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British Coin Denomination Question

Is there a difference between 1 Penny and 1 Pence or are they somehow the same ?

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    John ConduittJohn Conduitt Posts: 370 ✭✭✭

    The same. Actually, pence is the plural for an amount of money. (Pennies for an amount of coins).

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    SapyxSapyx Posts: 2,103 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 10, 2024 3:49PM

    If you have one One Penny coin, you have one penny. You wouldn't say "one pence", because pence is plural (just like you wouldn't say "I have one cents").

    If you have two One Penny coins, you have two pennies. You also have two pence.

    If you have one Two Pence coin, you have no pennies. But you have two pence.

    The reason that "penny" is a popular nickname for the American/Canadian one cent coin is that sometimes it can come in handy to have a specific name for the coin itself, depending on whether you want to talk about "amount of money" or "number of coins". And American coins don't really have convenient names; the official proper name for the American penny is "the one cent piece", which is way too long to say in everyday conversation when the quicker "penny" works just as well.

    Saying "I have sixty cents" is ambiguous - do you mean that you have sixty one cent coins, or do you have some random mixture of coins that add up to sixty cents, and it's that amount of money that is important to you?

    The British situation is made more complicated by their having two different denominations, both named "penny".

    Prior to 15th February 1971, Britain had a predecimal system, of 12 pence to the shilling, and 20 shillings to the pound - giving 240 pence to the pound.

    After 15th February 1971, Britain had a decimal system; they kept the pound the same, but their new decimal 1/100th of a pound they also called a "penny". Originally "new penny" to avoid confusion, but the "new" was dropped in 1983. One new penny was equal to 2.4 old pence.

    This similarity between the decimal penny and predecimal penny is curiously removed when using abbreviations. The abbreviation for the predecimal penny was "d" (a symbol derived from the old Roman denarius). So, "six pence" could be abbreviated "6d". But the new decimal penny's abbreviation is simply "p". Thus, "six pence" becomes "6p".

    Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.
    Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, "Meditations"

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    ajaanajaan Posts: 17,188 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So a denomination 1 Maundy coin is called a penny?


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    Don
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    DoubleDimeDoubleDime Posts: 625 ✭✭✭

    I'm with ajaan, why then is the Maundy coin 1 Pence ?

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    SapyxSapyx Posts: 2,103 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ajaan said:
    So a denomination 1 Maundy coin is called a penny?

    Yes.

    @DoubleDime said:
    I'm with ajaan, why then is the Maundy coin 1 Pence ?

    It isn't. The four Maundy coin denominations are penny, twopence, threepence and fourpence, with nominal face values of 1p, 2p, 3p and 4p respectively. They were originally worth 1d, 2d, 3d and 4d, but pre-1971 Maundy coins were unilaterally revaluated to their new pence values. A largely symbolic act, since they are made of sterling silver so contain considerably more than their face value in silver.

    If anybody is calling the one penny coin "one pence", they are mistaken.

    Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.
    Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, "Meditations"

    Apparently I have been awarded one DPOTD. B)
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    SapyxSapyx Posts: 2,103 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Ah, I see PCGS call them "1 pence" in their pop report. Then yep, PCGS are wrong.

    Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.
    Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, "Meditations"

    Apparently I have been awarded one DPOTD. B)
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    DoubleDimeDoubleDime Posts: 625 ✭✭✭

    Thank you. I see the difference now. 1 Pence should be called 1 Penny.

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