Talk:Decimal Day

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Dead references[edit]

The BOPCRIS website has been changed in January 2008 and the references from there are dead. I have added title and author information that I have been able to find in Google's cache but couldn't update the links properly because the content isn't on the new BOPCRIS site yet. 79.64.202.189 (talk) 00:39, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Old/New pennies[edit]

Sorry, but being a non-British the following is still not clear to me: what happened with the old pennies (d) on D-day; did they increase in value by a factor of 2.4? Was there a parallel usage of old (d) and new (p) pennies?

Old pennies were withdrawn from circulation altogether. The pound retained the same value as before, but was now split into 100 new pence instead of 240 old pence. So one new penny was worth the same as 2.4 old pence, and the new halfpenny (later withdrawn) was worth 1.2 old pence. As for whether you could still use old pennies for a time after D-day, I believe so but I was not around then. How was the rounding worked out? E.g. could you pay for something costing 8 new pence with, say, a new 5p piece, plus 7 old pennies and a farthing? ( = 7.25 old pence or 3.02 new pence, making a total of just over 8p)
Old coins were not withdrawn on d-day, but stayed in circulation as part of the transitional two-coinage system. One new penny wasn't worth 2.4 old pence since there was never anything priced at 2.4d, either before or after d-day. Farthings had ceased to be legal tender before d-day.

There was an equivalence calculation done, with these numbers;

    (1d   2d)       were worth 1p
    (3d   4d   5d)  were worth 2p     
    (6d   7d)       were worth 3p
    (8d   9d   10d) were worth 4p
    (11d   12d)     were worth 5p 

i.e. the amount of old coins in brackets were worth the value of the new coin given. Britmax 17:58, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

The table above takes no account of the ½p coin, which was part of the system. 6d was not worth 3p but 2½p.

Part of the campaign leading up to D Day encouraged you to "spend your old coppers in sixpenny lots", where 6d was worth 2.5p.

You could not spend farthings. They were demonitized in 1959.--Wehwalt 12:23, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

It was, from the 15th of February until the 31st of August, technically up to the shopkeepers whether to trade in old or new money. However, they had to accept both old and new coins in 6d/2½p quantities. It was common to use a tin or other container under the counter to hold the "wrong" change, and change was always given in whichever was the money used in that shop. Most did change over to decimal almost immediately. A few held off until April, to keep things simple. Very few indeed continued in old money for any length of time, but there was at least one group of businesses in Wednesbury that continued with the old money, finally going decimal on 1 September 1971. Despite this, no cheque dated after 14 February 1971 was acceptable if written in old money.--EmleyMoor 08:13, 26 September 2007 (UTC)


Further to previous answers, I am certain farthings were in fact taken out of circulation in 1961, not 1959 as stated above, or 1960 as stated in the article.

To the person with the original query, no coins were marked up in value (I know it's hardly helpful that the old and new coinage had the same name, penny!). The best way to think of the switch-over is to remember that both shillings and 5ps are twenty to the pound. So shillings circulated as 5ps because they were exactly the same in relation to a pound. Likewise sixpences could circulate as two-and-a-half new pence, because just as they were previously "half a shilling" and a shilling = 5p, after decimalisation they could circulate as "half a 5p". Lower value coins didn't have an exact "equivalent" in new money, so they didn't remain in circulation. Skd08 (talk) 17:49, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the info. Can you find a source to justify your information on the farthings? Might be good to be able to put it in the farthings article.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:54, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
http://www.tclayton.demon.co.uk/farth.html shows farthings going at the end of 1960. It would be logical to think that this meant 31 December that year. That date is not unusual - the shilling went on 31 December 1990.EmleyMoor (talk) 08:37, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

NPOV[edit]

This article is funny, but is it NPOV? David.Monniaux 09:20, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)

"What's that in old money" should be preserved if you update it... that phrase has been very common in my lifetime and I wasn't born until 1978. Pete/Pcb21 (talk) 09:35, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I was thinking of "It was handed out in change and accepted for payment but a shopkeeper would never have enough of them to bag a pound's worth for lodgement in the bank. However, being a small, thin coin, they eventually disappeared down drain holes and between floorboards and were never heard of again." – the part on floorboards and drain holes in probably quite anecdotal. :-)
I trust you about the "what's that in old money". For years, many people in France talked in "old francs" or "centimes". Even this year, I've seen somebody complaining about the price of a road remodeling project by quoting the price in old centimes – probably in an attempt to make it sound bigger than it is to people who have difficulties dealing with large sums of money. David.Monniaux 09:40, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)

