Author Topic: Investigating which coins in my collection are legal tender  (Read 8928 times)

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Offline UK Decimal +

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Investigating which coins in my collection are legal tender
« on: March 15, 2011, 10:53:19 PM »
Put in general terms, I will select coins from my collection and try to establish whether they legal lender in the UK, and if not, try to give the reason why.   There will be a good variety, as my British collection spans the years AD 322 to 2011. 

The idea for this came from a member in €uroland, who commented that he didn’t realise that a certain circulation coin dating from 1821 was still legal tender.

My aim is to find out as much as possible about a coin and present you with the facts.   I will try to find out when the coin was made legal tender, how long the type was in circulation, quality of metal specified, and similar information.    At the end of each section, I should be able to answer the question: “Is this coin legal tender today and if not, why not?”.

In the UK, coin policy is by Act of Parliament (such as the great recoinage from 1816 and the change to decimal currency).   Individual coins are authorised by Royal Proclamation which gives the specification for the coins and declares them legal tender, this being made public by an entry in the London Gazette.   So far, I have been unable to establish how quantities to be struck for circulation are declared.   Examples:- Decimalisation and 2011 50p WWF 50-years.   Some of the specifications include wording like “and the date of the year” which permits further production until there is another Royal Proclamation revoking the previous one.   If the Proclamation is for a coin in (for example) platinum, it does not necessarily mean that this will be made available to the public, as there is always the possibility that it is just to cover the striking of maybe just one or two examples for presentation purposes; in cases like this, you will have to consult the Royal Mint website.

Regarding the term “legal tender”, please just accept that I have to use this wording.   If you are uncertain about the meaning in the UK, please start a separate topic about it.   Likewise, this series is not about whether a shop would accept an “unusual” coin which is legal tender, to which my reply will always be the well-known quasi-legal phrase “ignorance is no excuse”.   Also, this is not about the coins as collectors’ items; what the coin cost me will often bear no relation to its legal tender value today!

I will either pick a coin at random, or select one to follow logically the previous one covered.   If you have any questions about the information that I give just ask, but patience may be needed as hunting for sometimes obsolete information is not easy.   An occasional “I didn’t know that” shows that my time is not being wasted.

So, lots of variety, plenty of facts, let’s see how it goes.

Bill.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2011, 04:13:54 PM by UK Decimal + »
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1844 1d
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 10:55:51 PM »
Here is an ordinary penny dating from 1844 (making it 100-years older than me).

After much searching, I have been able to fill in a table of details about it.

   Denomination      1d      1 pre-decimal penny   
   Year      1844         
   Ruler      Queen Victoria      1837-1901   
   Made legal tender      5th July 1838      Royal Proclamation   
   This design used      1841 - 1859      Variations exist   
   Metal      Copper      Cu   
   Fineness      (Uncertain)         
   Weight      Mine is 17.66 g      (KM: 8.3 g)   
   Diameter      34 mm         
   Edge      Plain         
   Edge inscription      (None)         
   Obverse designer      William Wyon      W.W. on truncation   
   Reverse designer      <HELP PLEASE>      See below   
   Mintage      215,040         
   KM GB      # 739         
   KM value      FINE $10, VF $18, to UNC $325         
   Cost me      £6.55         
   Current status      Demonetised 31 Dec 1869      Royal Proclamation   
                              
The wording of the specification, as given in the Proclamation, makes interesting reading: We have also thought fit or order, that certain pieces of copper money should be coined, which should be called pennies, and that every such copper penny should have for the obverse impression the aforesaid effigy, with the inscription " Victoria Dei Gratia," and the date of the year; and for the reverse, a figure of Britannia holding the trident with one hand, and having the other hand placed upon a shield impressed with the union cross, with the inscription "Britanniar Reg. Fid. Def.," and below the figure, the united Rose, Shamrock and Thistle, with a plain edge as used for His late Majesty's coin.

Likewise, the Proclamation demonetising it: We do therefore, by this Our Royal Proclamation, and with the advice of Our Privy Council, think proper to declare and command, and We do declare and command that no Copper Monies whatsoever (other than and except such Bronze Monies as are now current by virtue of Our Proclamation, bearing date the seventeenth day of December, one thousand eight hundred and sixty, or any Proclamation dated subsequently to the said seventeenth day of December, one thousand eight hundred and sixty,) shall be allowed to pass or be current in any payment whatsoever within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland after the thirty-first day of December, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-nine.

