List of British banknotes and coins

List of British banknotes and coins, with commonly used terms.





Prior to decimalisation in 1971, there were 12 pence (written as 12d) in a shilling (written as 1s or 1/-) and 20 shillings in a pound, written as £1 (occasionally "L" was used instead of the pound sign, £). There were therefore 240 pence in a pound. For example, 2 pounds 14 shillings and 5 pence could have been written as £2 14s 5d or £2/14/5. The origin of £/L, s, and d were the Latin terms Libra, meaning a pound weight (with the £ sign developing as an elaborate L), solidus (pl. solidi), 20 of which made up one Libra, and denarius (pl. denarii), 240 of which made up one Libra with 12 being equal to one solidus. These terms and divisions of currency were in use from the 7th century.

The value of some coins fluctuated, particularly in the reigns of James I and Charles I. The value of a guinea fluctuated between 20 and 30 shillings before being fixed at 21 shillings in December 1717. These are denominations of British, or earlier English, coins – Scottish coins had different values.

Coin Pre-decimalisation value Post-decimalisation value Dates of use Notes
Mite 1/24d £0.0001736 15th century The Flemish groat approximately matched the English penny c 1420-1480 and was divided into 24 mites. The latter was thus extended to mean 1/24 penny or 1/6 farthing even if not minted in Tudor England.[1][2]
Quarter farthing 1/16d £0.00026 1839–1868. [coins 1]
Third farthing 1/12d £0.0003472 1827–1913. [coins 1]
Half farthing 1/8d £0.00052083 1828–1868. [coins 1]
Farthing 1/4d £0.00104167 c. 1200–1960. The word "farthing" means "fourth part" (of a penny).
Halfpenny 1/2d £0.0021 1272–1969. Often called a "ha'penny" (pronounced /ˈhpni/ HAYP-nee), plural halfpennies ("ha'pennies") for the coins, halfpence ("ha'pence") for the monetary amount.
Three farthings 3/4d £0.0031 1561–1582.
One penny 1d £0.0042 757–1970 (and thereafter only for Maundy). Commonly called a "copper"; plural "pennies" for the coins, "pence" for the monetary amount
Three halfpence 1+1/2d £0.0063 1561–1582, 1834–1870. Pronounced as "three-ha'pence".[coins 1]
Half groat 2d £0.0083 1351–1662.
Twopence 2d £0.0083 silver 1668–current (for Maundy); copper 1797–1798. Pronounced "tuppence".
Threepence 3d £0.0125 silver 1547–1945 (and thereafter only for Maundy), nickel-brass 1937–1970. Sometimes called "thripp'nce", "thrupp'nce", "threpp'nce" or "thripp'ny bit", "thrupp'ny bit". Referred to as a "joey" after the groat was no longer in circulation, as featured in George Orwell's Keep the Aspidistra Flying.
Groat 4d £0.0167 silver 1279–1662, 1836–1862 (and thereafter only for Maundy). Referred to as a "joey" after Joseph Hume, the economist and Member of Parliament until it stopped being issued in 1885.[3]
Sixpence 6d £0.025 1547–1970; circulated from 1971 to 1980 with a value of two and a half decimal pence. Also called "tanner", sometimes "tilbury",[4] or "joey" after the groat was no longer in circulation.[citation needed]
Shilling 1/- £0.05 1502–1970, circulated from 1971 to 1990 with a value of five decimal pence. Also called a "bob", in singular or plural.
Quarter florin or helm 1/6 £0.075 1344 Gold coin demonetized within one year. [coins 2]
Gold penny 1/8 to 2/- £0.0833 to £0.1 1257–1265. Gold. Undervalued for its metal content and extremely rare.
Quarter noble 1/8 £0.0833 1344–1470.
Quarter angel 2/- £0.1 1547–1600. Gold.
Florin or two shillings 2/- £0.1 1848–1970, circulated from 1971 to 1993 with a value of ten decimal pence. Not to be confused with the gold medieval florin. [coins 2]
Half crown 2/6 £0.125 1526–1969. Sometimes known as "half a dollar" (see Crown below).
Half florin or leopard 3/- £0.15 1344 Gold; extremely rare. [coins 2]
Half noble 3/4 to 4/2 £0.1667 to £0.2083 minted 1346–1438. increased in value in 1464
Half angel 3/4, later 5/6 £0.1667, later £0.275 1470–1619.
Double florin 4/- £0.2 1887–1890. Silver. [coins 2]
Crown of the rose 4/6 £0.225 1526–1551.
Dollar (British coin) 5/- £0.25 1804–1811, (withdrawn 1818) [5] Silver, overstruck on Spanish 8 Reales coin.
Crown 5/- £0.25 1526–1965. Sometimes known as "a dollar" – from the 1940s when the exchange rate was four USD to the GBP.
Quarter guinea 5/3 £0.2625 1718, 1762.
Florin or double leopard 6/- £0.3 1344. Gold; demonetized within one year. [coins 2]
Noble 6/8, later 8/4 £0.3333, later £0.4167 1344–1464. Increased in value in 1464.
Angel 6/8 £0.3333 1461–1643.
Half mark 6/8 £0.333 [medieval period] A unit of account, not a coin. Convenient as it was exactly one-third of a pound.
Third guinea 7/- £0.35 1797–1813.
Rose noble or ryal 10/-, later 15/- £0.5, later £0.75 1464–1470, 1487, 1553–1603. Increased in value from 1553.
Half sovereign 10/- £0.5 1544–1553; 1603–1604; 1817–1937 A bullion coin since 1980.
Half pound 10/- £0.5 1559–1602; 1642–1644
Double crown 10/- £0.5 1604–1619; 1625–1662.
Half laurel 10/- £0.5 1619–1625.
Half unite 10/- £0.5 1642–1643.
Half guinea 10/6 £0.525 1669–1813.
Mark 13/4 £0.667 [medieval period] A unit of account not a coin, but widely used.
Spur ryal 15/- £0.75 1604–1625.
Sovereign 20/- £1 1489–1604; 1817–1937 A bullion coin since 1957.
Unite 20/- £1 1604–1619; 1649–1662.
Laurel 20/- £1 1619–1644?
Carolus 20/-, later 23/- £1, later £1.15 reign of Charles I.
Broad 20/- £1 1656.
Guinea 21/- £1.05 1663–1799, 1813.
Rose Ryal 30/- £1.50 1604–1625.
Two pounds 40/- £2 1823–1937. Gold; "double sovereign".
Two guineas or double guinea originally 40/-, later 42/- originally £2, later £2.10 1664–1753. Originally known as a "forty-shilling piece"; value changed to forty-two shillings after the Proclamation of 1717 finally settled the value of a guinea.
Fifty shillings 50/- £2.50 1656.
Triple unite 60/- £3 1642–1644.
Five pounds 100/- £5 1826–1990. Gold.
Five guineas originally 100/-, later 105/- originally £5, later £5.25 1668–1753. Originally known and valued as five pounds, but became five guineas when the guinea was standardised at one pound and one shilling in 1717.
Visualisation of some British currency terms before decimalisation


