Pre 1947 British silver coins

From the viewpoint of a silver coin investor, there have been four distinct eras of British coinage since 1800:


Prior to 1920, British silver coins contained high purity, 92.5% (Sterling) silver.
From 1920 to 1946, British silver coins contained 50% silver.
From 1947 to 1971, British coins contained no silver.
From 1971-on, British decimal coins were issued and contained no silver.

The standard circulating denominations of pre-decimal British coins from 1800 to 1946 which contained 92.5% or 50% silver, included threepences, sixpences, shillings, florins, two shillings, halfcrowns, double florins, and crowns.

Prior to 1920

British silver coins contained high purity, 92.5% (Sterling) silver. These coins contain the following amounts of actual silver weight:

Threepence (.0420 Troy ounces of actual silver weight)
Sixpence (.0841 Troy ounces)
Shilling (.1682 Troy ounces)
Florin (.3364 Troy ounces)
Half Crown (.4206 Troy ounces)
Double Florins (1887-1890) (.6727 Troy ounces)
Crown (.8409 Troy ounces)

All the silver weights above are for as-minted, uncirculated coins. Circulated coins will weigh somewhat less overall and thus have modestly less silver content than listed above.
Sellers of British silver coins are often in terms of their combined face value, in Pounds Sterling. One Pound (£1) of pre-1920 British silver coins contains slightly more than 3.3 Troy ounces of actual silver weight, for as-minted, uncirculated coins.

One Pound is equivalent to 240 pence, if you should need to calculate the actual silver weight of silver coins comprising fractions of a Pound. For instance, £1.20p of pre-1920 British silver coins would contain approximately 3.6 Troy ounces of silver (3.3 Troy ounces plus 20 pence/240 pence times 3.3 Troy ounces), and £2.25 of pre-1920 British silver coins would contain around 7.4 Troy ounces of silver.

From 1920 to 1946

British silver coins contained 50% silver. These coins contain the following amounts of actual silver weight:

Threepence (.0227 Troy ounces of actual silver weight)
Sixpence (.0455 Troy ounces)
Shilling (.0909 Troy ounces)
Florin (1920-1936) and Two Shillings (1937-1946) (.1818 Troy ounces)
Half Crown (.2273 Troy ounces)

All the silver weights above are for as-minted, uncirculated coins. Circulated coins will weigh less overall and will have slightly less silver content than listed above.

Again, sellers often describe their British silver coins in terms of their face value in Pounds Sterling. One Pound (£1) of 1920 to 1946 British silver coins contains slightly more than 1.8 Troy ounces of actual silver weight, for as-minted, uncirculated coins.


One Pound is equivalent to 240 pence, if you should need to calculate the actual silver weight of silver coins comprising fractions of a Pound. For instance, £1.20p of 1920-1946 British silver coins would contain slightly more than 1.95 Troy ounces of silver (1.8 Troy ounces plus 20 pence/240 pence times 1.8 Troy ounces), and £2.25 of 1920-1946 British silver coins would contain around 4.05 Troy ounces of silver.

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