British penny

British penny may refer to:

American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge

The American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge (1834–1837) was a monthly magazine based in Boston, Massachusetts. It was established by a group of engravers to "give to the public a work descriptive, not merely of subjects, scenes, places, and persons existing in distant climes, but also of those which are to be found in our own fine and native country." It featured profusely illustrated articles on many topics, including American animals, plants, natural scenery, colleges, banks, hospitals, churches, cities, technology, and so on; as well as biographical articles on figureheads of the revolutionary and federal eras. Modelled after the British Penny Magazine, it was published first by the Boston Bewick Company, then by William D. Ticknor and John L. Sibley. In 1836 Nathaniel Hawthorne served as editor.

Double Geneva

The Double Geneva is a rare Swiss stamp that was issued by the City of Geneva in 1843, making it the third-oldest stamp of the European continent after the Zurich 4 and 6 (1842), and the British Penny Black and Two penny blue, (1840). It bears the name Double Geneva for the double image on the stamp and its place of origin.


A gazette is an official journal, a newspaper of record, or simply a newspaper.

In English- and French-speaking countries, newspaper publishers have applied the name Gazette since the 17th century; today, numerous weekly and daily newspapers bear the name The Gazette.


The gram (alternative spelling: gramme; SI unit symbol: g) (Latin gramma, from Greek γράμμα, grámma) is a metric system unit of mass.

Originally defined as "the absolute weight of a volume of pure water equal to the cube of the hundredth part of a metre [1 cm3], and at the temperature of melting ice" (later at 4 °C, the temperature of maximum density of water). However, in a reversal of reference and defined units, a gram is now defined as one thousandth of the SI base unit, the kilogram, or 1×10−3 kg, which itself is now defined by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, not in terms of grams, but by "the amount of electricity needed to counteract its force"

History of the British penny (1714–1901)

The history of the penny of Great Britain and the United Kingdom from 1714 to 1901, the period in which the House of Hanover reigned, saw the transformation of the penny from a little-used small silver coin to the bronze piece recognisable to modern-day Britons. All bear the portrait of the monarch on the obverse; copper and bronze pennies have a depiction of Britannia, the female personification of Britain, on the reverse.

During most of the 18th century, the penny was a small silver coin rarely seen in circulation, and that was principally struck to be used for Maundy money or other royal charity. Beginning in 1787, the chronic shortage of good money resulted in the wide circulation of private tokens, including large coppers valued at one penny. In 1797 industrialist Matthew Boulton gained a contract to produce official pennies at his Soho Mint in Birmingham; he struck millions of pennies over the next decade. After that, it was not until 1825 that pennies were struck again for circulation, and the copper penny continued to be issued until 1860.

By the late 1850s, the state of the copper coinage was deemed unsatisfactory, with quantities of worn oversized pieces, some dating from Boulton's day, still circulating. They were replaced by lighter bronze coins beginning in 1860; the "Bun penny", named for the hairstyle of Queen Victoria on it, was issued from then until 1894. The final years of Victoria's reign saw the "Veiled head" or "Old head" pennies, which were coined from 1895 until her death in 1901.

History of the British penny (1901–1970)

The British penny (​1⁄240 of a pound sterling), a large, pre-decimal coin continuing the series of pennies that began about the year 700, was struck intermittently during the 20th century until its withdrawal after 1970. Throughout the period 1901 to 1970, the obverse ("heads" side) of the bronze coin depicted the monarch who was reigning at the start of the year. The reverse featured an image of Britannia seated with shield, trident, and helm, originally created by Leonard Charles Wyon and based on an earlier design for the penny by his father William Wyon. The coins also were used in dominions and British colonies that had not issued their own coins.

