The shilling is a unit of currency formerly used in Austria, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, United States and other British Commonwealth countries. Currently the shilling is used as a currency in four east African countries: Kenya (Kenyan shilling), Tanzania (Tanzanian shilling), Uganda (Ugandan shilling) and Somalia (Somali shilling). It is also the proposed currency that the east African community plans to introduce (east African shilling). The word shilling comes from old English "Scilling", a monetary term meaning twentieth of a pound, and from the Proto-Germanic root skiljaną meaning 'to separate.' The word "Scilling" is mentioned in the earliest recorded Germanic law codes, those of Æthelberht of Kent.
Slang terms for the old shilling coins include "bob" and "hog". While the derivation of "bob" is uncertain, John Camden Hotten in his 1864 Slang Dictionary says the original version was "bobstick" and speculates that it may be connected with Sir Robert Walpole.
One abbreviation for shilling is s (for solidus, see £sd). Often it was represented by a solidus symbol ("/"), which may have originally stood for a long s or ſ, thus 1/9 would be one shilling and ninepence (and equivalent to 21d; the shilling itself was equal to 12d). A price with no pence was sometimes written with a solidus and a dash: 11/–.
During the Great Recoinage of 1816, the mint was instructed to coin one troy pound (weighing 5760 grains or 373 g) of standard (0.925 fine) silver into 66 shillings, or its equivalent in other denominations. This set the weight of the shilling, and its subsequent decimal replacement 5 new pence coin, at 87.2727 grains or 5.655 grams from 1816 until 1990, when a new smaller 5p coin was introduced.
In the past, the English world has had various myths about the shilling. One myth was that it was deemed to be the value of a cow in Kent or a sheep elsewhere.
A shilling was a coin used in England from the reign of Henry VII (or Edward VI around 1550). The shilling continued in use after the Acts of Union of 1707 created a new United Kingdom from the Kingdoms of England and Scotland, and under Article 16 of the Articles of Union, a common currency for the new United Kingdom was created.
The term shilling (Scots: schilling) was in use in Scotland from early Middle Ages.
The common currency created in 1707 by Article 16 of the Articles of Union continued in use until decimalisation in 1971. In the traditional pounds, shillings and pence system, there were 20 shillings per pound and 12 pence per shilling, and thus there were 240 pence in a pound.
Three coins denominated in multiple shillings were also in circulation at this time. They were:
At decimalisation in 1971, the shilling coin was superseded by the new five-pence piece, which initially was of identical size and weight and had the same value, and inherited the shilling's slang name of a bob. Shillings remained in circulation until the five pence coin was reduced in size in 1991.
Between 1701 and the unification of the currencies in 1825, the Irish shilling was valued at 13 pence and known as the "black hog", as opposed to the 12-pence English shillings which were known as "white hogs".
In the Irish Free State and Republic of Ireland the shilling coin was issued as scilling in Irish. It was worth 1/20th of an Irish pound, and was interchangeable at the same value to the British coin, which continued to be used in Northern Ireland. The coin featured a bull on the reverse side. The first minting, from 1928 until 1941, contained 75% silver, more than the equivalent British coin. The original Irish shilling coin (retained after decimalisation)) was withdrawn from circulation on 1 January 1993, when a smaller five pence coin was introduced.
Australian shillings, twenty of which made up one Australian pound, were first issued in 1910, with the Australian coat of arms on the reverse and King Edward VII on the face. The coat of arms design was retained through the reign of King George V until a new ram's head design was introduced for the coins of King George VI. This design continued until the last year of issue in 1963. In 1966, Australia's currency was decimalised and the shilling was replaced by a ten cent coin (Australian), where 10 shillings made up one Australian dollar.
The slang term for a shilling coin in Australia was "deener". The slang term for a shilling as currency unit was "bob", the same as in the United Kingdom.
After 1966, shillings continued to circulate, as they were replaced by 10-cent coins of the same size and weight.
