Encyclopedia > Decimalization

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Decimalization was the process of coverting the United Kingdom's system of pounds, shillings, and pence to a decimal system of units with 100 "new pence" to a pound, which kept the same value as before.

As there were previously 20 shillings, each of 12 pence, in a pound, each "new penny" (or "pee", since the abbreviation p for pence replaced the old d for denarii which was used as an abbreviation for old pennies) was worth exactly 2.4 old pence, and 5 new pence were equivalent to an old shilling. In particular, 10 new pence were equivalent to a florin.

Children found this easy to grasp, but many older people struggled to adapt to the new system.

Australia went through a similar process in 1966. The currency was renamed the Australian dollar in the process.

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