"Old money" or pounds, shillings and pence or appropriately for the sixties, LSD (that's Libra, Solidus, Denarius, not lysergic acid diethylamide) was in use for the whole of the fifties and sixties. All this changed on 15 February 1971, when D-Day - Decimal Day, came and Britain switched over to the new decimal currency we know today, where 100 pence made 1 pound.
From then on people asked: "What's that in old money?"
How much is a sixpence in new money?
Answer 2Ѕp or 2 and a half new pence.
The sixpence was allowed to remain in circulation for several years after decimalisation in 1971. It was finally withdrawn in June 1980 and sadly missed ever since!
Other old money conversions
- One shilling (or 'bob') - 5p Half a crown (2 shillings and sixpence) - 12Ѕp One guinea - Ј1.05
Coins and Notes
If you wanted to survive in the fifties and sixties you would have to know about the old money system of pounds, shillings and pence:
four farthings made a penny (1d); twelve pence made a shilling (1s or 1/-) or 'bob' as in 'bob a job'; five shillings made a crown, although there was no such thing except on special occasions, such as to mark the Queen's Coronation in 1953, the death of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965 and for no apparent reason in 1960; you could have spent a half crown - that's 2/6 (two shillings and six pence); 20 shillings made a pound and there were notes for 10 shillings as well.
So there were 240d (that's pence) in Ј1 that's 12 (pence in a shilling) x 20 (shillings in a pound) - easy isn't it? I don't know why they ever changed it! If you needed to add up in pounds, shillings and pence you needed three columns.
Buy old money
If you want to buy a
set of 'old money', the best way is to buy a complete set from a specific year. They can make great birthday present, if you can find a set dating from the year the person was born. They are not as expensive as you might think. A complete set of coins from a specific year from the 50s or 60s should cost no more than £ 25 and often a lot less. Look for:
- Coins sets from the 1960s 1953 to 1959 coin sets 1950 to 1952 coin sets
Banknotes started at 10 shillings (50p) in today's money. The ten shilling or ten bob note disappeared in 1971, being replaced by the fifty pence coin.
Oh, and I haven't mentioned guineas. One guinea was 21 shillings - that's one pound and one shilling. There were no guinea coins, but you might still find bills in guineas from solicitors, accountants and other professionals, and if you went on holiday you might have to settle your hotel bill in guineas. It was a way of sounding posh and also making a bill seem a little bit smaller than it actually was - a bit like Ј9.99 instead of Ј10! 1967 appeared to be the last year in which the old coins were minted. However, the Royal Mint pulled a trick to stop people hoarding the last of the old money. All coins minted in old denominations from 1967 to 1970 were dated 1967.
Starting from 1968 they started to mint 'new money'. In fact they started with coin denominated in 'New Pence' of values 5 and 10. These fitted in well with the old system as they were direct replacements for the one and two shilling pieces. In those days today's pence were 'new pence' and that was what was on the coins. In 1967 you might have had any of the following in change.