% silver) until 1919, then 50% silver
*Edward VIII of the United Kingdom 1936 50% silver Half Crown Not issued for circulation.
*George VI of the United Kingdom 1937-1952 50% silver Half Crowns were issued until 1946 when the metal was changed to cupro-nickel
*Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom 1952 - The last Half Crown was issued in 1970 at the time of decimalisation



ee also

* Irish half-crown coin

External links

* [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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