The reverse design had in 1895 been modified by Engraver of the Royal Mint George William de Saulles. Following Queen Victoria's death in 1901, de Saulles was called upon to create a design for the obverse featuring Edward VII. This appeared on the penny in 1902, and remained in use until the year of King Edward's death, 1910. An obverse design by Sir Bertram Mackennal depicting George V went into use in 1911, and remained with some modification until the year of the King's death, 1936. No pennies were produced for commerce in 1933, as there were a sufficient number in circulation. At least seven were struck that year, mostly for placement beneath foundation stones and in museums; they are valuable today. Edward VIII's short reign is only represented by a single pattern coin, dated 1937. That year, a new obverse design depicting George VI by Humphrey Paget went into use. During the Second World War period of 1941 to 1943, pennies were struck only for the colonies; these are all dated 1940, the most recent year of production for the United Kingdom. After the war, demand for the penny began to diminish. Most of the 1950 and 1951 pieces were sent to Bermuda, with many retrieved from circulation and repatriated by British coin dealers because of their relative scarcity.

Although commerce did not require them, pennies bearing the likeness of Elizabeth II were minted in 1953 in sets sold to the public, using an obverse design by Mary Gillick. One 1954 penny was struck, for internal Mint purposes. By 1961, new pennies were needed again for circulation, and were produced in large numbers. The officials who planned decimalisation in the 1960s did not favour keeping the large bronze penny, whose value had been eroded by inflation. The last for circulation were dated 1967—a final proof set was dated 1970. The old penny quickly went out of use after Decimal Day, 15 February 1971 - there was no exact decimal equivalent, and the slogan "use your old pennies in sixpenny lots" explained that pennies and "threepenny bits" were only accepted in shops if the total value was six old pence (exactly 2 1/2 new pence). The old penny was demonetised on 31 August of that year.

History of the English penny (1603–1707)

The history of the English penny from 1603 to 1707 covers the period of the House of Stuart, up to the Acts of Union of 1707 which brought about the Union of the Kingdom of England with the Kingdom of Scotland.

Jersey livre

The livre was currency of Jersey until 1834. It consisted entirely of French coins.

Until the 1720s, the currency used was the French livre, subdivided into 20 sous, each of 12 deniers. The commonest coin in circulation was the liard (3 deniers or ¼ of a sou). However, the copper coinage had devalued against silver and by the 1720s liards were being exchanged in St Malo at a rate of 6 to the sou. The consequent cross-border financial speculation caused by the discrepancy in coinage values was threatening economic stability. The States of Jersey therefore resolved to devalue the liard to 6 to the sou. The legislation to that effect implemented in 1729 caused popular riots that shook the establishment. The devaluation was therefore cancelled and the liard remained officially at 4 to the sou until 1834 (and liard remains the Jèrriais word for a farthing).

The Code des Lois of 1771 codified the value of the livre against sterling in order to regulate the exchange of sterling paid to the British garrison and the currency used by the population. The exchange rate was set at 24 livres = 1 pound, making the 2 sous coin equal to a British penny. However, in the early 19th century, an exchange rate of 26 livres = 1 pound was established.

In the French Revolutionary period, the livre was replaced by the franc. The last coins and notes of the livre currency system were issued in France in the Year II of the Republic (1794).

By the 1830s, the surviving livre coinage was in very short supply in Jersey and so worn as to be unusable. The States passed a law on September 18, 1834 that sterling would be sole legal tender as from October 1, 1834 (this law was confirmed by Order in Council, June 24, 1835). However, although sterling was henceforth the sole legal tender, French coinage continued to circulate in Jersey. In 1840, a new copper coinage was introduced for Jersey, based on a penny worth ​1⁄13 of a shilling, the equivalent of 2 sous.

Nonetheless, some French coins continued to circulate (increasingly French francs). On February 7, 1923 the States passed a law to ban the import of foreign copper coinage in sums exceeding 20 sous. This law was confirmed by Order in Council March 12, 1923 and registered in the Royal Court April 7, 1923. The States then proceeded to take steps to remove French copper coinage from circulation.

On August 2, 1923, the States authorised the Finance Committee to exchange French copper coins for Jersey copper coins. Between August 27 and September 8, the Treasury carried out at their office the exchange of 1 and 2 sous French coins for Jersey coins and placed advertisements in the press to that effect, with an additional reminder that French coinage was still not legal tender.