  1. ^ a b c d Denomination issued for use in the colonies, usually in Ceylon, Malta, and the West Indies, but normally counted as part of the British coinage.
  2. ^ a b c d e The medieval florin, half florin, and quarter florin were gold coins intended to circulate in Europe as well as in England and were valued at much more than the Victorian and later florin and double florin. The medieval florins were withdrawn within a year because they contained insufficient gold for their face value and thus were unacceptable to merchants.



Since decimalisation on "Decimal Day", 15 February 1971, the pound has been divided into 100 pence. Originally the term "new pence" was used; the word "new" was dropped from the coinage in 1983. The old shilling equated to five (new) pence, and, for example, £2 10s 6d became £2.52+1/2. The symbol for the (old) penny, "d", was replaced by "p" (or initially sometimes "np", for new pence). Thus 72 pence can be written as £0.72 or 72p; both were commonly read as "seventy-two pee".

Post-decimalisation British coins.
Name Value Notes
Half penny £0.005 1/2p Sometimes written "ha'penny" (pronounced /ˈhpni/ HAYP-nee), but normally called a "half-pee"; demonetised and withdrawn from circulation in December 1984.
One penny £0.01 1p
Two pence £0.02 2p
Five pence £0.05 5p A direct replacement for the shilling. The coin was reduced in size in 1990.
Six pence 6p Minted uniquely in 2016 as a commemorative coin.[6]
Ten pence £0.10 10p A replacement for the florin (two shillings). The coin was reduced in size in 1992.
Twenty pence £0.20 20p Introduced in 1982.
Twenty-five pence £0.25 25p A commemorative coin issued between 1972 and 1981 as a post-decimal continuation of the old crown. From 1990 it was replaced in the commemorative role by the £5 coin.
Fifty pence £0.50 50p Introduced in 1969, just prior to decimalisation, to replace the ten shilling note ("ten bob note"). It was initially sometimes called a "ten bob bit". The coin was reduced in size in 1997.
One pound £1 Introduced in 1983 to replace the one pound note.
Sovereign £1 Gold bullion coins, available in four other sizes too: quarter sovereign (25p), half sovereign1/2), double sovereign (£2) and quintuple sovereign (£5).
Two pounds £2 Issued as a commemorative coin from 1986 and in general circulation from 1998 (dated from 1997).
Britannia various values Gold and silver bullion coins, either one — or multiples, or fractions of — troy ounces.
Five pounds £5 Introduced in 1990 as a commemorative coin, as a continuation of the old crown, replacing the commemorative role of the twenty-five pence coin.
The Valiant various values Bullion / collectors' coins issued in 2018 to 2021; 1 troy ounce of silver, with a value of £2, or 10 troy ounces, valued at £10.[7]
Twenty pounds £20 Introduced in 2013 as a commemorative coin.[8]
Fifty pounds £50 Introduced in 2015 as a commemorative coin.[9]
One hundred pounds £100 Introduced in 2015 as a commemorative coin.[10]


