The Half Crown

1956 Half Crown Reverse
HalfCrown1929O
George V 1929 Half Crown Obverse
image: M J Hughes Coins

The half crown was a British coin which was valued at “2/6” (two shilling and sixpence) – 12½ pence in modern currency. It was literally half the value of the Crown.

Half crowns were first issued around 1549 in gold or silver. It was then issued by the majority of Monarchs (plus Oliver Cromwell) all the way through to Elizabeth II. The last standard mintage was in 1967 and the coin was officially demonetised in 1970,  one year before full decimalisation. A proof half crown was released in 1970.

 

1929 Half Crown Reverse
1929 Half Crown Reverse
image: M J Hughes Coins

The halfcrown was a large coin, from 1816  to it’s final minting having a diameter of 32mm and weight of 14.1g. In pre-decimalised Britain when the Crown was essentially a commemorative coin, the half crown was the largest denomination coin in circulation and had considerable spending power.

Before 1920, half crowns were actual sterling (92.5%) silver. This  was reduced to 50% silver and in 1947 no silver at all was used and cupro-nickel became standard.

1956 Half Crown Reverse
1956 Half Crown Reverse
image: M J Hughes Coins

 

 

Half crowns are beautiful coins to collect and due to their long history they are very popular. As pre-1920 coins are 92.5% silver even worn copies will have the intrinsic price of the metal but they are still very affordable to most people.

 

 


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