Wartime Money


Farthing1944Three Pence coin 1943
The coins used during the war were different from those used today.
On 15th February 1971, decimal currency was introduced into the United Kingdom and a range of new coins was introduced.
Up until 1971, British money was made up of pence, shillings and pounds. There were 12 pence in a shilling and 20 shillings in a pound.

Wartime 'Blue' £1 note c.1940
During the war the coins and notes used were,



Coin



Written as:



Common name


Decimal equivalent

Comparing the purchasing power 1939 - 2000 1

Farthing

     1/4d

Farthing

less than 1/8p

     £0.05

Halfpenny

     1/2d

Ha’penny

less than 1/4p

     £0.10

Penny

     1d

Penny

less than 1/2p

     £0.21

Three pence

     3d

Thrup’nny bit

     11/4p

     £0.62

Six pence

     6d

Tanner

     21/2p

     £1.24

Shilling

1s or 1/-

Bob

     5p

     £2.49

Florin

2s or 2/-

Two bob bit

     10p

     £4.97

Half a crown

2s 6d or 2/6

Half a crown

     12½p

     £6.22

Ten shilling note

10s or 10/-

Ten bob note

     50p

    £24.88

Pound note

     £1

Pound

100p or £1.00

    £49.75

Though guineas were not in circulation, prices were often written in guineas:

 



Written as:



Common name


Decimal equivalent

Comparing the purchasing power 1939 - 2000 1

Guinea

1 Gn or £1 1s or £1/1s or 21s

Guinea

105p or £1.05

    £52.24

Half Penny 1941One Penny 1939

Some items compared


Item


     £      s      d
2

Decimal equivalent

Adjusted for inflation1 1939 - 2000

Average earnings/week

     3     17     0

          £3.85

           £191.54

Stamp

                     1

          £0.005

               £0.21

Pint of Beer

                     8

          £0.0625

               £1.66

Loaf of Bread

                     3

          £0.0125

               £0.62

Average House price

  750       0     0

      £750.00

      £37 312.50

 

1Data obtained from Economic History Resources.

2Data obtained from Daily Mail Centenary CD-ROM.

Two Shillings (Florin) 1939Silver Three Pence coin 1940


Copyright © 2002 Peter N. Risbey.