It seems relatively NPOV to me (as a Brit born in 1975 who's geeky about these things), albeit that it gives more detail about Irish coinage than British coinage. Decimalisation seems to be quite a quirky thing here. My mother has a jar full of sixpences, for example (old 6d coins), mainly used for putting in Christmas puddings (it's a tradition thing) and similarly kept old shilling and florin coins when they were phased out, more recently. I think a little of the anecdotal-type content is worth keeping. OwenBlacker 21:45, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

The question "What's that in old money?" usually does not relate to money - thirty seven years later, I imagine most people neither know nor care. It is used (by people of a certain age - I'm 46 - and older!) when mentioning a metric (or other "modern") measure and asking what the equivalent was in Imperial (or other "old-fashioned") units. For example, 1m in old money is 40", 37 degrees C in old money is 98.4 degrees F. (Dommar (talk) 22:29, 15 February 2008 (UTC))

Merge?[edit]

It seems a little odd, though, that most of this article isn't a part of the content at Pound Sterling, £sd or Decimalization. The commentary and content about the 1970s changeover from £sd to decimal pounds should probably be rationalised into one article. I can attempt to tackle this at some point if noone objects / can be bothered. OwenBlacker 21:45, Jun 2, 2004 (UTC)

You are right that at the moment something doesn't "sit right" with the organisation of this topic. Although the ground that Pound Sterling covers doesn't really overlap with this, the other two you mention do. British coinage is also very relevant and overlaps. I think decimalization should stay more or less as is because it takes an international perspective, but with some UK/Ireland content scraped out to, say, Decimalization in the UK and Ireland, which would also contain info from here (which would redirect there) and also from British coinage. It seems like a fiddly task to get right, and I for one would be very grateful if you could go ahead and make a fitting job of it. Pcb21| Pete 22:03, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I really do intend to amalgamate all these articles at some point, ok? :o) — OwenBlacker 01:20, Jun 14, 2004 (UTC)
Bit late now, though the refactorisation all seems to work quite well. — OwenBlacker 19:48, Jul 10, 2004 (UTC)

20p image[edit]

A coin of a 20p piece seems odd on an article about decimalisation — the coin didn't exist until over a decade later! I'm gonna comment it out and add 1d and 1p coin images from World Coin Gallery, which grants Wikipedia full permission to use its images — OwenBlacker 19:48, Jul 10, 2004 (UTC)

ducket[edit]

Presumably a miss-spelling of 'ducat', 'gold coin formerly current in most European countries' (OED), but why is it being mentioned here? Awien 12:18, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

high on waffle, low on facts[edit]

Which government thought up the change? - specifically, who was behind it? Why? What was the rationale behind it? Which government implemented it? (Decimal coinage went into circulation in 1968 - this isn't mentioned.) Who were the ministers responsible for it? What factors influenced it? This is a pretty poor article as it doesn't attempt to give any explanation as to why this policy was forced through, but merely covers the implementation. What about public opinion of the policy? Most people were opposed to it; it didn't have a great deal of public support. There were several towns/villages that refused to change for months, in protest; these should be mentioned. Now, I don't know the answers to these questions, but they're pretty important facts. As it stands, this article really doesn't say much of any relevance!

Another important fact: the official name of the currency unit currently in circulation in the UK is new pence - not simply pence, which still legally refers to a 240th of a pound. This seems undermine the 'history of the penny' series somewhat! 62.253.64.13 04:04, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Actually, a quick examination of the change in my pocket reveals that current British coins simply say "Pence", with "TWO PENCE", "TEN PENCE," etc written across the top, and it's only older coins that say "NEW PENNY" or "NEW PENCE" (the latest one I have in my pocket with the "NEW" rather than the value written out is a 1978 penny, but, since the next oldest coin I have is a 1992 10p, I have no idea when the actual changeover occurred). - SoM 18:46, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
See British coin One Penny - "NEW PENNY (1971–1981) or ONE PENNY (1982–present)". -- ALoan (Talk) 10:27, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

Non-decimal simplication?[edit]

I wonder, was there any consideration of a non-decimal simplification of the coinage? For example, it seems to me that a rather logical system would've been simply to eliminate the penny as a unit altogether, leaving only pounds and shillings. The old threepence and sixpence could then be simply redefined as quarter-shilling and half-shilling. Would've allowed most of the old coins to remain in circulation while eliminating those denominations that had become inconveniently small due to inflation (penny, halfpenny, farthing)

Would also have prevented England from succumbing to the decimalisation craze that's swept other currencies :-)

