Legal tender is a medium of payment recognized by a legal system to be valid for meeting a financial obligation. Paper currency and coins are common forms of legal tender in many countries. Legal tender is variously defined in different jurisdictions. Formally, it is anything. Thus, personal cheques, credit cards, similar non-cash methods of payment are not legal tender; the law does not relieve the debt obligation. Coins and banknotes are defined as legal tender; some jurisdictions may restrict payment made other than by legal tender. For example, such a law might outlaw the use of foreign coins and bank notes or require a license to perform financial transactions in a foreign currency. Designation of a particular form of money as legal tender means "that the designated money is valid payment for all debts unless there is a specific agreement to the contrary". In some jurisdictions legal tender can be refused as payment if no debt exists prior to the time of payment. For example, vending machines and transport staff do not have to accept the largest denomination of banknote.
Shopkeepers may reject large banknotes: this is covered by the legal concept known as invitation to treat. The right, in many jurisdictions, of a trader to refuse to do business with any person, means a purchaser may not insist on making a purchase and so declaring a legal tender in law, as anything other than an offered payment for debts incurred would not be effective. Under U. S. federal law, cash in U. S. dollars is a legal offer of payment for antecedent debts when tendered to a creditor. By contrast, federal statutes do not require that someone, not a pre-existing creditor must accept currency or coins as payment for goods or services. Private businesses may formulate their own policies on whether to accept cash unless state law requires otherwise; the term "legal tender" is from French tendre, meaning to offer. The Latin root is tendere, the sense of tender as an offer is related to the etymology of the English word "extend". Demonetization is the act of stripping a currency unit of its status as legal tender.
It occurs whenever there is a change of national currency: The current form or forms of money is pulled from circulation and retired to be replaced with new notes or coins. Sometimes, a country replaces the old currency with new currency; the opposite of demonetization is remonetization, in which a form of payment is restored as legal tender. Coins and banknotes may cease to be legal tender if new notes of the same currency replace them or if a new currency is introduced replacing the former one. Examples of this are: The United Kingdom, adopting decimal currency in place of pounds and pence in 1971, Banknotes remained unchanged. In 1968 and 1969 decimal coins which had precise equivalent values in the old currency were introduced, while decimal coins with no precise equivalent were introduced on 15 February 1971; the smallest and largest non-decimal circulating coins, the half penny and half crown, were withdrawn in 1969, the other non-decimal coins with no precise equivalent in the new currency were withdrawn in 1971.
Non-decimal coins with precise decimal equivalents remained legal tender either until the coins no longer circulated, or the equivalent decimal coins were reduced in size in the early 1990s. The 6d coin was permitted to remain in large circulation throughout the United Kingdom due to the London Underground committee's large investment in coin-operated ticketing machines that used it. Old coins returned to the Royal Mint through the UK banking system will be redeemed by exchanging them for legal tender currency with no time limits; the successor states of the Soviet Union replacing the Soviet ruble in the 1990s. Currencies used in the Eurozone before being replaced by the euro are not legal tender, but all banknotes are redeemable for euros for a minimum of 10 years. India demonetised its 500 and 1000 rupee notes on 8 November 2016; this action affected 86 percent of all cash in circulation. The demonetisation action was intended to curb black money, the hoarding of unaccounted cash, sponsorship of terrorism, but led to long queues from bank runs, leaving more than 30 people dead.
The old notes are now being replaced by new 2000 rupee notes. The Philippines has ceased 2 peso and 50 centavo coins of Flora and Fauna Series in 2000, due to overminting of the coins of BSP Series that has not included the 2 peso and 50 centavo coins of that series. Individual coins or banknotes can be demonetised and cease to be legal tender, but the Bank of England does redeem all Bank of England banknotes by exchanging them for legal tender currency at its counters in London regardless of how old they are. Banknotes issued by retail banks in the UK are not legal tender, but one of the criteria for legal protection under the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act is that banknotes must be payable on demand, therefore withdrawn notes remain a liability of the issuing bank without any time limits. In the case of the euro, coins an
Copper is a chemical element with symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a soft and ductile metal with high thermal and electrical conductivity. A freshly exposed surface of pure copper has a pinkish-orange color. Copper is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, as a building material, as a constituent of various metal alloys, such as sterling silver used in jewelry, cupronickel used to make marine hardware and coins, constantan used in strain gauges and thermocouples for temperature measurement. Copper is one of the few metals; this led to early human use in several regions, from c. 8000 BC. Thousands of years it was the first metal to be smelted from sulfide ores, c. 5000 BC, the first metal to be cast into a shape in a mold, c. 4000 BC and the first metal to be purposefully alloyed with another metal, tin, to create bronze, c. 3500 BC. In the Roman era, copper was principally mined on Cyprus, the origin of the name of the metal, from aes сyprium corrupted to сuprum, from which the words derived and copper, first used around 1530.
