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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.
The fifth crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the George IV State Diadem and drop earrings.
·ELIZABETH II·D·G·REG·F·D·50 PENCE·2021
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.