Danske Bank (Northern Ireland)
Danske Bank UK is a commercial bank in Northern Ireland. Northern Bank was one of the oldest banks in Ireland having been formed in 1809, formed part of one of the Big Four banks in Ireland. Northern Bank took on the name of its parent company Danske Bank as its trading name in November 2012; the bank is considered one of the leading retail banks in Northern Ireland with 44 branches and 3 finance centres. Danske Bank is one of the four commercial banks in Northern Ireland which are permitted to issue their own banknotes. Danske Bank UK is a standalone business unit within the Danske Bank Group and operates under a UK banking licence. Northern Bank was founded in Belfast in 1809 as the Northern Banking Partnership; the bank expanded across Ireland, opening its first branch in the south in 1840. In 1965, the Northern Banking Company Limited was acquired by the Midland Bank, a London-based bank which had acquired the Belfast Bank in 1917. In 1970, the Midland's two Northern Ireland subsidiaries were merged to form Northern Bank Limited.
Under Midland's ownership, Northern Bank shared the Griffin logo. In 1986, Midland re-organised its British and Irish operations, as part of this process it separated its Northern Bank branches in the Republic of Ireland and transferred into a newly formed company called Northern Bank Limited. Midland Bank ran into severe financial difficulty as a result of its 1981 acquisition of Crocker National Bank in the USA and was forced to divest itself of assets to restore stability. In 1988, Midland sold off its subsidiaries, namely the Clydesdale Bank in Scotland, Northern Bank Limited and Northern Bank Limited, all of which were acquired by National Australia Bank. After this, Northern Bank Limited was renamed National Irish Bank; the Northern Bank brand name continued in Northern Ireland, but a new logo was introduced, a stylised "N" in a hexagon shape. In 2002, the bank's logotype was changed to match that of the National Australia Bank. In December 2004, the Denmark-based Danske Bank Group agreed to acquire Northern Bank and National Irish Bank for £967m.
The sale of the two banks marked National Australia Bank's exit from the Irish banking markets. Don Price remained as CEO, but was replaced by Gerry Mallon in June 2008; the acquisition was completed in 2005 and Danske Bank invested £100m in Northern Bank. As part of this process, National Irish Bank was separated from the Northern Bank and given its own dedicated management team. Both Northern & National Irish Bank migrated over to Danske Bank's technology platform with a centralised contact centre set up to deal with all incoming calls to the branches of both banks. From April 2006 the two banks adopted new corporate identities which were based on a variation of the Danske Bank logo. On 1 June 2012, brand separation between Northern Bank and National Irish Bank was reversed, with the two banks merged under the Northern Bank management team. On 19 November 2012 the bank formally dropped its Northern Bank name and began trading as Danske Bank; the first Danish branding was unveiled with new signage at the company's head office in Donegall Square.
Since the rebrand, cheques issued by the bank bear the legend "Danske Bank is a trading name of Northern Bank Limited". Danske Bank continues to issue pound sterling banknotes in Northern Ireland, notes issued since 2013 now bear the Danske Bank brand name. In 2008, Northern Bank embarked on a £3m investment programme to upgrade facilities at three of its Northern Ireland branches; as of November 2015, Kevin Kingston is CEO of Danske Bank UK, having been Deputy CEO. Stephen Matchett is Managing Director of Strategy & Corporate Development. Shaun McAnee is managing director of Corporate & Business Banking with responsibility for corporate banking, FX markets, specialist business, regional business centres, agri-business and business acquisition. Richard Caldwell is managing director of Personal Banking & Small Business incorporating branches, mortgage business, private banking, customer contact centres and small business. In common with the other Big Four retail banks of Northern Ireland, Northern Bank trading as Danske Bank continues to issue its own banknotes, a practice, abolished in England and Wales in the early Twentieth Century.