The encountered compounds are copper salts, which impart blue or green colors to such minerals as azurite and turquoise, have been used and as pigments. Copper used in buildings for roofing, oxidizes to form a green verdigris. Copper is sometimes used in decorative art, both in its elemental metal form and in compounds as pigments. Copper compounds are used as bacteriostatic agents and wood preservatives. Copper is essential to all living organisms as a trace dietary mineral because it is a key constituent of the respiratory enzyme complex cytochrome c oxidase. In molluscs and crustaceans, copper is a constituent of the blood pigment hemocyanin, replaced by the iron-complexed hemoglobin in fish and other vertebrates. In humans, copper is found in the liver and bone; the adult body contains between 2.1 mg of copper per kilogram of body weight. Copper and gold are in group 11 of the periodic table; the filled d-shells in these elements contribute little to interatomic interactions, which are dominated by the s-electrons through metallic bonds.
Unlike metals with incomplete d-shells, metallic bonds in copper are lacking a covalent character and are weak. This observation explains the low high ductility of single crystals of copper. At the macroscopic scale, introduction of extended defects to the crystal lattice, such as grain boundaries, hinders flow of the material under applied stress, thereby increasing its hardness. For this reason, copper is supplied in a fine-grained polycrystalline form, which has greater strength than monocrystalline forms; the softness of copper explains its high electrical conductivity and high thermal conductivity, second highest among pure metals at room temperature. This is because the resistivity to electron transport in metals at room temperature originates from scattering of electrons on thermal vibrations of the lattice, which are weak in a soft metal; the maximum permissible current density of copper in open air is 3.1×106 A/m2 of cross-sectional area, above which it begins to heat excessively. Copper is one of a few metallic elements with a natural color other than silver.
Pure copper acquires a reddish tarnish when exposed to air. The characteristic color of copper results from the electronic transitions between the filled 3d and half-empty 4s atomic shells – the energy difference between these shells corresponds to orange light; as with other metals, if copper is put in contact with another metal, galvanic corrosion will occur. Copper does not react with water, but it does react with atmospheric oxygen to form a layer of brown-black copper oxide which, unlike the rust that forms on iron in moist air, protects the underlying metal from further corrosion. A green layer of verdigris can be seen on old copper structures, such as the roofing of many older buildings and the Statue of Liberty. Copper tarnishes when exposed to some sulfur compounds, with which it reacts to form various copper sulfides. There are 29 isotopes of copper. 63Cu and 65Cu are stable, with 63Cu comprising 69% of occurring copper. The other isotopes are radioactive, with the most stable being 67Cu with a half-life of 61.83 hours.
Seven metastable isotopes have been characterized. Isotopes with a mass number above 64 decay by β−, whereas those with a mass number below 64 decay by β+. 64Cu, which has a half-life of 12.7 hours, decays both ways.62Cu and 64Cu have significant applications. 62Cu is used in 62Cu-PTSM as a radioactive tracer for positron emission tomography. Copper is produced in massive stars and is present in the Earth's crust in a proportion of about 50 parts per million. In nature, copper occurs in a variety of minerals, including native copper, copper sulfides such as chalcopyrite, digenite and chalcocite, copper sulfosalts such as tetrahedite-tennantite, enargite, copper carbonates such as azurite and malachite, as copper or copper oxides such as cuprite and tenorite, respectively; the largest mass of elemental copper discovered weighed 420 tonnes and was found in 1857 on the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan, US. Native copper is a polycrystal
Penny (British pre-decimal coin)
The pre-decimal penny was a coin worth 1/240 of a pound sterling. Its symbol was d, from the Roman denarius, it was a continuation of the earlier English penny, in Scotland it had the same monetary value as one pre-1707 Scottish shilling. The penny was minted in silver, but from the late 18th century it was minted in copper, after 1860 in bronze; the plural of "penny" is "pence" when referring to a quantity of money and "pennies" when referring to a number of coins. Thus 8d is eight pence, but "eight pennies" means eight individual penny coins. Before Decimal Day in 1971 twelve pence made a shilling, twenty shillings made a pound, hence 240 pence in one pound. Values less than a pound were written in terms of shillings and pence, e.g. 42 pence would be three shillings and sixpence, pronounced "three and six". Values of less than a shilling were written in terms of pence, e.g. eight pence would be 8d. This version of the penny was made obsolete in 1971 by decimalisation, was replaced by the decimal penny, worth 2.4 old pence.
