Published date: August 19, 2020 4:50 pm
Modified date: August 20, 2020 10:00 pm
Locale:Australia · Beauty:Silver · Grade:Circ · Value: £40
The half crown was a denomination of British money, equivalent to two shillings and sixpence, or one-eighth of a pound. The half crown was first issued in 1549, in the reign of Edward VI. No half crowns were issued in the reign of Mary, but from the reign of Elizabeth I half crowns were issued in every reign except Edward VIII, until the coins were discontinued in 1970.
The half crown was demonetised (ahead of other pre-decimal coins) on 1 January 1970, the year before the United Kingdom adopted decimal currency on Decimal Day. During the English Interregnum of 1649–1660, a republican half crown was issued, bearing the arms of the Commonwealth of England, despite monarchist associations of the coin's name. When Oliver Cromwell was made Lord Protector of England, half crowns were issued bearing his semi-royal portrait. The half crown did not display its value on the reverse until 1893.
Because the pound sterling was worth four US dollars in the first half of the twentieth century the half-crown was often referred to, even until it was withdrawn, as "half a dollar".