So, this coin, as with other coins of the era struck in copper, is no longer legal tender.   From the wording, it makes me wonder about the possible legality of (for example) me wanting to buy something from you personally and saying that you can have my coin (which you might want for your collection) for it!   We shall, however, meet with copper again when we come to copper-plated steel.

Looking closely, there might be initials, not apparent on the scan, under Britannia’s foot.   Does anyone know who designed the reverse?
 
Bill.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2011, 10:14:28 PM by UK Decimal + »
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2004 £5 "Entente Cordiale 100-years"
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 11:01:33 PM »
A newer coin this time.   The 2004 £5 commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Entente Cordiale between Great Britain and France.

My table of information:
   Denomination      £5      Obverse, below truncaation   
   Year      2004 (on obverse)      (1904 and 2004 on reverse)   
   Ruler      Queen Elizabeth II      1952-date   
   Made legal tender      12 Feb 2004      Royal Proclamation   
   This design used      2004 only         
   Metal      Cupro-Nickel         
   Fineness      Cu 75%, Ni 25%         
   Weight      28.2759 g         
   Diameter      38.608 mm         
   Edge      Grained         
   Edge inscription      (None)         
   Obverse designer      Ian Rank-Broadley      IRB on truncation   
   Reverse designer      David Gentleman         
   Mintage      1,205,594         
   KM GB      #1055         
   KM value      UNC $15, BU $17.50      Proof $20   
   Cost me      £5      (from local Post Office)   
   Current status      Legal tender for £5         
   

As you might expect, being a recent coin it is legal tender for its face value of £5.                                                      

The specification for this coin is quite clear and easy to read and the details for the cupro-nickel (circulation) version reads, in full:

CUPRO-NICKEL COIN

5. (1) A new coin of cupro-nickel of the denomination of five pounds shall be made, being a coin of a standard weight of 28.2759 grammes, and a standard diameter of 38.608 millimetres, and a standard composition of seventy-five per centum copper and twenty-five per centum nickel, and being circular in shape.
(2) In the making of the said cupro-nickel coin a remedy (that is, a variation from the said standard weight and composition specified above) shall be allowed of an amount not exceeding the following, that is to say:
(a) a variation from the said standard weight of an amount per coin (measured as the average of a sample of not more than one kilogramme of the coin) of 0.1296 grammes; and
(b) a variation from the said standard composition of two per centum.
(3) In the making of the said cupro-nickel coin a variation from the said standard diameter of not more than 0.125 millimetres per coin shall be allowed.
(4) The said cupro-nickel coin may contain impurities of 0.75 of one per centum.
(5) The said cupro-nickel coin shall be legal tender for payment of any amount in any part of Our United Kingdom.

DESIGN OF THE COINS

6. The design of the said coins shall be as follows:
“For the obverse impression Our effigy with the circumscription ‘ELIZABETH.II D.G.REG.F.D’ and the denomination ‘FIVE POUNDS’ and for the reverse the combined figures of Britannia and Marianne, with the words ‘ENTENTE CORDIALE’ and the dates ‘1904’ and ‘2004’. The coins shall have a graining upon the edge.”
7. This Proclamation shall come into force on the twelfth day of February Two thousand and four.
Given at Our Court at Buckingham Palace, this eleventh day of February in the year of our Lord Two thousand and four and in the fifty-third year of Our Reign.

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN


I’ve shown this in full to give an example of the modern wording.   Usually, I will not show it in such detail but you can of course see the full notice (which in this case includes off-metal and Piedfort variations) by selecting the link that I’ve included in the table of information.

Bill.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2011, 08:39:35 PM by UK Decimal + »
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Re: 1844 1d
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 11:30:56 PM »
Can't see any initials. My own interest in designers only extends to modern thematic and portrait designers, i.e. 1920s onward. I do have a searchable pdf of designers (by Charles Hosch) that goes further back, though, in alphabetical order, which I can email you if you want.

There could be initials under Britannia's foot, although nothing's visible on the scan.   Possibly BP although I can't be certain.

WW and BP on the same coin?   Not impossible, although I'm sure that those two gentlemen wouldn't have agreed!


Bill.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2011, 04:35:10 PM by UK Decimal + »
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Re: Can I spend this coin?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2011, 06:32:50 PM »
Well, you certainly can't spend pre-decimal pennies in modern Britain, ...

Aha!   Wrong!

The next coin posted will be a 1901 1d that is legal tender.