The kingdoms of England and Scotland were merged by the 1707 Act of Union to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. The exchange rate between the pound scots and the English pound sterling had been fixed at 12:1 since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, in 1707 the pound Scots ceased to be legal tender, with the pound sterling to be used throughout Great Britain; the penny replaced the shilling of the pound scots. The design and specifications of the English penny were unchanged by the Union, it continued to be minted in silver after 1707. Queen Anne's reign saw pennies minted in 1708, 1709, 1710, 1713; these issues, were not for general circulation, instead being minted as Maundy money. The prohibitive cost of minting silver coins had meant the size of pennies had been reduced over the years, with the minting of silver pennies for general circulation being halted in 1660; the practice of minting pennies only for Maundy money continued through the reigns of George I and George II, into that of George III.
However, by George III's reign there was a shortage of pennies: things had got so bad that a great many merchants and mining companies issued their own copper tokens e.g. the Parys Mining Company on Anglesey issued huge numbers of tokens. In 1797, the government authorised Matthew Boulton to strike copper pennies and twopences at his Soho Mint in Birmingham. At the time it was believed that the face value of a coin should correspond to the value of the material it was made from, so they had to contain one or two pence worth of copper; this requirement meant that the coins would be larger than the silver pennies minted previously. The large size of the coins, combined with the thick rim where the inscription was incuse i.e. punched into the metal rather than standing proud of it, led to the coins being nicknamed "cartwheels". These pennies were minted over the course of several years, but all are marked with the date 1797. By 1802, the production of issued provincial tokens had ceased. However, in the next ten years the intrinsic value of copper rose.
The return of minted token coinage was evident by 1811 and endemic by 1812, as more and more of the Government-issued copper coinage was melted down. The Royal Mint undertook a massive recoinage programme in 1816, with large quantities of gold and silver coin being minted. To thwart the further issuance of private token coinage, in 1817 an Act of Parliament was passed which forbade the manufacture of private token coinage under severe penalties. Copper coins continued to be minted after 1797, through the reigns of George III, George IV and William IV, the early reign of Queen Victoria; these coins were smaller than the cartwheel pennies of 1797, contained a smaller amount of copper. In 1857 a survey by the Royal Mint found that around one third of all copper coinage was worn or mutilated by advertisements. Two years Thomas Graham, the Master of the Mint, convinced William Ewart Gladstone Chancellor of the Exchequer, that so large a part of the copper coinage must be taken out of circulation that it was worth introducing a whole new coinage which would be "much more convenient and agreeable in use".