New Zealand shillings, twenty of which made up one New Zealand pound, were first issued in 1933 and featured the image of a Maori warrior carrying a taiaha "in a warlike attitude" on the reverse. In 1967, New Zealand's currency was decimalised and the shilling was replaced by a ten cent coin of the same size and weight. Ten cent coins minted through the remainder of the 1960s included the legend "ONE SHILLING" on the reverse. Smaller 10-cent coins were introduced in 2006.
In British Ceylon, an shilling (Sinhalese: Silima, Tamil: Silin) was equivalent to eight fanams. With the replacement of the rixdollar by the rupee in 1852, a shilling was deemed to be equivalent to half a rupee. On the decimalisation of the currency in 1869, a shilling was deemed to be equivalent to 50 Ceylon cents. The term continued to be used colloquially until the late 20th century.
The East African shilling was in use in the British colonies and protectorates of British Somaliland, Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda and Zanzibar from 1920, when it replaced the rupee, until after those countries became independent, and in Tanzania after that country was formed by the merger of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964. Upon independence in 1960, the East African shilling in the State of Somaliland (former British Somaliland) and the Somali somalo in the Trust Territory of Somalia (former Italian Somaliland) were replaced by the Somali shilling.
In 1966.5, the East African Monetary Union broke up, and the member countries replaced their currencies with the Kenyan shilling, the Ugandan shilling and the Tanzanian shilling, respectively. Though all these currencies have different values at present, there were plans to reintroduce the East African shilling as a new common currency by 2009, although this has not come about.
In the thirteen British colonies that became the United States in 1776, British money was often in circulation. Each colony issued its own paper money, with pounds, shillings, and pence used as the standard units of account. Some coins were minted in the colonies, such as the 1652 pine-tree shilling in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. After the United States adopted the dollar as its unit of currency and accepted the gold standard, one British shilling was worth 24 US cents. Due to ongoing shortages of US coins in some regions, shillings continued to circulate well into the 19th century. Shillings are described as the standard monetary unit throughout the autobiography of Solomon Northup (1853) and mentioned several times in the Horatio Alger, Jr. story, Ragged Dick (1868).
The Somali shilling has been the currency of parts of Somalia since 1921, when the East African shilling was introduced to the former British Somaliland protectorate. Following independence in 1960, the somalo of Italian Somaliland and the East African shilling (which were equal in value) were replaced at par in 1962 by the Somali shilling. Names used for the denominations were cent, centesimo (plural: centesimi) and سنت (plurals: سنتيمات and سنتيما) together with shilling, scellino (plural: scellini) and شلن.
That same year, the Banca Nazionale Somala issued notes for 5, 10, 20 and 100 scellini/shillings. In 1975, the Bankiga Qaranka Soomaaliyeed (Somali National Bank) introduced notes for 5, 10, 20 and 100 shilin/shillings. These were followed in 1978 by notes of the same denominations issued by the Bankiga Dhexe Ee Soomaaliya (Central Bank of Somalia). 50 shilin/shillings notes were introduced in 1983, followed by 500 shilin/shillings in 1989 and 1000 shilin/shillings in 1990. Also in 1990 there was an attempt to reform the currency at 100 to 1, with new banknotes of 20 and 50 new shilin prepared for the redenomination.
Following the breakdown in central authority that accompanied the civil war, which began in the early 1990s, the value of the Somali shilling was disrupted. The Central Bank of Somalia, the nation's monetary authority, also shut down operations. Rival producers of the local currency, including autonomous regional entities such as the Somaliland territory, subsequently emerged.
Somalia's newly established Transitional Federal Government revived the defunct Central Bank of Somalia in the late 2000s. In terms of financial management, the monetary authority is in the process of assuming the task of both formulating and implementing monetary policy. Owing to a lack of confidence in the Somali shilling, the US dollar is widely accepted as a medium of exchange alongside the Somali shilling. Dollarization notwithstanding, the large issuance of the Somali shilling has increasingly fueled price hikes, especially for low value transactions. This inflationary environment, however, is expected to come to an end as soon as the Central Bank assumes full control of monetary policy and replaces the presently circulating currency introduced by the private sector.