Danske Bank notes are pound sterling notes and equal in value to Bank of England notes and should not be confused with banknotes of the former Irish pound, a separate currency, replaced by the Euro in the Republic of Ireland in 2002. Following the acquisition of Northern Bank by Danske Bank, banknotes issued since June 2013 now bear Danske Bank branding in place of the Northern Bank name. Older banknotes bearing the Northern Bank name are still in circulation and continue to be acceptable for payments as they are withdrawn. Danske Bank has ceased issue of £50 and £100 notes and will in future only print £10 and £20 notes. Danske Bank does not issue £5 notes, but a special commemorative £5 note was issued by the Northern Bank to mark the Year 2000. Uniquely among sterling notes, this was a vertical polymer banknote, printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company on Australian synthetic polymer substrate instead of paper, making Northern Ireland the only part of the UK to have issued a plastic banknote prior to Scotland & England issuing the £5 polymer notes in Autumn 2016.
It is the only one of the bank's pre-2004 notes still in circulation. A
Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland, variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares a border to the west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the UK's population. Established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Assembly holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Northern Ireland co-operates with the Republic of Ireland in some areas, the Agreement granted the Republic the ability to "put forward views and proposals" with "determined efforts to resolve disagreements between the two governments". Northern Ireland was created in 1921, when Ireland was partitioned between Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland by the Government of Ireland Act 1920. Unlike Southern Ireland, which would become the Irish Free State in 1922, the majority of Northern Ireland's population were unionists, who wanted to remain within the United Kingdom.
Most of these were the Protestant descendants of colonists from Great Britain. However, a significant minority Catholics, were nationalists who wanted a united Ireland independent of British rule. Today, the former see themselves as British and the latter see themselves as Irish, while a distinct Northern Irish or Ulster identity is claimed both by a large minority of Catholics and Protestants and by many of those who are non-aligned. For most of the 20th century, when it came into existence, Northern Ireland was marked by discrimination and hostility between these two sides in what First Minister of Northern Ireland, David Trimble, called a "cold house" for Catholics. In the late 1960s, conflict between state forces and chiefly Protestant unionists on the one hand, chiefly Catholic nationalists on the other, erupted into three decades of violence known as the Troubles, which claimed over 3,500 lives and caused over 50,000 casualties; the 1998 Good Friday Agreement was a major step in the peace process, including the decommissioning of weapons, although sectarianism and religious segregation still remain major social problems, sporadic violence has continued.
Northern Ireland has been the most industrialised region of Ireland. After declining as a result of the political and social turmoil of the Troubles, its economy has grown since the late 1990s; the initial growth came from the "peace dividend" and the links which increased trade with the Republic of Ireland, continuing with a significant increase in tourism and business from around the world. Unemployment in Northern Ireland peaked at 17.2% in 1986, dropping to 6.1% for June–August 2014 and down by 1.2 percentage points over the year, similar to the UK figure of 6.2%. 58.2% of those unemployed had been unemployed for over a year. Prominent artists and sportspeople from Northern Ireland include Van Morrison, Rory McIlroy, Joey Dunlop, Wayne McCullough and George Best; some people from Northern Ireland prefer to identify as Irish while others prefer to identify as British. Cultural links between Northern Ireland, the rest of Ireland, the rest of the UK are complex, with Northern Ireland sharing both the culture of Ireland and the culture of the United Kingdom.
In many sports, the island of Ireland fields a single team, a notable exception being association football. Northern Ireland competes separately at the Commonwealth Games, people from Northern Ireland may compete for either Great Britain or Ireland at the Olympic Games; the region, now Northern Ireland was the bedrock of the Irish war of resistance against English programmes of colonialism in the late 16th century. The English-controlled Kingdom of Ireland had been declared by the English king Henry VIII in 1542, but Irish resistance made English control fragmentary. Following Irish defeat at the Battle of Kinsale, the region's Gaelic, Roman Catholic aristocracy fled to continental Europe in 1607 and the region became subject to major programmes of colonialism by Protestant English and Scottish settlers. A rebellion in 1641 by Irish aristocrats against English rule resulted in a massacre of settlers in Ulster in the context of a war breaking out between England and Ireland fuelled by religious intolerance in government.