These new coins were minted in bronze, their specifications were no longer constrained by the onerous requirement that their face value should match the value of the base metal used to make the coin. These new coins were introduced in 1860 and a year the withdrawal of the old copper coinage began; the specifications of the bronze version of the penny were a mass of 9.45 g and a diameter of 30.86 mm, remained as such for over a hundred years. Pennies were minted every year of Queen Victoria's reign, every year of Edward VII's reign. George V pennies were produced every year to the same standard until 1922, but after a three-year gap in production the alloy composition was changed to 95.5% copper, 3% tin, 1.5% zinc, although the weight and size remained unchanged. Thereafter, pennies were minted every year for the remainder of George V's reign, although only six or seven 1933 coins were minted for the king to lay under the foundation stones of new buildings. A few pennies of Edward VIII exist, dated 1937, but technically they are pattern coins i.e. coins produced for official approval, which it would have been due to receive about the time that the K
A coin is a small, round piece of metal or plastic used as a medium of exchange or legal tender. They are standardized in weight, produced in large quantities at a mint in order to facilitate trade, they are most issued by a government. Coins are metal or alloy, or sometimes made of synthetic materials, they are disc shaped. Coins made of valuable metal are stored in large quantities as bullion coins. Other coins are used as money in everyday transactions; the highest value coin in circulation is worth less than the lowest-value note. In the last hundred years, the face value of circulation coins has been lower than the value of the metal they contain, for example due to inflation. If the difference becomes significant, the issuing authority may decide to withdraw these coins from circulation issuing new equivalents with a different composition, or the public may decide to melt the coins down or hoard them. Exceptions to the rule of face value being higher than content value occur for some bullion coins made of copper, silver, or gold, intended for collectors or investors in precious metals.
Examples of modern gold collector/investor coins include the British sovereign minted by the United Kingdom, the American Gold Eagle minted by the United States, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf minted by Canada, the Krugerrand, minted by South Africa. While the Eagle, Maple Leaf, Sovereign coins have nominal face values, the Krugerrand does not. A great quantity of coinage metals and other materials have been used to produce coins for circulation and metal investment: bullion coins serve as more convenient stores of assured metal quantity and purity than other bullion. Metal ingots, silver bullion or unmarked bars were in use for exchange among many of the civilizations that mastered metallurgy; the weight and purity of bullion would be the key determinant of value. In the Achaemenid Empire in the early 6th century BC, coinage was yet unknown, barter and to some extent silver bullion was used instead for trade; the practice of using silver bars for currency seems to have been current in Central Asia from the 6th century BC.
Coins were an evolution of "currency" systems of the Late Bronze Age, where standard-sized ingots, tokens such as knife money, were used to store and transfer value. In the late Chinese Bronze Age, standardized cast tokens were made, such as those discovered in a tomb near Anyang; these were replicas in bronze of earlier Chinese currency, cowrie shells, so they were named Bronze Shell. The earliest coins are associated with Iron Age Anatolia of the late 7th century BC, with the kingdom of Lydia. Early electrum coins were not standardized in weight, in their earliest stage may have been ritual objects, such as badges or medals, issued by priests; the unpredictability of the composition of occurring electrum implied that it had a variable value, which hampered its development. Most of the early Lydian coins include no writing, only an image of a symbolic animal. Therefore, the dating of these coins relies on archaeological evidence, with the most cited evidence coming from excavations at the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus called the Ephesian Artemision, site of the earliest known deposit of electrum coins.
Because the oldest lion head "coins" were discovered in that temple, they do not appear to have been used in commerce, these objects may not have been coins but badges or medals issued by the priests of that temple. Anatolian Artemis was the Πὀτνια Θηρῶν, it took some time before ancient coins were used for trade. The smallest-denomination electrum coins worth about a day's subsistence, would have been too valuable for buying a loaf of bread; the first coins to be used for retailing on a large-scale basis were small silver fractions, Ancient Greek coinage minted by the Ionian Greeks in the late sixth century BC. Many early Lydian and Greek coins were minted under the authority of private individuals and are thus more akin to tokens or badges than to modern coins, though due to their numbers it is evident that some were official state issues; the earliest inscribed coins are those of Phanes, dated to 625–600 BC from Ephesus in Ionia, with the legend ΦΑΝΕΟΣ ΕΜΙ ΣΗΜΑ, or just bearing the name ΦΑΝΕΟΣ.
