• 50 Pence 2021, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II, 50th Anniversary of Decimalisation
  • 50 Pence 2021, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II, 50th Anniversary of Decimalisation
Description

Decimal Day in the United Kingdom and in Ireland was the day on which each country decimalised its respective £sd currency of pounds, shillings, and pence.

Taking place on 15 February 1971, before this date in the United Kingdom, the British pound was made up of 20 shillings, each of which was made up of 12 pence, a total of 240 pence. With decimalisation, the pound kept its old value and name, and the only changes were in relation to the subunits. The shilling was abolished, and the pound was subdivided into 100 "new pence" (abbreviated "p"), each of which was worth 2.4 "old pence" (abbreviated "d"). In Ireland, the Irish pound had a similar £sd currency structure and similar decimalisation changes took place.

The Decimal Day 50p coin features the second effigy of Her Majesty The Queen on its obverse. This portrait was created by Arnold Machin RA for decimalisation to mark the transition and help people identify the new coinage. This nostalgic portrait has been struck for this special anniversary and will only appear on the Decimal Day 50p coins that have been struck for the 2021 Annual Sets.

Obverse

Second crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara.

The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara was a wedding present in 1947 from her grandmother, Queen Mary, who received it as a gift from the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland in 1893 on the occasion of her marriage to the Duke of York, later George V. Made by E. Wolfe & Co., it was purchased from Garrard & Co. by a committee organised by Lady Eve Greville. In 1914, Mary adapted the tiara to take 13 diamonds in place of the large oriental pearls surmounting the tiara. At first, Elizabeth wore the tiara without its base and pearls but the base was reattached in 1969. The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara is one of Elizabeth's most recognisable pieces of jewellery due to its widespread use on British banknotes and coinage.

ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FIDEI DEFENSATRIX means Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, Queen and Defender of the Faith.

Engraver: Arnold Machin

D·G·REG·F·D·2021 ELIZABETH II
50 PENCE

Reverse

Design marks the 50-year anniversary with a tribute to the coins that were replaced on Decimal Day. The sweet wren peeks out from under above the crown of a threepence, sitting alongside the rose of the sixpence, next to an iconic Britannia, and all of the coins are the actual size they were 50 years ago.

Engraver: Dominique Evans

SHILLIN
ALF SHI
1971
DECIMAL
DAY
DME
D
I

Edge
Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Silver
Fineness 0.925
Weight 8 g
Diameter 27.3 mm
Thickness -
Shape polygon
Sides 7
Alignment Medal
Mint
Royal Mint

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