Main articles: Banknotes of the pound sterling and Bank of England note issues.

Note: The description of banknotes given here relates to notes issued by the Bank of England. Three banks in Scotland and four banks in Northern Ireland also issue notes, in some or all of the denominations: £1, £5, £10, £20, £50, £100.

British bank notes:
Pre-decimalisation British Notes:
Name Value Circulation Notes
Five shilling note 5/-(£0.25)  N non-circulating Originally issued by the treasury in 1914-1928. Not replaced by Bank of England notes.
Ten shilling note 10/-(£0.5)  N non-circulating Originally issued by the treasury in 1914. Replaced by Bank of England notes from 1928. Commonly known as "ten bob note" or "half a quid". 1914–1970.
Post-decimalisation British Notes:
Name Value Circulation Notes
£1 note £1  N non-circulating Withdrawn in 1988, it is still issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Ireland and still used in some of the Channel Islands.[citation needed] Commonly known as a "quid".
£5 note £5  Y in circulation The original "large white fiver" five pound note was known as "five jacks" and replaced in 1957 by the blue £5 note. Now also known as a "fiver".
£10 note £10  Y in circulation Also known as a "tenner".
£20 note £20  Y in circulation Also known as a "score".
£50 note £50  Y in circulation Also known as a "bullseye".
£100 note £100  Y in circulation Issued by Scottish and Northern-Irish banks only.
£1,000,000 note £1,000,000  N non-circulating Also known as a "Giant". Used as backing for banknotes issued by Scottish and Northern Irish banks when exceeding the value of their 1845 reserves. The amount to be covered is over a billion pounds.[11] Also issued in 1948 as a temporary measure during the postwar reconstruction in the Marshall Plan.[12]
£10,000,000 note £10,000,000  N non-circulating Used as backing for banknotes issued by Scottish and Northern Irish banks when exceeding the value of their 1845 reserves. The amount to be covered is over a billion pounds.
£100,000,000 note £100,000,000  N non-circulating Also known as a "Titan". Used as backing for banknotes issued by Scottish and Northern Irish banks when exceeding the value of their 1845 reserves. The amount to be covered is over a billion pounds.[11]

Bank of England notes are periodically redesigned and reissued, with the old notes being withdrawn from circulation and destroyed. Each redesign is allocated a "series". Currently the £50 note is "series F" issue whilst the £5, £10 and £20 notes are "series G" issue. Series G is the latest round of redesign, which commenced in September 2016 with the polymer £5 note, September 2017 with the polymer £10 note, and February 2020 with the polymer £20 note.[13]


  1. ^ Money and coinage in late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Pages 26-27: groat 0.8-0.9g in 1420s, penny 0.9g in 1411.
  2. ^ Lara E. Eakins. "Coinage". Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  3. ^ "Slang Terms for Money".
  4. ^ "Money Slang".
  5. ^ "CoinQuest | What is my old coin worth?". Archived from the original on 7 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Our Coins | the Royal Mint".
  7. ^ The Valiant
  8. ^ "£20 Coins". The Royal Mint.
  9. ^ "£50 Coins". The Royal Mint. Archived from the original on 3 December 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  10. ^ "Buckingham Palace 2015 UK £100 Fine Silver Coin". Royal Mint. Archived from the original on 4 October 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2015.
  11. ^ a b "Scottish and Northern Ireland Banknotes - The Role of Backing Assets". Bank of England. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  12. ^ "One in a Million". Time. 5 August 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  13. ^ Archived 20 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine Current banknotes of the Bank of England