Having studied the subject for the past couple of days, the answer seems to be a definite no! 80.42.46.224 17:47, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It was certainly done at RAF Brize Norton - everything on the base was priced in whole shillings in 1966. This helped the Americans at the base understand the money.--EmleyMoor 08:17, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Also, was there any consideration of replacing pounds and shillings with a new unit of 100 old pence? —Tamfang (talk) 04:09, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Ah, on looking again I see a suggestion of a "Royal" of 100 old halfpence. Curious. —Tamfang (talk) 07:47, 25 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm sure that was one of the alternatives considered by the Royal Commission. However, that would have meant scrapping the pound sterling, which was a major reserve currency. I've never seen the Royal Commission's report, but that would have meant, scrapping every denomination from the threepence on up, including paper money. And you'd still have those oversize pennies. Top down is more convenient for the bankers, rather than bottom up.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:25, 25 December 2007 (UTC)th


Further to the above, I don't believe this would have been practical so I'd be surprised if this was ever considered. "Replacing pounds.... with a unit of 100 old pence" would mean the value of a penny stays the same, but the value of a pound drops to 10/24ths of its old value, because it is now only 100 of something when previously it was 240 of them. You can imagine the chaos this would cause with pricing, exchange rates, and so on. It also suggests that the currency is "defined", if you will, in terms of its "small units" (eg pennies), when currencies usually work in terms of a "big unit" (eg pounds) with the "small units" being determined by their relation to it. Skd08 (talk) 18:03, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Probably you are right. One of the favorite techniques of Royal Commissions and the like is to present alternatives that aren't really practical to steer the decision makers in the direction of the sole practical answer.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:18, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Having done some research on the subject: various different proposals and suggestions were made from the early 19th century on, including "several verging on the incomprehensible" (eg having a subsidiary unit of which 1.4 would equal the pound): major units included one of 100 pennies up to £5 (paraphrasing "by the time decimalisation will occur, it will be a reasonable figure"). Sir Frederick Hoyle in the early 1960s suggested an octal system and there were duodecimal suggestions, with societies promoting it. Jackiespeel (talk) 17:53, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

D-day?[edit]

Was it really called D-day in 1971? Even if so, the expression [[D-day] means the 1944 one only now surely? --JBellis 20:10, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

Ultimately D-Day would usually refer to the Normandy landings, but the obvious alliteration lends the phrase for other uses, and this is one such example in the UK. User:Dainamo
According to the BBC's "On This Day":1971: D Day delivers new UK currency (and 1966: Britain to go decimal in 1971 says "On 15 February 1971, otherwise known as "D Day" for Decimal Day, the United Kingdom adopted a decimal currency."). Even the Royal Mint talks about "Getting ready for D-Day" -- ALoan (Talk) 15:27, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
I was 8 years old at the time. For years afterwards whenever someone mentioned D-Day I thought they were referring to Decimalisation day. MortimerCat 11:13, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

It was called Decimalisation Day, not Decimal Day. The title of the page is incorrect. But it was definitely known as D-Day.(Dommar (talk) 22:35, 15 February 2008 (UTC))

"I think" this may be a military/similar usage - D-Day, M-Month etc - so relevant numbers can be put in when needed. Sometimes jargon terms get co-opted for convenience. Jackiespeel (talk) 17:55, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Pounds, Shillings and Pence[edit]

It may seem odd that Pounds Shillings and Pence were abbreviated as L S D, rather than P S p. In fact, the letters L S D derive from Anglo-Norman French: Livres, Sols et Deniers.

Or, indeed, the Latin libra, solidus and denarius. See £sd. -- ALoan (Talk) 10:40, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Coin images[edit]

Shouldn't there be a scale on the images, to show that the old pence coin was much larger ?

-- Beardo 15:04, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Pee[edit]

Jmcc150 has edited on the understanding that "The government did not call the new coins pee, the public did", but this conflicts with the cited source on Money slang history which says that "Mostly in return we got the 'Pee' (being the official pronunciation of the abbreviation: p for new pence.)" A source is needed for the current statement that The government hoped that in speech the new units would be called "new pence", but the public decided that it was clearer and quicker to call the new coins "pee". - - dave souza, talk 17:21, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Pre-Decimal Computer Programming[edit]

As a British computer geek of mature years, I am old enough to remember some of the issues that arose when performing arithmetic on monetary quantities in pounds, shillings and pence. In fact, I have a vague memory that the version of COBOL implemented on ICL computers in the 1960's had a special PICTURE clause to handle old money. Can anyone else recollect this? --Portnadler 09:40, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

I saw this 6 years later, but better late than never! I must be of slightly less mature years, but while scrabbling around in my employers' computer library in the 80s or 90s I did once come across a manual for the ICL1900 (or possibly even the ICT1900) COBOL which explained how to do maths in old money. I never did read it, as it was a curiosity even then, but I can certainly confirm that it existed! -- Arwel Parry (talk) 00:41, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

tuppence =[edit]