The Somaliland shilling is the official currency of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognised as an autonomous region of Somalia. The currency is not recognised as legal tender by the international community, and it currently has no official exchange rate. It is regulated by the Bank of Somaliland, the territory's central bank. Although the authorities in Somaliland have attempted to bar usage of the Somali shilling, Somalia's official currency is still the preferred means of exchange for many peoples in the region.
Elsewhere in the former British Empire, forms of the word shilling remain in informal use. In Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, selen is used in Bislama and Pijin to mean "money"; in Malaysia, syiling (pronounced like shilling) means "coin". In Egypt and Jordan the shillin (Arabic: شلن) is equal to 1/20th (five qirshes — Arabic: قرش, English: piastres) of the Egyptian pound or the Jordanian dinar. In Belize, the term shilling is commonly used to refer to twenty-five cents.
Media related to Shilling at Wikimedia CommonsBiafran pound
The Biafran pound was the currency of the breakaway Republic of Biafra between 1968 and 1970.
The first notes denominated in 5 shillings and £1 were introduced on January 29, 1968. A series of coins was issued in 1969; 3 pence, 6 pence, 1 shilling and 2½ shilling coins were minted, all made of aluminium. In February 1969, a second family of notes was issued consisting of 5 shilling, 10 shilling, £1, £5 and £10 denominations. Despite not being recognised as currency by the rest of the world when they were issued, the banknotes were afterwards sold as curios (typically at 2/6 (=.0125 GBP) for 1 pound notes in London philately/notaphily shops) and are now traded among banknote collectors at well above their original nominal value.
The most common note is the 1968 and 1969 1 pound notes, with the 10 pound note and all coins being rare.Charles Wesley Shilling
Capt. Charles Wesley Shilling USN (ret.) (September 21, 1901 – December 23, 1994) was an American physician who was known as a leader in the field of undersea and hyperbaric medicine, research, and education. Shilling was widely recognized as an expert on deep sea diving, naval medicine, radiation biology, and submarine capabilities. In 1939, he was Senior Medical Officer in the rescue of the submarine U.S.S. Squalus.East African shilling
The East African shilling was the currency issued for use in British controlled areas in East Africa from 1921 until 1969. It was produced by the East African Currency Board. It is also the proposed name for a common currency that the East African Community plans to introduce.
The shilling was subdivided into 100 cents, and a pound was equivalent to twenty shillings.Florin (British coin)
The British florin, or two shilling coin, was issued from 1849 until 1967, with a final issue for collectors dated 1970. Valued at one tenth of a pound (24 old pence), it was the last coin circulating immediately prior to decimalisation to be demonetised, in 1993, having for a quarter of a century circulated alongside the ten pence piece, identical in specifications and value.
The florin was introduced as part of an experiment in decimalisation that went no further at that time. The original florins, dated 1849, attracted controversy for omitting a reference to God from Queen Victoria's titles; that type is accordingly known as the "Godless florin", and was in 1851 succeeded by the "Gothic florin", for its design and style of lettering. Throughout most of its existence, the florin bore some variation of either the shields of the United Kingdom, or the emblems of its constituent nations on the reverse, a tradition broken between 1902 and 1910, when the coin featured a windswept figure of a standing Britannia.
