Half crown (British coin)

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Half one crown
United Kingdom
Value  18 pound sterling
Mass (1816-1970) 14.14 g
Diameter (1816-1970) 32.31 mm
Edge Milled
Composition (1816-1919) 92.5% Ag
(1920-1946) 50% Ag
(1947-1970) Cupronickel
Years of minting 1707-1970
Obverse
British half crown 1967 obverse.png
Design Profile of the monarch (Elizabeth II design shown)
Designer Mary Gillick
Design date 1953
Reverse
British half crown 1967 reverse.png
Design Various (crowned Royal Shield shown)
Designer Edgar Fuller and Cecil Thomas
Design date 1953
Half crown coin of Oliver Cromwell, 1658

The half crown was a denomination of British money worth half of a crown, equivalent to two and a half shillings (30 pennies), or one-eighth of a pound. The half crown was first issued in 1549, in the reign of Edward VI. No half crowns were issued in the reign of Mary, but from the reign of Elizabeth I half crowns were issued in every reign except Edward VIII, until the coins were discontinued in 1967. The half crown was demonetised (ahead of other pre-decimal coins) on 1 January 1970, the year before the United Kingdom adopted decimal currency on Decimal Day.

During the English Interregnum of 1649-1660, a republican half crown was issued, bearing the arms of the Commonwealth of England, despite monarchist associations of the coin's name. When Oliver Cromwell made himself Lord Protector of England, half crowns were issued bearing his semi-royal portrait.

The half crown did not display its value on the reverse until 1893.

History of the half crown by reign[edit]

This Charles I half crown was struck from a piece of hammered silver plate during one of the Civil War sieges of Newark, Nottinghamshire.

Size and weight[edit]

From George III, 1816, they had a diameter of 32 mm and a weight of 14.1 g, dimensions which remained the same for the half crown until decimalisation in 1971.[1]

Mintages[edit]

The mintage figures below are taken from the annual UK publication COIN YEARBOOK.[2] Proof mintages are indicated in italics.

         
Victoria (Jubilee)      
 1887
1,438,046
1,084
   1890
3,228,111
 1888
1,428,787
   1891
2,284,632
 1889
4,811,954
   1892
1,710,946
         
Victoria (Old Head)      
 1893
1,792,600
1,312
   1898
1,870,055
 1894
1,524,960
   1899
2,865,872
 1895
1,772,662
   1900
4,479,128
 1896
2,148,505
   1901
1,516,570
 1897
1,678,643
     
         
Edward VII        
 1902
1,316,008
15,123
   1907
3,693,930
 1903
274,840
   1908
1,758,889
 1904
709,652
   1909
3,051,592
 1905
166,008
   1910
2,557,685
 1906
 2,886,206
     
         
George V        
 1911
2,914,573
6,007
   1924
5,866,294
 1912
4,700,789
   1925
1,413,461
 1913
4,090,169
   1926
4,473,516
 1914
18,333,003
   1927
 6,837,872
15,000
 1915
 32,433,066
   1928
 18,762,727
 1916
29,530,020
   1929
17,632,636
 1917
 11,172,052
   1930
 809,051
 1918
29,079,592
   1931
11,264,468
 1919
 10,266,737
   1932
 4,793,643
 1920
 17,982,077
   1933
 10,311,494
 1921
23,677,889
   1934
 2,422,399
 1922
16,396,724
   1935
7,022,216
 1923
 26,308,526
   1936
7,039,423
         
George VI        
 1937
 9,106,440
26,402
   1945
 19,849,242
 1938
 6,426,478
   1946
 22,724,873
 1939
 15,478,635
   1947
 21,911,484
 1940
 17,948,439
   1948
 71,164,703
 1941
 15,773,984
   1949
 28,272,512
 1942
 31,220,090
   1950
 28,335,500
17,513
 1943
 15,462,875
   1951
 9,003,520
20,000
 1944
 15,255,165
   1952
 n/m
         
Elizabeth II        
 1953
 4,333,214
40,000
   1961
 25,887,897
 1954
 11,614,953
   1962
 24,013,312
 1955
 23,628,726
   1963
 17,625,200
 1956
 33,934,909
   1964
 5,973,600
 1957
 34,200,563
   1965
 9,778,440
 1958
 15,745,668
   1966
 13,375,200
 1959
 9,028,844
   1967
 33,058,400
 1960
 19,929,191
   1970
 750,000

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • [1] - View coins from the Commonwealth of England period, 1649–1660, including halfcrowns.
  • British Coins - Free information about British coins (from 1656 to 1952). Includes an online forum.
  • Coins of the UK - A full history of the half crown.
  • [2] - Publishers of COIN YEARBOOK (mintage figure source)
  • The History of the Half-crown