The first electrum coins issued by a monarch are those minted by king Alyattes of Lydia, for which reason this king is sometimes mentioned as the originator of coinage. The successor of Alyattes, king Croesus, became associated with great wealth in Greek historiography, he is credited with issuing the Croeseid, the first true gold coins with a standardised purity for general circulation. And the world's first bimetallic monetary system circa 550 BCE. Herodotus mentioned the innovation made by the Lydians: "So far as we have any knowledge, they were the first people to introduce the use of gold and silver coins, the first who sold goods by retail" Coins spread in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, leading to the development of Ancient Greek coinage and Achaemenid coinage, further to Illyrian coinage. Standardized Roman currency
The pound sterling known as the pound and less referred to as sterling, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the British Antarctic Territory, Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence. A number of nations that do not use sterling have currencies called the pound. Sterling is the third most-traded currency in the foreign exchange market, after the United States dollar, the euro. Together with those two currencies and the Chinese yuan, it forms the basket of currencies which calculate the value of IMF special drawing rights. Sterling is the third most-held reserve currency in global reserves; the British Crown dependencies of Guernsey and the Isle of Man produce their own local issues of sterling which are considered equivalent to UK sterling in their respective regions. The pound sterling is used in Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, Saint Helena and Ascension Island in Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha; the Bank of England is the central bank for the pound sterling, issuing its own coins and banknotes, regulating issuance of banknotes by private banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Banknotes issued by other jurisdictions are not regulated by the Bank of England. The full official name pound sterling, is used in formal contexts and when it is necessary to distinguish the United Kingdom currency from other currencies with the same name. Otherwise the term pound is used; the currency name is sometimes abbreviated to just sterling in the wholesale financial markets, but not when referring to specific amounts. The abbreviations "ster." and "stg." are sometimes used. The term "British pound" is sometimes incorrectly used in less formal contexts, it is not an official name of the currency; the exchange rate of the pound sterling against the US dollar is referred to as "cable" in the wholesale foreign exchange markets. The origins of this term are attributed to the fact that in the 1800s, the GBP/USD exchange rate was transmitted via transatlantic cable. Forex traders of GBP/USD are sometimes referred to as "cable dealers". GBP/USD is now the only currency pair with its own name in the foreign exchange markets, after IEP/USD, known as "wire" in the forward FX markets, no longer exists after the Irish Pound was replaced by the euro in 1999.
There is apparent convergence of opinion regarding the origin of the term "pound sterling", toward its derivation from the name of a small Norman silver coin, away from its association with Easterlings or other etymologies. Hence, the Oxford English Dictionary state that the "most plausible" etymology is derivation from the Old English steorra for "star" with the added diminutive suffix "-ling", to mean "little star" and to refer to a silver penny of the English Normans; as another established source notes, the compound expression was derived: However, the perceived narrow window of the issuance of this coin, the fact that coin designs changed in the period in question, led Philip Grierson to reject this in favour of a more complex theory. Another argument that the Hanseatic League was the origin for both the origin of its definition and manufacture, in its name is that the German name for the Baltic is "Ost See", or "East Sea", from this the Baltic merchants were called "Osterlings", or "Easterlings".
In 1260, Henry III granted them a charter of protection and land for their Kontor, the Steelyard of London, which by the 1340s was called "Easterlings Hall", or Esterlingeshalle. Because the League's money was not debased like that of England, English traders stipulated to be paid in pounds of the "Easterlings", contracted to "'sterling". For further discussion of the etymology of "sterling", see sterling silver; the currency sign for the pound is £, written with a single cross-bar, though a version with a double cross-bar is sometimes seen. This symbol derives from medieval Latin documents; the ISO 4217 currency code is GBP, formed from "GB", the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for the United Kingdom, the first letter of "pound". It does not stand for "Great Britain Pound" or "Great British Pound"; the abbreviation "UKP" is used but this is non-standard because the ISO 3166 country code for the United Kingdom is GB. The Crown dependencies use their own codes: GGP, JEP and IMP. Stocks are traded in pence, so traders may refer to pence sterling, GBX, when listing stock prices.
A common slang term for the pound sterling or pound is quid, singular and plural, except in the common phrase "quids in!". The term may have come via Italian immigrants from "scudo", the name for a number of coins used in Italy until the 19th century.
Elizabeth II's jewels
The monarch of the Commonwealth realms, Queen Elizabeth II, owns a historic collection of jewels – some as monarch and others as a private individual. They are separate from the Gems and Jewels and the coronation and state regalia that make up the Crown Jewels; the origin of a distinct royal jewel collection is vague, though it is believed the jewels have their origin somewhere in the 16th century. Many of the pieces are from overseas and were brought to the United Kingdom as a result of civil war and revolutions, or acquired as gifts to the monarch. Most of the jewellery dates from the 20th centuries; the Crown Jewels are only worn at the annual State Opening of Parliament. At other formal occasions, such as banquets, the Queen wears the jewellery in her collection. Elizabeth owns more than 300 items of jewellery, including 98 brooches, 46 necklaces, 37 bracelets, 34 pairs of earrings, 15 rings, 14 watches and 5 pendants, the most notable of which are detailed in this article. Unlike the Crown Jewels—which date from the accession of Charles II—the jewels are not official regalia or insignia.
