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Early Periods

Silver coins have a long history in the UK, dating back to ancient times. Various kingdoms and rulers minted silver coins for trade and currency purposes.

Norman Conquest to Tudor Era

Following the Norman Conquest in 1066, silver pennies took on the role of the primary currency. Over the centuries that followed, rulers introduced silver coins of various denominations, with notable developments occurring during the Tudor era.

Introduction of the Shilling

During the reign of Henry VII in the 16th century, authorities introduced the shilling as a silver coin, marking the commencement of a shift towards a decimalized currency system.

Stuart and Hanoverian Periods

During the Stuart and Hanoverian periods, silver coins underwent changes in design and denominations. The introduction of milled coinage in the late 17th century improved the accuracy and consistency of coin production.

Great Recoinage of 1816

The Great Recoinage of 1816 brought significant changes in the early 19th century. Authorities introduced new silver coins with updated designs, including the crown, florin, shilling, and sixpence.

Victorian Era

Under Queen Victoria, the UK saw a proliferation of silver coins, reflecting the vast British Empire’s economic influence. Subsequently, the florin, introduced in 1849, became a popular silver coin.

20th Century Changes

In the 20th century, silver coins continued to be an integral part of the UK’s currency. However, notable changes included the introduction of the silver threepence and the transition to a decimalized currency system in 1971.


Decimalisation marked a significant shift, with the introduction of the 5p and 10p coins in 1968, both initially containing significant silver content. However, subsequent changes reduced the silver content in circulating coins.

Modern Era

In recent decades, the UK’s circulating coins no longer contain significant amounts of silver. Commemorative silver coins, however, are issued for special occasions and remain popular among collectors and investors.

Collectability and Investment

Silver coins from various historical periods are highly sought after by collectors and investors, not only for their numismatic value but also for their historical significance and often intricate designs.

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