Victories by English forces in that war and further Protestant victories in the Williamite War in Ireland toward the close of the 17th century solidified Anglican rule in Ireland. In Northern Ireland, the victories of the Siege of Derry and the Battle of the Boyne in this latter war are still celebrated by some Protestants. Popes Innocent XI and Alexander VIII had supported William of Orange instead of his maternal uncle and father-in-law James II, despite William being Protestant and James a Catholic, due to William's participation in alliance with both Protesant and Catholic powers in Europe in wars against Louis XIV, the powerful King of France, in conflict with the papacy for decades. In 1693, Pope Innocent XII recognised James as continuing King of Great Britain and Ireland in place of William, after reconciliation with Louis. In 1695, contrary to the terms of the Treaty of Limerick, a series of penal laws were passed by the Anglican ruling class in Ireland in intense anger at the Pope's recognition of James over William, felt to be a betrayal.
The intention of the la
Bank of England note issues
The Bank of England, now the central bank of the United Kingdom, has issued banknotes since 1694. In 1921 The Bank of England gained a legal monopoly on the issue of banknotes in England and Wales, a process that started with the Bank Charter Act of 1844 when the ability of other banks to issue notes was restricted. Banknotes were hand-written. Notes were printed from 1855. Since 1970, the Bank of England's notes have featured portraits of British historical figures. Of the eight banks authorised to issue banknotes in the UK, only the Bank of England can issue banknotes in England and Wales, where its notes are legal tender. Bank of England notes are not legal tender in Scotland and Northern Ireland, but are accepted there along with the respective countries' national banknotes. There are four different denominations of notes – £5, £10, £20 and £50; each value has its own distinct colour scheme and the size of each note increases in length and width as the value increases. These images are to scale at 0.7 pixel per millimetre.
For table standards, see the banknote specification table. Source: Bank of England website All current Bank of England banknotes are printed by contract with De La Rue at Debden, Essex, they include the printed signature of the Chief Cashier of the Bank of England and depict Elizabeth II in full view, facing left. On the left hand side of the £20 and £50 notes there is a hidden watermark, featuring the Queen facing right; the £5 and £10 polymer notes do not contain a watermark. More recent issues include the EURion constellation; this is a pattern of yellow circles. They are identified by photocopiers. Elizabeth II has appeared on all the notes issued since Series C in 1960; the custom of depicting historical figures on the reverse began in 1970 with Series D, designed by the bank's first permanent artist, Harry Eccleston. In 2015, the Bank of England launched a public competition to nominate historic personalities with links to the visual arts for a future redesign of the £20 banknote; the Governor of the Bank of England asked the public to "think beyond the obvious" when nominating suggestions, with over 29,700 nominations made.
In September 2015 the Bank of England announced that the next £20 note will be printed on polymer, rather than cotton paper. This was followed by an announcement in April 2016 that Adam Smith will be replaced by artist J. M. W. Turner on the next £20 note which will enter circulation in 2020. Images on the reverse of the new note will include a 1799 self-portrait of Turner, a representation of his painting The Fighting Temeraire, the quotation "Light is therefore colour" from an 1818 lecture by him, a copy of Turner's signature as made on his will. On 13 October 2018, the Bank of England announced that the next £50 note will be printed on polymer, rather than cotton paper. Members of the public have been invited to nominate a scientist to feature on it; the Bank of England has not always had a monopoly of note issue in Wales. Until the middle of the 19th century, private banks in Great Britain and Ireland were free to issue their own banknotes, notes issued by provincial banking companies were in circulation.