That is the whole point of this series, to clarify which coins are/aren't legal tender.

Watch this space ...

Bill.
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1901 1d (Silver, Maundy Money)
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2011, 08:53:08 PM »

It took a bit of time to prepare the information about this one.   However, here goes:-

   Denomination      1d      1 (pre-decimal) penny   
   Year      1901         
   Ruler      Queen Victoria      1837-1901   
   Made legal tender      14 Feb 1893      http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/26372/pages/820   
   This design used      1893-1901         
   Metal      Silver         
   Fineness      ∙925      Ag 92.5%   
   Weight      0.47126 g         
   Diameter      11 mm         
   Edge      Plain         
   Edge inscription      (None)         
   Obverse designer      Thomas Brock      "Old" or "Mature" head   
   Reverse designer      Jean Baptiste Merlen         
   Mintage      (Uncertain)      8976 sets   
   KM GB      # 775         
   KM value      UNC $20, BU $30         
   Cost me      £7.35         
   Value redefined      15 Feb 1971      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1969/19/pdfs/ukpga_19690019_en.pdf   
   Current status      Legal tender for 1p      1 (decimal) penny   
                              

Surprisingly, some pre-decimal coins are still legal tender.

In accordance with the Decimal Currency Act 1969, the appropriate clause of which reads:
”1_(6) For the purposes of this section silver coins of the Queen's Maundy money made in accordance with section 3 of the Coinage Act 1870 shall be treated as made in accordance with section 2 of the Decimal Currency Act 1967 and, if issued before the appointed day, shall be treated as denominated in the same number of new pence as the number of pence in which they were denominated.”
which has not been repealed (although it might have been mentioned in subsequent Acts), not only is the “Queen’s Maundy money” still valid, but if it was issued pre-decimalisation the value was increased by a factor of 2.4 with pre-decimal pence becoming decimal pence.

In fact, all Maundy money dating from the recoinage of 1816, for which the first new Maundy coins were struck in 1822 and continuing to the present day, is legal tender at the number of present (decimal) pence indicated on the coin.

Further information is available from the Maundy money website and the Royal Mint website.

So, some pre-decimal coins are still legal tender.   Maundy money is one type but there are others, some being ordinary circulation coins in their day.

My coin is legal tender for 1p.

More interesting facts to follow … …

Bill.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2011, 03:09:49 PM by UK Decimal + »
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Offline andyg

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Re: 1844 1d
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2011, 10:23:53 PM »

WW and BP on the same coin? 

Pistrucci certainly designed the 1822 Britannia, but the 1826 redesign was Wyon's.  Both are uninitialled.
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

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Re: Investigating which coins in my collection are legal tender
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2011, 04:32:38 PM »
I've had a bit of a re-think about this series and have also been able to add more detailed information about the history of the coins, as a result of using different search perameters.

The coins covered so far are the same, but the wording has been changed where necessary and the data expanded.   By agreement, some replies have been removed where they do not affect the story.   If the replies as given now do not completely correspond with what you might expect, that is the reason.   I trust that it will still make sense.

I will be adding more coins as I research them.   I already know which ones are legal tender but it is interesting to find documented proof of this, although details for each coin can take several hours of preparation before it is ready to be posted here.

Having sorted that out, now I will have to start work on some more.   There are plenty to follow.

Bill.
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2009 50p London 2012 Olympics - Athletics (Blue Peter)
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2011, 05:47:35 AM »

Coins like this dated 2011 are circulating, but the 2009 version was only available in packs from the Royal Mint.   They have advised me that the official grade of production is “Uncirculated”.   As most members are aware of this coin, I’ll let the facts speak for themselves.

   Denomination      50p      50 (decimal) pence   
   Year      2009         
   Ruler      Queen Elizabeth II      1952 - date   
   Made legal tender      15 Oct 2009      Royal Proclamation   
   This design used      2009 and 2011      Year 2011 circulated   
   Metal      Cupro-Nickel         
   Fineness      Cu 75%   Ni 25%         
   Weight      8.0 g         
   Diameter      27.3 mm         
   Edge      Plain      (Equilateral curve heptagon)   
   Edge inscription      n/a         
   Obverse designer      Ian Rank-Broadley         
   Reverse designer      Florence Jackson      (At age 9)   
   Mintage      (2009 issue not circulated)         
   KM GB      #1150         
   KM value      UNC $2.50,   BU $3.50      (Proof $7.50)   
   Cost me      £1.79      (From Royal Mint)   
   Current status      Legal tender      £0.50   

This coin, although issued as a commemorative and not as general circulation, is legal tender for 50p (£0.50).   All British coins currently issued by the Royal Mint are by Royal Proclamation which gives them legal status.