A penny is a coin (pl. pennies) or a unit of currency (pl. pence) in various countries. Borrowed from the Carolingian denarius (hence its former abbreviation d.), it is usually the smallest denomination within a currency system. Presently, it is the formal name of the British penny (abbr. p) and the informal name of one American cent (abbr. ¢) as well as the informal Irish designation of 1 cent euro coin (abbr. c). It is the informal name of the cent unit of account in Canada, although one cent coins are no longer minted there. The name is also used in reference to various historical currencies also derived from the Carolingian system, such as the French denier and the German pfennig. It may also be informally used to refer to any similar smallest-denomination coin, such as the euro cent or Chinese fen.

The Carolingian penny was originally a .940-fine silver coin weighing 1/240 pound. It was adopted by Offa of Mercia and other English kings and remained the principal currency in Europe over the next few centuries until repeated debasements necessitated the development of more valuable coins. The British penny remained a silver coin until the expense of the Napoleonic Wars prompted the use of base metals in 1797. Despite the decimalization of currencies in the United States and, later, throughout the British Commonwealth, the name remains in informal use.

No penny is currently formally subdivided, although farthings (¼ d.), halfpennies, and half cents have previously been minted and the mill (1/10¢) remains in use as a unit of account in some contexts.


The penny-farthing, also known as a high wheel, high wheeler and ordinary, was the first machine to be called a "bicycle". It was popular in the 1870s and 1880s, with its large front wheel providing high speeds (owing to it travelling a large distance for every rotation of the legs) and comfort (the large wheel provides greater shock absorption). It became obsolete from the late 1880s with the development of modern bicycles, which provided similar speed amplification via chain-driven gear trains and comfort through pneumatic tyres, and were marketed in comparison to penny-farthings as "safety bicycles" due to the reduced danger of falling and the reduced height to fall from.The name came from the British penny and farthing coins, one much larger than the other, so that the side view resembles a penny leading a farthing. Although the name "penny-farthing" is now the most common, it was probably not used until the machines were nearly outdated; the first recorded print reference is from 1891 in Bicycling News. For most of their reign, they were simply known as "bicycles". In the late 1890s, the name "ordinary" began to be used, to distinguish them from the emerging safety bicycles; this term and "hi-wheel" (and variants) are preferred by many modern enthusiasts.Following the popularity of the boneshaker, Eugène Meyer, a Frenchman, invented the high-wheeler bicycle design in 1869 and fashioned the wire-spoke tension wheel. Around 1870 English inventor James Starley, described as the father of the bicycle industry, and others, began producing bicycles based on the French boneshaker but with front wheels of increasing size, because larger front wheels, up to 5 feet (1.5 m) in diameter, enabled higher speeds on bicycles limited to direct drive. In 1878, Albert Pope began manufacturing the Columbia bicycle outside Boston, starting their two-decade heyday in America.Although the trend was short-lived, the penny-farthing became a symbol of the late Victorian era. Its popularity also coincided with the birth of cycling as a sport.

Penny (Australian coin)

The Australian penny was a coin of the Australian pound used in the Commonwealth of Australia prior to decimalisation in 1966. It was worth one-twelfth of an Australian shilling and 1/240 of an Australian pound. The coin was equivalent in its dimensions, composition and value to the British penny, as the two currencies were fixed at par.

The coin was first introduced in 1911, and stopped being minted in 1965, with the introduction of decimalisation. When decimalisation happened on 14 February 1966, the coin value was equal to 0.8333¢.

The obverse of the coin featured the reigning Australian monarch. Three were featured: George V, George VI and Elizabeth II. All of the pennies featuring George VI and Elizabeth II had a kangaroo on the reverse except for the 1965 penny it featured a Roman. The kangaroo image was on the Australian half-penny and has since been included on the dollar coin and the bullion silver kangaroo.

During the George VI era, coins minted at Perth had a dot either at the end of the word "PENNY", after the word "AUSTRALIA" or in between the "K" and "G" above the end of the kangaroo's tail, while coins from Melbourne did not have a dot. An "I" under the bust of George VI denoted being minted in India. A "PL" mintmark after "PENNY" denoted minting in London, England. This continued through the end of the coin's lifetime.

Penny (British pre-decimal coin)

The pre-decimal penny (1d) 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, and in Scotland it had the same monetary value as one pre-1707 Scottish shilling. The penny was originally minted in silver, but from the late 18th century it was minted in copper, and then 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 specifically eight individual penny coins.