Over the years, various Acts of Parliament were introduced by the Parliament of the United Kingdom to increase confidence in banknotes in circulation by limiting the rights of banks to issue notes. The Bank of England gained a monopoly of note issue in England and Wales. Attempts to restrict banknote issue by banks other than the Bank of England began in 1708 and 1709, when Acts of Parliament were passed which prohibited banking companies of more than six partners or shareholders. Notes under 1 guinea & 5 guineas were prohibited in the 1770s and thereafter all the provincial banks were established by the more substantial merchants, landed gentry etc of a town and district. Gold shortages in the 18th century, caused by the Seven Years' War and war with Revolutionary France, began to affect the supply of gold bullion reserves, giving rise to the "Restriction Period"; the result was that the Bank was unable to pay out gold for its notes, at the same time began to issue lower denominations £1 and £2 notes in place of gold guineas, that were hoarded as so was the case in time of war.
Confidence in the value of banknotes was affected, except during 1809–11 and 1814–15 under the extreme conditions of war. The Country Bankers’ Act 1826 allowed some joint-stock banks outside London to issue notes, allowed the Bank of England to open branches in major provincial cities, enabling better distribution of its notes. With the passing of the Bank Notes Act 1833, Bank of England notes over £5 in value were first given the status of "legal tender" in England and Wales guaranteeing the worth of the Bank's notes and ensuring public confidence in the notes in times of crisis or war; the Currency and Bank Notes Act 1954 extended the definition of legal tender to ten shilling and £1 notes. The Bank of England ten-shilling note was withdrawn in 1969 and the £1 was removed from circulation in 1988, leaving a legal curiosity in Scots law whereby there is now no paper legal tender in Scotland; the Bank Charter Act 1844 began the process which gave the Bank of England exclusive note-issuing powers.
Under the Act, no new banks could start issuing notes, note-issuing banks in England and Wales were barred from expanding their no
The Royal Bank of Scotland £100 note
The Royal Bank of Scotland £100 note is a banknote of the pound sterling. It is the largest denomination of banknote issued by The Royal Bank of Scotland; the current cotton note, first issued in 1987 bears an image of Lord Ilay, one of the founders of the bank, on the obverse and a vignette of Balmoral Castle on the reverse. The Royal Bank of Scotland began issuing £ 100 notes in the same year as the bank's founding. Early banknotes were monochrome, printed on one side only; the issuing of banknotes by Scottish banks was regulated by the Banknote Act 1845 until it was superseded by the Banking Act 2009. Though not legal tender in Scotland, Scottish banknotes are legal currency and are accepted throughout the United Kingdom. Scottish banknotes are backed such that holders have the same level of protection as those holding genuine Bank of England notes; the £100 note is the largest denomination of banknote issued by The Royal Bank of Scotland. The current Ilay series of banknotes was first issued in 1987.
These banknotes feature a portrait of first governor of the bank, on the front. Lord Ilay's image is used as a watermark on the notes. Other design elements include the bank's coat of arms and logo, the facade of Dundas House, the bank's headquarters in Edinburgh, a pattern representing the ceiling of the headquarters' banking hall. All of the Ilay series notes feature a castle on the back. On the reverse of the £100 note is an image of Balmoral Castle. Information taken from The Committee of Scottish Bankers website. Design elements on the Ilay Series £100 note The Committee of Scottish Bankers website
Economy of the United Kingdom
The economy of the United Kingdom is developed and market-orientated. It is the fifth-largest national economy in the world measured by nominal gross domestic product, ninth-largest by purchasing power parity, twenty second-largest by GDP per capita, comprising 3.5% of world GDP. In 2016, the UK was the tenth-largest goods exporter in the world and the fifth-largest goods importer, it had the second-largest inward foreign direct investment, the third-largest outward foreign direct investment. The UK is one of the most globalised economies, it is composed of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland; the service sector dominates, contributing around 80% of GDP. Britain's aerospace industry is the second-largest national aerospace industry, its pharmaceutical industry, the tenth-largest in the world, plays an important role in the economy. Of the world's 500 largest companies, 26 are headquartered in the UK; the economy is boosted by North Sea gas production. There are significant regional variations in prosperity, with South East England and North East Scotland being the richest areas per capita.
