A 1963 cupronickel one shilling coin featuring the head of a young Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Elizabeth II is facing right with a Latin inscription that reads: “ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA” which translates as “By the Grace of God, Queen”. On the reverse of the coin within a shield is a lion with latin “FID DEF” which means “Defender of the Faith”

History of the shilling:

The shilling was originally called a Testoon and was first introduced to the United Kingdom in 1502 by Henry VII. In the first instance the coin was minted in silver but when silver became too expensive was reduced to just 50% silver content in 1920. From 1946 it was minted in cupronickel. Shillings also had the nickname “bob”

Prior to decimalisation in 1971 there were:

12 pennies in a shilling
20 shillings to the pound

Pounds, shillings & pence were replaced by new currency on 15th February 1971. The last shillings were minted in 1966 being replaced two years later by the five pence coin (5p). The new 5 pence coin was the same size as the shilling but reduced in size in later years.



Key theme(s):


More information:

Date 1960s
Material(s) MetalCupronickel
Item number MBPO28

Questions to help you remember using this item

  • Do you have any memories of decimalisation in the 1970’s?
  • If a shilling was known as a "bob" were there any other nicknames for coins pre-decimalisation?
  • Do you prefer pounds, shilling & pence to today's money?

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