In 1911, following the accession of George V, the florin regained the shields and sceptres design it had in the late Victorian Era, and kept that motif until 1937, when the national emblems were placed on it. The florin retained such a theme for the remainder of its run, though a new design was used from 1953, following the accession of Elizabeth II. In 1968, prior to decimalisation, the Royal Mint began striking the ten pence piece. The old two shilling piece remained in circulation until the ten pence piece was made smaller, and earlier coins, including the florin, were demonetised.Forty-shilling freeholders
Forty-shilling freeholders were a group of people who had the parliamentary franchise to vote by possessing freehold property, or lands held directly of the king, of an annual rent of at least forty shillings (i.e. £2 or 3 marks), clear of all charges.The qualification to vote using the ownership and value of property, and the creation of a group of forty-shilling freeholders, was practiced in many jurisdictions such as England, Scotland, Ireland, the United States of America, Australia and Canada.Jennifer Shilling
Jennifer Shilling (née Ehlenfeldt; born July 4, 1969) is a Democratic member of the Wisconsin State Senate first elected to represent the 32nd District in 2011 from La Crosse, Wisconsin. In 2014, she was elected Senate Minority Leader by fellow Democrats.Jersey pound
The pound is the currency of Jersey. Jersey is in currency union with the United Kingdom, and the Jersey pound is not a separate currency but is an issue of banknotes and coins by the States of Jersey denominated in pound sterling, in a similar way to the banknotes issued in Scotland and Northern Ireland (see Banknotes of the pound sterling). It can be exchanged at par with other sterling coinage and notes (see also sterling zone).
For this reason, ISO 4217 does not include a separate currency code for the Jersey pound, but where a distinct code is desired JEP is generally used.Both Jersey and Bank of England notes are legal tender in Jersey and circulate together, alongside the Guernsey pound and Scottish banknotes. The Jersey notes are not legal tender in the United Kingdom but are legal currency, so creditors and traders may accept them if they so choose.Kenyan shilling
The shilling (Swahili: shilingi; sign: KSh; code: KES) is the currency of Kenya. It is divided into 100 cents.Massachusetts pound
The pound was the currency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its colonial predecessors until 1793. Like the British pound sterling of that era, the Massachusetts pound was subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence, but the Massachusetts and British pounds were not equivalent in value. British and other foreign coins were widely circulated in Massachusetts, supplemented by locally produced coins between about 1652 and 1682 and by local paper money from 1690.
The paper money issued in colonial Massachusetts was denominated in pounds, shillings, and pence. Initially, six shillings were equal to one Spanish dollar. After years of high inflation, in 1749 Massachusetts withdrew its paper money from circulation and returned to specie.
Massachusetts once again began issuing paper money after the American Revolutionary War began in 1775. The state currency depreciated greatly and was replaced by the U.S. dollar in 1793.Schilling, California
Schilling, formerly Shilling, is an unincorporated community in Fresno County, California. It is located on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad 2 miles (3.2 km) south-southeast of Lanare at an elevation of 213 feet (65 m).Shilling (Australian)
The Australian Shilling was a coin of the Commonwealth of Australia prior to decimalisation. The coin was minted from 1910 until 1963, excluding 1923, 1929, 1930, 1932, 1938, 1947, 1949 and 1951. After decimalisation on 14 February 1966, it was equal to 10c.
During World War II, between 1942–1944, shilling production was supplemented by coinage produced at the San Francisco branch of the United States Mint, which bear a small S below the ram's head.Shilling (British coin)
The shilling (1/-) was a coin worth one twentieth of a pound sterling, or twelve pence. It was first minted in the reign of Henry VII as the testoon, and became known as the shilling from the Old English scilling, sometime in the mid-sixteenth century, circulating until 1990. The word bob was sometimes used for a monetary value of several shillings, e.g. "ten bob note". Following decimalisation on 15 February 1971 the coin had a value of five new pence. It was made from silver from its introduction in or around 1503 until 1947, and thereafter in cupronickel.
Prior to Decimal Day in 1971 there were 240 pence in one pound sterling. Twelve pence made a shilling, and twenty shillings made a pound. Values less than a pound were usually written in terms of shillings and pence, e.g. forty-two pence would be three shillings and six pence (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.
Although the coin was not minted until the sixteenth century, the value of a shilling had been used for accounting purposes since the Anglo-Saxon period. Originally, a shilling was deemed to be the value of a cow in Kent, or a sheep elsewhere. The value of one shilling equalling 12d was set by the Normans following the conquest; prior to this various Anglo-Saxon coins equalling 4, 5, and 12 pence had all been known as shillings.Shilling (English coin)
The English shilling was a silver coin of the Kingdom of England, when first introduced known as the testoon. It remained in circulation until it became the British shilling as the result of the Union of England and Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707.