Much of the collection was designed for queens regnant and queens consort, though some kings have added to the collection. Most of the jewellery was purchased from other European heads of state and members of the aristocracy, or handed down by older generations of the Royal family as birthday and wedding presents. In recent years, Elizabeth has worn them in her capacity as Queen of Australia and New Zealand, can be seen wearing jewels from her collection in official portraits made specially for these realms. In 1714, with the accession of George I, the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Hanover both came to be ruled in personal union by the House of Hanover. Early Hanoverian monarchs were careful to keep the heirlooms of the two realms separate. George III gave half the British heirlooms to his bride, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, as a wedding present. In her will, Charlotte left the jewels to the'House of Hanover'; the Kingdom of Hanover followed the Salic Law, whereby the line of succession went through male heirs.
Thus, when Queen Victoria acceded to the throne of the United Kingdom, her uncle Ernest Augustus, Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale became King of Hanover. King Ernest demanded a portion of the jewellery, not only as the monarch of Hanover but as the son of Queen Charlotte. Victoria flatly declined to hand over any of the jewels, claiming they had been bought with British money. Ernest's son, George V of Hanover, continued to press the claim. Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, suggested that she make a financial settlement with the Hanoverian monarch to keep the jewels, but Parliament informed the Queen they would neither purchase the jewels nor loan funds for the purpose. A parliamentary commission was set up to investigate the matter and in 1857 they found in favour of the House of Hanover. On 28 January 1858, 10 years after Ernest's death, the jewels were handed to the Hanoverian Ambassador, Count Kielmansegg. Victoria did manage to keep one of her favourite pieces of jewellery: a fine rope of pearls.
Some pieces of jewellery made before the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 are regarded as heirlooms owned by the Queen in right of the Crown and pass from one monarch to the next in perpetuity. Objects made including official gifts, can be added to that part of the Royal Collection at the sole discretion of a monarch, it is not possible to say how much the collection is worth because the jewels have a rich and unique history, they are unlikely to be sold on the open market. In the early 20th century, five other lists of jewellery, which have never been published, supplemented those left to the Crown by Queen Victoria: Jewels left to the Crown by Her Majesty Queen Victoria Jewels left by Her Majesty to His Majesty the King Jewels left to His Majesty King Edward VII by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, hereinafter to be considered as belonging to the Crown and to be worn by all future Queens in right of it Jewels the property of His Majesty King George V Jewels given to the Crown by Her Majesty Queen Mary Jewels given to the Crown by His Majesty King George V The Delhi Durbar Tiara was made by Garrard & Co. for Queen Mary, the wife of King George V, to wear at the Delhi Durbar in 1911.
As British law prohibited the removal of the Crown Jewels from the country, King George V wore a specially made crown to the Durbar, Queen Mary wore the tiara. It was part of a set of jewellery made for Queen Mary to use at the event which included a necklace, stomacher and earrings. Made of gold and platinum, the tiara is 8 cm tall and has the form of a tall circlet of lyres and S-scrolls linked by festoons of diamonds, it was set with 10 of the Cambridge emeralds, acquired by Queen Mary in 1910 and first owned by her grandmother, the Duchess of Cambridge. In 1912, the tiara was altered to take one or both of the Cullinan IV diamonds. Mary lent the tiara to Queen Elizabeth for the 1947 royal tour of South Africa, it remained with her until she died in 2002, when it passed to Queen Elizabeth II. In 2005, the Queen lent the tiara to her daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cornwall; this tiara, which can be worn as a necklace, was made for Queen Mary in 1919. It is not, as has sometimes been claimed, made with diamonds that once belonged to George III, but reuses diamonds taken from a necklace/tiara purchased by Queen Victoria from Collingwood & Co. as a wedding present for Princess Mary in 1893.