The size of London's economy makes it the largest city by GDP in Europe. In the 18th century the UK was the first country to industrialise, during the 19th century it had a dominant role in the global economy, accounting for 9.1% of the world's GDP in 1870. The Second Industrial Revolution was taking place in the United States and the German Empire; the costs of fighting World War I and World War II further weakened the UK's relative position. In the 21st century, the UK remains a great power with the ability to project power and influence around the world. Government involvement is exercised by Her Majesty's Treasury, headed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Department for Business and Industrial Strategy. Since 1979 management of the economy has followed a broadly laissez-faire approach; the Bank of England is the UK's central bank, since 1997 its Monetary Policy Committee has been responsible for setting interest rates, quantitative easing, forward guidance. The currency of the UK is the pound sterling, the world's fourth-largest reserve currency after the United States Dollar, the Euro and the Japanese Yen, is one of the 10 most-valued currencies in the world.
The UK is a member of the Commonwealth, the European Union, the G7, the G20, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the United Nations. After the Second World War, a new Labour government nationalised the Bank of England, civil aviation, telephone networks, gas and the coal and steel industries, affecting 2.3 million workers. Post-war, the United Kingdom enjoyed a long period without a major recession; the annual rate of growth between 1960 and 1973 averaged 2.9%, although this figure was far behind other European countries such as France, West Germany and Italy. Deindustrialisation meant the closure of operations in mining, heavy industry, manufacturing, resulting in the loss of paid working-class jobs; the UK's share of manufacturing output had risen from 9.5% in 1830 during the Industrial Revolution to 22.9% in the 1870s. It fell to 13.6% by 1913, 10.7% by 1938, 4.9% by 1973.
Overseas competition, lack of innovation, trade unionism, the welfare state, loss of the British Empire, cultural attitudes have all been put forward as explanations. It reached crisis point in the 1970s against the backdrop of a worldwide energy crisis, high inflation, a dramatic influx of low-cost manufactured goods from Asia. During the 1973 oil crisis, the 1973–74 stock market crash, the secondary banking crisis of 1973–75, the British economy fell into the 1973–75 recession and the government of Edward Heath was ousted by the Labour Party under Harold Wilson, which had governed from 1964 to 1970. Wilson formed a minority government in March 1974 after the general election on 28 February ended in a hung parliament. Wilson secured a three-seat overall majority in a second election in October that year; the UK recorded weaker growth than many other European nations in the 1970s. In 1976, the UK was forced to apply for a loan of £2.3 billion from the International Monetary Fund. Denis Healey Chancellor of the Exchequer, was required to implement public spending cuts and other economic reforms in order to secure the loan, for a while the British economy improved, with growth of 4.3% in early 1979.
However, following the Winter of Discontent, when the UK was hit by numerous public sector strikes, the government of James Callaghan lost a vote of no confidence in March 1979. This triggered the general election on 3 May 1979 which resulted in Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Party forming a new government. A new period of neo-liberal economics began with this election. During the 1980s, many state-owned industries and utilities were privatised, taxes cut, trade union reforms passed and markets deregulated. GDP fell by 5.9% but growth subsequently returned and rose to an annual rate of 5% at its
Banknotes of Scotland
Banknotes of Scotland are the banknotes of the Pound Sterling that are issued by the Scottish banks and in circulation in Scotland. The issuing of banknotes by retail banks in Scotland is subject to the Bank Charter Act 1844, the Banknotes Act 1845, the Currency and Bank Notes Act 1928, the Coinage Act 1971. Three retail banks are allowed to print notes for circulation in Scotland: Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank. Scottish banknotes are unusual, first because they are issued by retail banks, not central banks, second, because they are technically not legal tender anywhere in the United Kingdom – not in Scotland; as such, they are classified as promissory notes, the law requires that the issuing banks hold a sum of Bank of England banknotes or gold equivalent to the total value of notes issued. The fact that the notes are not defined as legal tender means that they are not withdrawn from circulation in the same way as the Bank of England notes, which cease to be legal tender on a given date.