There were twenty shillings to the pound sterling and twelve pence to the shilling, and thus 240 pence to the pound.Slash (punctuation)
The slash is an oblique slanting line punctuation mark. Once used to mark periods and commas, the slash is now most often used to represent exclusive or inclusive or, division and fractions, and as a date separator. It is called a solidus in Unicode, is sometimes known as a stroke in British English, and it has several other historical or technical names, including oblique and virgule.
A slash in the reverse direction (\) is known as a backslash.Somali shilling
The Somali shilling (sign: Sh.So.; Somali: shilin; Arabic: شلن; Italian: scellino; ISO 4217: SOS) is the official currency of Somalia. It is subdivided into 100 senti (Somali, also سنت), cents (English) or centesimi (Italian).Somaliland shilling
The Somaliland shilling (Somali: Soomaaliland shilin) is the official currency of Republic of Somaliland, a self-declared republic that is internationally recognized as an autonomous region of Somalia.Tanzanian shilling
The shilingi (Swahili; English: shilling; sign: TSh; code: TZS) is the currency of Tanzania. It is subdivided into 100 senti (cents in English).
The Tanzanian shilling replaced the East African shilling on 14 June 1966 at par.Ugandan shilling
The shilling (sign: USh; code: UGX) is the currency of Uganda. Officially divided into cents until 2013, the shilling now has no subdivision.£sd
£sd (occasionally written Lsd, spoken as "pounds, shillings and pence" or pronounced /ɛlɛsˈdiː/ ell-ess-dee) is the popular name for the pre-decimal currencies once common throughout Europe, especially in the British Isles and hence in several countries of the British Empire and subsequently the Commonwealth. The abbreviation originates from the Latin currency denominations librae, solidi, and denarii. In the United Kingdom, which was one of the last to abandon the system, these were referred to as pounds, shillings, and pence (pence being the plural of penny).
This system originated in the classical Roman Empire. It was re-introduced into Western Europe by Charlemagne, and was the standard for many centuries across the continent. In Britain, it was King Offa of Mercia who adopted the Frankish silver standard of librae, solidi and denarii in the late 8th century, and the system was used in much of the British Commonwealth until the 1960s and 1970s, with Nigeria being the last to abandon it in the form of the Nigerian pound on 1 January 1973.
Under this system, there were 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shillings, or 240 pence, in a pound. The penny was subdivided into 4 farthings until 31 December 1960, when they ceased to be legal tender in the UK, and until 31 July 1969 there were also halfpennies ("ha'pennies") in circulation. The advantage of such a system was its use in mental arithmetic, as it afforded many factors and hence fractions of a pound such as tenths, eighths, sixths and even sevenths and ninths if the guinea (worth 21 shillings) was used. When dealing with items in dozens, multiplication and division are straightforward; for example, if a dozen eggs cost four shillings, then each egg was priced at fourpence.
As countries of the British Empire became independent, some abandoned the £sd system quickly, while others retained it almost as long as the UK itself. Australia, for example, only changed to using a decimal currency on 14 February 1966. Still others, notably Ireland, decimalised only when the UK did. The UK abandoned the old penny on Decimal Day, 15 February 1971, when one pound sterling became divided into 100 new pence. This was a change from the system used in the earlier wave of decimalisations in Australia, New Zealand, Rhodesia and South Africa, in which the pound was replaced with a new major currency called either the "dollar" or the "rand". The British shilling was replaced by a 5 new pence coin worth one-twentieth of a pound.
For much of the 20th century, £sd was the monetary system of most of the Commonwealth countries, the major exceptions being Canada and India.
Historically, similar systems based on Roman coinage were used elsewhere; e.g., the division of the livre tournois in France and other pre-decimal currencies such as Spain, which had 20 maravedís to 1 real and 20 reals to 1 duro or 5 pesetas.