History of the British penny (1901–1970)
The British penny was a large, pre-decimal coin continuing the series of pennies that began about the year 700. Throughout the period 1901 to 1970, the obverse of the bronze coin depicted the monarch who was reigning at the start of the year. The reverse featured an image of Britannia seated with shield, trident, and helm, originally created by Leonard Charles Wyon.
About History of the British penny (1901–1970) in brief
The British penny was a large, pre-decimal coin continuing the series of pennies that began about the year 700. Throughout the period 1901 to 1970, the obverse of the bronze coin depicted the monarch who was reigning at the start of the year. The reverse featured an image of Britannia seated with shield, trident, and helm, originally created by Leonard Charles Wyon and based on an earlier design for the penny by his father William Wyon. The coins also were used in dominions and British colonies that had not issued their own coins. No pennies were produced for commerce in 1933, as there were a sufficient number in circulation. The last for circulation were dated 1967—a final proof set was dated 1970. The old penny quickly went out of use after Decimal Day, 15 February 1971 – there was no exact decimal equivalent. Most of the 1950 and 1951 pieces were sent to Bermuda, with many retrieved from circulation and repatriated by British coin dealers because of their relative scarcity. The officials who planned decimalisation in the 1960s did not favour keeping the large bronze penny, whose value had been eroded by inflation. The new bronze coins were made current by a proclamation dated 10 December 1901, effective January 1, 1902. The final issues are to the same standard as the final Victorian pennies: 95 percent copper, 4 percent tin and 1⁄3 ounce. They weigh 1.3 ounce and have an average 1 inch diameter.
The head of the coin is 2.3 inches and a diameter of 2.5 inches, like all pennies from 1860 until 1970, they weigh 1 ⁄3 ounces and have a face diameter of 1 inch and a 1 inch. The coin was demonetised on 31 August of that year, with the slogan “use your old pennies in sixpenny lots” explained that pennies and “threepenny bits” were accepted in shops only if the total value was six old pence. The new coins are made by the Royal Mint and are made of bronze, tin and zinc, with an average weight of 1.2 ounces and a head of 2 inches and 2 inches of 1 �3 inches. They are currently in circulation in the UK and the U.S. and Canada, and are available for purchase on the British pound, the Euro, the American dollar, the Australian dollar, and the Canadian dollar. The Royal Mint is based in London, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the United States, and has offices in Paris, Toronto, London, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and New Zealand. The penny was first struck on 22 January 1901, to bear the image of her son and successor, Edward VII. It remained in use until the year of King Edward’s death, 1910. An obverse design by Sir Bertram Mackennal depicting George V went into use in 1911, and remained with some modification until 1936. During the Second World War period of 1941 to 1943, pennies Were struck only for the colonies; these are all dated 1940, the most recent year of production for the UK.