This film is part of Free

New Fifty Pence Piece

Don't become a victim of the new fifty penny piece!

News 1969 2 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Media Archive for Central England


It may not be that well remembered these days but the new decimal coins that became the official UK currency in February 1971 had been introduced gradually since 1968 to give people time to get used to them. As reporters Sue Jay and Alan Jones found out in the Bullring Market in Birmingham in October 1969 there was much confusion over the latest one: the multi-sided fifty pence coin that was replacing the old ten shilling note.

In 1968 the ten and five pence pieces were the first decimal coins to be introduced. They caused less confusion because they were the same size and weight as the one and two shilling coins that continued to be valid tender. A new smaller fifty pence coin replacing the one that was baffling the Bullring shoppers back in 1969 was introduced in 1997.