British coins have a long and fascinating history. From their early beginnings, to their modern day counterparts, coins have been a feature of the British way of life for centuries. Let’s take a look at the top 10 facts about British coins. We’ll explore the different types of coins, their uses, and their changing designs throughout the years. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the wonderful world of British coins!
1. The one pence and two pence are the oldest British coins in circulation!
Out of all the UK coins still in circulation (the ones that exist today), they are the oldest.
They were first brought out in 1971 and are still being made today.
However, they had a break from making them for a few years as we had plenty!Embed from Getty Images
2. Isaac Newton used to be the warden at the Royal Mint.
You probably know Isaac Newton as the man who discovered the theory of gravity.
He was a warden at The Royal Mint and was then promoted to ‘Master of the Mint’ in 1699.
During his time there, he made sure the coins were made so well that it was hard to copy them.
He would supervise the new coins that were made.Embed from Getty Images
3. Coins used to have smooth edges but they got changed to ridged!
You can thank Isaac Newton for the ridges on our coins.
They used to have smooth edges!
However, Isaac Newton came up with the new design.
Previously the materials that coins were made out of were very expensive, so people would shave off the sides of the coins to keep.
Then they would spend the rest of the coin!
The ridges made it harder for people to do this.
4. The 50p coin is the world’s first 7 sided coin!
The 50p coin is a very special one!
Did you know that it is the world’s FIRST ever seven sided coin?
It was made like this so that it was easy to spot in your change!Embed from Getty Images
5. There are around 29 billion British coins in circulation.
If you have ever wondered how many coins there are in the whole of the UK… there is a lot!
According to The Royal Mint, there is around 29 billion coins in total.
6. Some coins are magnetic.
Did you know that some of our coins are magnetic… but some aren’t?!
You might find some 1p and 2p coins that are magnetic.
Before 1992 they were made from copper, tin and zinc. However, they were changed to steel with a copper plating.
The steel is what makes them magnetic.
It’s the same with some 5ps and 10ps. They were changed to steel in 2012!Embed from Getty Images
7. The Royal Mint make all of our coins.
Have you ever wondered who makes our coins? It’s The Royal Mint!
They have been around for over 1,100 years. Whilst they make coins, they also make official medals.
Plus, they also make coins for other countries.
The Royal Mint used to be based in the Tower of London. However, it is now in South Wales, near Cardiff!
You can even visit their museum.
Embed from Getty Images
8. Some coins have been discontinued!
There are coins that aren’t circulated anymore.
There used to be a coin called a shilling which was worth one twentieth of a pound.
It was phased out in 1971.
Other coins that aren’t around anymore include the halfpenny and threepenny!
Do you have any of these rare coins?
9. You can create a shield with the British coins.
If you collect certain 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p and 50p coins and place them in the correct place, they make a shield!
Why don’t you try it for yourself?Embed from Getty Images
10. There are sometimes fake coins circulated.
There are sometimes fake coins circulated so we have to be very careful.
Making fake coins is very illegal and will get you in trouble with the law.
The Royal Mint are often making changes to coins to combat the issue.
In 2017 the one pound coin was changed. It has 12 sides and lots of other features to make it harder to copy.Embed from Getty Images
Don’t forget bank notes! Find out more about modern bank notes here.
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