Bill.
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Offline tonyclayton

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Re: 1844 1d
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2011, 10:45:21 PM »
Here is an ordinary penny dating from 1844 (making it 100-years older than me).

{snip}

Looking closely, there might be initials, not apparent on the scan, under Britannia’s foot.   Does anyone know who designed the reverse?
 
Bill.


I can assure you that there are no initials under Britannia's foot on either of my two uncirculated examples.

Both sides of the coin were designed by William Wyon.

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1971: Double-florin declared legal tender as TWENTY PENCE
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2011, 08:32:34 PM »
Whereas under section 11 of the Coinage Act 1870,
as extended by section 15 (5) of the Decimal Currency
Act 1969, We have power, with the advice of Our
Privy Council, by Proclamation to direct that cupronickel
or silver coin's of the old currency issued by
Our Mint before the fifteenth day of February One
thousand nine hundred and seventy-one shall be
treated as coins of the new currency and as being of
such denomination of that currency as may be specified
in the Proclamation:

We, therefore, in pursuance of section 11 of the
Coinage Act 1870, as extended by section 15 (5) of
the Decimal Currency Act 1969, and of all other
powers enabling Us in that behalf, do hereby, by and
with the advice of Our Privy Council, proclaim, direct
and ordain as follows: —

Cupro-nickel or silver coins issued by Our Mint
before the fifteenth day of February One thousand nine
hundred and seventy-one in accordance with the
Coinage Acts 1870 to 1946, being coins of the
denominations of the crown, the double-florin, the
florin, the shilling, and the sixpence, shall, after the
coming into force of this Proclamation, be treated
as coins of the new currency made by Our Mint
in accordance with section 2 of the Decimal Currency
Act 1967 and as being of the denominations respectively
of twenty-five, twenty, ten, five, and two and a
half new pence.

This Proclamation shall come into force on the
thirtieth day of August One thousand nine hundred
and seventy-one.

Given at Our Court at Buckingham Palace, this
twenty-eighth day of July in the year of our Lord
One thousand nine hundred and seventy-one and in
the twentieth year of Our Reign.

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN


http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/45436/pages/8217

The question is, is it still legal tender? After all, the shilling and florin were demonetised in the first half of the 1990s.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 10:58:47 PM by coffeetime »

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Re: 1971: Double-florin declared legal tender as TWENTY PENCE
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2011, 09:01:24 PM »
I assume specific proclamations were issued demonetising the shilling and florin along with the large 5p and 10p.  Since the 20p hasn't been demonetised there would have been no call for anyone to even think of the 4/- (apart from the likes of us).  Any chance that it could have been included in the proclamation demonetising the 6d?  Otherwise there would have to have been a special proclamation for the 4/- alone.

We have an odd situation in NZ where all of the circulating "large coins" from 1 to 50c issued from 1967 to 2006 have been demonetised, but no-one thought to include the "large dollar", the cu-ni crown-sized issued introduced in 1967, so they're still legal tender.  I also don't know if our own 6d, 1/- and 2/- were included in the 2006 regulation - must check.

Anyway, what's with the "coin's of the odd currency" in the text above? :-)


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Re: 1971: Double-florin declared legal tender as TWENTY PENCE
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2011, 11:45:44 PM »

As a few members here are aware, I've had a reply from the Royal Mint which includes the question of the double-florin.

Please be patient, this will be covered in the series Investigating which coins in my collection are legal tender, that being the whole point of the series.   I'll deal with the double-florin as the next entry there.

Bill.
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Offline FosseWay

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Re: 1971: Double-florin declared legal tender as TWENTY PENCE
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2011, 11:57:44 PM »
Decimal Day was 15 February 1971. This proclamation came into force on 30 August 1971. What was the status of these coins between those dates?

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Re: 1971: Double-florin declared legal tender as TWENTY PENCE
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2011, 12:16:16 AM »
Was there a changeover period after decimalisation day ? Of about 6 months ? For example when did shops stop accepting the half-crown.

Also of relevance to the status of the double-florin......   Could the 20 Pence coin related proclamations from the early 1980's have any on bearing on the status of earlier coins ?

Thanks Mr Paul Baker