Before Decimal Day in 1971 twelve pence made a shilling, and twenty shillings made a pound, hence 240 pence in one pound. Values less than a pound were usually written in terms of shillings and pence, e.g. 42 pence would be three shillings and sixpence (3/6), pronounced "three and six". Values of less than a shilling were simply written in terms of pence, e.g. eight pence would be 8d.

This version of the penny was made obsolete in 1971 by decimalisation, and was replaced by the decimal penny, worth 2.4 old pence.

Penny (English coin)

The English penny (plural "pence"), originally a coin of 1.3 to 1.5 grams (0.042 to 0.048 troy ounces; 0.046 to 0.053 ounces) pure silver, was introduced around the year 785 by King Offa of Mercia. These coins were similar in size and weight to the continental deniers of the period and to the Anglo-Saxon sceats which had preceded it.

Throughout the period of the Kingdom of England, from its beginnings in the 9th century, the penny was produced in silver. Pennies of the same nominal value, one 240th of a pound sterling, were in circulation continuously until the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707.

Penny (Irish pre-decimal coin)

The penny (1d) (Irish: pingin) coin was the third smallest denomination of the pre-decimal Irish pound, worth ​1⁄240 of a pound or ​1⁄12 of a shilling. To express an amount, penny was abbreviated to "d", e.g. 1d, from the Roman denarius. It was introduced in 1928 to replace its British counterpart, used when all of Ireland was a constituent country of the United Kingdom. The last year of minting was 1968 and it ceased to be legal tender on 31 December 1971.

The coin measured 1.215 inches (30.9 mm) in diameter and weighed 9.45 grams. The bronze coin was made up of 95.5% copper, 3% tin and 1.5% zinc. Its dimensions were the same as that of the British penny as both currencies were pegged until 1979.

The reverse of the penny was designed by the English artist Percy Metcalfe. It featured a hen and five chicks and the coin's Irish name. The obverse featured the Irish harp. From 1928 to 1937 the date was split either side of the harp with the name Saorstát Éireann circling around. From 1938 to 1968 the inscription changed to Éire on the left of the harp and the date on the right.

Penny sterling

The penny sterling (symbol: p; plural: pence) is a subdivision of pound sterling, the currency for the United Kingdom. It is currently ​1⁄100 of a pound, but historically was ​1⁄240 of a pound (old penny sterling). Its name is carried by the present British penny.

Stocks are often traded in pence rather than pounds. Stock exchanges often use GBX (or GBp) to indicate that this is the case for the given stock rather than the ISO 4217 currency symbol GBP for pound sterling.


Světozor ("Seeing the World") was a Czech language illustrated magazine published in 19th and 20th century.

The London Journal

The London Journal; and Weekly Record of Literature, Science and Art (published from 1845 to 1928) was a British penny fiction weekly, one of the best-selling magazines of the nineteenth century.

The magazine was established by George Stiff, published by George Vickers and initially written and edited by George W. M. Reynolds. After Reynolds left to found his own Reynolds's Miscellany in 1846, John Wilson Ross became editor.

In the mid-1850s the circulation was over 500,000.

In 1857 Herbert Ingram, in secret partnership with Punch 's owners Bradbury and Evans, bought the newspaper, and Punch 's editor Mark Lemon was placed in editorial charge. Lemon's attempt to rebrand the newspaper, serializing novels by Walter Scott, was a commercial failure. In 1859 Stiff bought the paper back (combining it with a title The Guide which he had started in the interim). Stiff installed Percy B. St. John and then Pierce Egan as editor. After Stiff's bankruptcy in 1862 W. S. Johnson became proprietor.

By 1883 it had transformed itself from being a “penny family weekly” into what was recognizably a “woman’s magazine”. In 1889 Herbert Allingham became editor, publishing his own story "A Devil of a Woman" in 1893.


Twopenny may refer to:

the British coin: see History of the British penny (1901–1970)

Twopenny (cricketer) (c. 1845 – 1883), the first Aboriginal Australian to play first-class cricket

Twopenny Tube, an underground "tube" railway in London

Two Penny Act, enacted in 1758 by the Virginia General Assembly

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