In August 1936, Mary gave the tiara to h
Coins of the pound sterling
The standard circulating coinage of the United Kingdom is denominated in pounds sterling, since the introduction of the two-pound coin in 1994, ranges in value from one penny to two pounds. Since decimalisation, on 15 February 1971, the pound has been divided into 100 pence. From the 16th century until decimalisation, the pound was divided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence. British coins are minted by the Royal Mint in Wales; the Royal Mint commissions the coins' designs. As of 31 March 2016, there were an estimated 30.14 billion coins circulating in the United Kingdom. The first decimal coins were circulated in 1968; these were the five pence and ten pence, had values of one shilling and two shillings under the pre-decimal £sd system. The decimal coins are minted in copper-plated steel, nickel-plated steel and nickel-brass; the two-pound coins, and, as from 28 March 2017 the new one-pound coins, are bimetallic. The coins are discs, except for the twenty pence and fifty pence pieces, both of which have faces that are heptagonal curves of constant width, the new one-pound coins, which have faces with 12 sides.
All the circulating coins have an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse, various national and regional designs, the denomination, on the reverse. The circulating coins, excepting the two-pound coin, were redesigned in 2008, keeping the sizes and compositions unchanged, but introducing reverse designs that each depict a part of the Royal Shield of Arms and form the whole shield when they are placed together in the appropriate arrangement; the exception, the 2008 one-pound coin, depicts the entire shield of arms on the reverse. All current coins carry a Latin inscription whose full form is ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FIDEI DEFENSATRIX, meaning "Elizabeth II, by the grace of God and Defender of the Faith". In addition to the circulating coinage, the UK mints commemorative decimal coins in the denomination of five pounds. Prior to decimalisation, the denomination of special commemorative coins was five shillings, that is, 1⁄4 of a pound. Crowns, had a face value of 25p from decimalisation until 1981, when the last 25p crown was struck.
Ceremonial Maundy money and bullion coinage of gold sovereigns, half sovereigns, gold and silver Britannia coins are produced. Some territories outside the United Kingdom, which use the pound sterling, produce their own coinage, with the same denominations and specifications as the UK coinage but with local designs. In the years just before decimalisation, the circulating British coins were the half crown, two shillings or florin, sixpence, threepence and halfpenny; the farthing had been withdrawn in 1960. There was the Crown, which was, still is legal tender, worth 25p, but did not circulate. All modern coins feature a profile of the current monarch's head; the direction in which they face changes with each successive monarch, a pattern that began with the Stuarts. For the Tudors and pre-Restoration Stuarts, both left and right-facing portrait images were minted within the reign of a single monarch. In the Middle Ages, portrait images tended to be full face. From a early date, British coins have been inscribed with the name of the ruler of the kingdom in which they were produced, a longer or shorter title, always in Latin.
The English silver penny was derived from another silver coin, the sceat, of 20 troy grains weight, in general circulation in Europe during the Middle Ages. In the 12th century, Henry II established the sterling silver standard for English coinage, of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper, replacing the earlier use of fine silver in the Middle Ages. The coinage reform of 1816 set up physical sizes for silver coins. Silver was eliminated from coins, except Maundy coins, in 1947; the history of the Royal Mint stretches back to AD 886. For many centuries production was in London at the Tower of London, at premises nearby in Tower Hill in what is today known as Royal Mint Court. In the 1970s production was transferred to Llantrisant in South Wales. Scotland and England had separate coinage. Coins were hand-hammered — an ancient technique in which two dies are struck together with a blank coin between them; this was the traditional method of manufacturing coins in the Western world from the classical Greek era onwards, in contrast with Asia, where coins were traditionally cast.
Milled coins were produced first during the reign of Elizabeth I and periodically during the subsequent reigns of James I and Charles I, but there was opposition to mechanisation from the moneyers, who ensured that most coins continued to be produced by hammering. All British coins produced since 1662 have been milled; the English penny first appeared as a silver coin. It was derived from another silver coin, the sceat, of 20 troy grains weight, in general circulation in Europe during the Middle Ages; the weight of the English penny was fixed at 22 1⁄2 troy grains by Offa of Mercia, an 8th-century contemporary of Charlemagne. The coin's designated value, was that of 24 troy grains of silver, with the difference b