It is stated that the term 'tuppence' is rarely heard today. Not only is it part of phrases such as "I wouldn't give you tuppence for that", which is very common here in South Lincolnshire, but I probably hear the word spoken everyday by my customers (yes, I work in a shop!). I think therefore that it might be appropriate to qualify the statement somewhat. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.68.104.198 (talk) 19:41, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

USD equivalents in decimal conversion table[edit]

USD equivalent as of when? Decimal day? The time of writing, whenever that was? Needs explaining. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.134.30.41 (talk) 20:27, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Irish coin 1p (1980).jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 19:58, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:British coin 1d (1964).jpg[edit]

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Image:British coin 1d (1964).jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 04:59, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Decimal Association[edit]

What became of it? The Decimal Currency Board was wound up in September 1971, ahead of schedule, but there seems to be no indication on what happened to the DA (there is no connection with the Metric Association). Jackiespeel (talk) 17:59, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Hm. After all, the only progress toward decimalization for a long time was the florin and then the short lived double florin (1887-1890). It would be nice to know, but I think we can survive without it. Have you checked Google books?--Wehwalt (talk) 20:32, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

There are a few 'articles quoted': from the British Library catalogue there was also a 'New Decimal Association', and, using various sources the body persisted to some point in the 20th century. Will see what I can find.

The double florin, according to one reference in The Times, was nicknamed 'the barmaids ruin.' Jackiespeel (talk) 16:00, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Doctor Who Reference[edit]

In the first episode of Doctor Who in 1963 the character Susan mentioned that the decimal system hasn't established yet. This was before the announcement.

Science fiction is full of doing things a bit differently from the present as a short hand for saying someone is in or from the future. This is one of the more accurate predictions because it doesn't tie itself down to any particular date (and with creeping inflation it was likely that decimalisation would come at some stage), but the series also predicted a British space programme with manned flights to Mars & a third BBC channel in the near future of the early 1970s, or a King, five pound coins in general circulation and metric road signs in the 1990s; all predictions that didn't come to pass in timespan implied. Timrollpickering (talk) 23:04, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Links[edit]

Can I add a link to my own article [1]? Some of the 19th suggestions #were# rather impractical or incomprehensible. Jackiespeel (talk) 17:11, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for bringing it to attention of talk page, which is the proper procedure that too few follow. I say go for it! Although I have an interest in the subject, the references I have are few and tangential. It looks like a fine article (I skimmed it and look forward to reading it in detail).--Wehwalt (talk) 17:16, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

As I created the article I wanted to mention it here first. There are procedures for viewing the 'large number of files' mentioned on the catalogue of The National Archives if anyone wishes to pursue the matter.

Examples of the suggestions in The Times - having coins at different values to the face value; 'I don't understand it, so it is too difficult', having an intermediate coin at 100 (old) pennies between the pound of 240 pennies and the penny itself (this is the least incomprehensible part of the suggestion) and various suggestions for a duodecimal base. Some of the arguments against metric are equally 'er what?' - but many boil down to 'it is foreign and unnatural.' Jackiespeel (talk) 16:09, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

I think we can only hold a few examples in this article. Feel free to write about it at length in a different article, something like "Proposals for decimal currency in the United Kingdom", say.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:58, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Remaining vestiges of pre-decimal usage[edit]

One vestige of the pre-decimal days in Britain, though not Ireland, is reference to e.g. "the 10p tax rate" rather than "the 10% tax rate". While "6d in the £" was perhaps more meaningful to the man in the Clapham omnibus than "2.5%", I don't think "10p in the pound" is any clearer than "10%". On 28 April 2008, an article in The Economist said "To pay for a cut in the basic rate of income tax in his final budget as chancellor last spring, Mr Brown removed the 10p ($0.20) starting rate"; a currency conversion whose absurdity was pointed out in a letter printed the following week.

I have read that some non-obvious odds used by British and Irish bookmakers reflect round figures in pre-decimal stakes, though I don't have examples. 100/30 returns 100d = 8s4d for a stake of 30d = half-a-crown; but 8s4d doesn't seem very round. jnestorius(talk) 16:09, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

I must admit I have not gone often to the races when in the UK, but that's not something I've heard of and it might be a problem as the half crown is .125 of a pound, which could be a problem to pay out (say on a five pound bet). I think the more common usage is to pay in guineas, which I understand still goes at pricey antique places and for horse sales. I'd love to improve this article at least to GA, but we are desperately short on source material.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:54, 28 January 2011 (UTC)