Instead the Scottish banks withdraw old notes from circulation as they are banked. Any notes still in circulation continue to be honoured by banks, but retailers may refuse to accept older notes. All Bank of Scotland notes bear a portrait of Sir Walter Scott on the front in commemoration of his 1826 Malachi Malagrowther campaign for Scottish banks to retain the right to issue their own notes; the Bank of Scotland's 2007 series of banknotes is known as the Bridges of Scotland series. These notes were introduced on 17 September 2007, show Scotland's most famous bridges on the reverse side. From 2016, the Bridges of Scotland series is being renewed with the issue of new polymer notes with designs that follow the same basic theme of "bridges"; the Tercentenary and 2007 series of notes are being withdrawn from circulation and replaced with the polymer series as these are issued, but older notes continue to be accepted at banks. In line with this, the Committee of Scottish Bankers encouraged the public to spend or exchange non-polymer five and ten pound notes before 1 March 2018.
Following the announcement that HBOS would be taken over by Lloyds TSB in September 2008, it was confirmed that the new banking company would continue to print bank notes under the Bank of Scotland name. According to the Bank Notes Act 1845, the bank could have lost its note-issuing rights, but by retaining headquarters within Scotland, banknote issue continued; as of August 2017, the Royal Bank of Scotland is in the process of adopting a new series of banknotes. These will be made of polymer. Two have been released, whilst a new £20 note is being designed; the £5 note shows Nan Shepherd on the obverse accompanied by a quote from her book'The Living Mountain', the Cairngorms in the background. The reverse displays two mackerel, with an excerpt from the poem ‘The Choice’ by Sorley MacLean; the obverse of the £10 note shows Mary Somerville, with a quote from her work'The Connection of the Physical Sciences', Burntisland beach in the background. The reverse displays an excerpt from the poem ` Moorings' by Norman MacCaig.
The obverse of the £20 note, to be introduced in 2020, will show Catherine Cranston. The design process of the notes was touted as a "collaboration with the people of Scotland", with a total of 1,178 Scots being included. Nile HQ, a Strategic Design Company led De La Rue printed the notes; each note contributes to an overall theme ‘Fabric of Nature’. Given the national significance of the notes, Nile HQ invited some Scottish designers and calligraphers to develop the creative concept for the new notes; the previous series of Royal Bank of Scotland notes issued in 1987, remains in circulation, although it is now in the process of being replaced by polymer notes: the Committee of Scottish Bankers encouraged the public to spend or exchange non-polymer five and ten pound notes before 1 March 2018.. On the front of each note is a picture of Lord Ilay, the first governor of the bank, based on a portrait painted in 1744 by the Edinburgh artist Allan Ramsay; the front of the notes features an engraving of the bank's former headquarters in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh.
The background graphic on both sides of the notes is a radial star design, based on the ornate ceiling of the banking hall in the old headquarters building. On the back of the notes are images of Scottish castles, with a different castle for each denomination; the Royal Bank of Scotland issues commemorative banknotes. Examples are the £1 note issued to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Alexander Graham Bell in 1997, the £20 note for the 100th birthday of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 2000, the £5 note honouring veteran golfer Jack Nicklaus in his last competitive Open Championship at St Andrews in 2005, the £10 note commemorating HM Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee in 2012; these notes are much sought after by collectors, they remain long in circulation. Clydesdale Bank has three series of banknotes in circulation at present; the most recent set of notes, the Polymer series, came into circulation in March 2015, when the Clydesdale Bank became the first bank in Great Britain to issue polymer banknotes.
The £5 commemorative notes, issued to mark the 125th anniversary of the construction of the Forth Bridge, contain several new security features including a reflective graphic printed over a transparent "window" in the banknote. Further notes in the polymer series will be introduced over time, replacing the previous paper notes: the public are being encouraged to spend or exchange non-polymer five and ten
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