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WWII Coinage Adjustments


Art
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Recently there was some information shared about the changes to US and Canadian coinage to accomodate the materials needed for WWII. Extending this to other countries sounds like a good idea so I read through my Spinks this morning to see what Britain might have done.

 

The great little silver 3 pence was changed in 1937 to the larger multisided bronze coin with the silver coin being issued simultaneously until 1943. There was nothing in Spinks about the reason for this change and so I'm not sure if it was war related or not. I'd guess not because of the continued issuance of silver coins. Spinks did note that because of the need to repay silver to the US coins were changed to copper-nickel in 1947. In a way I guess that would qualify as an accomodation required for WWII.

 

Does anyone know why the 3 pence was changed in 1937 and why the silver was issued as well for so many years?

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The plans for the bronze threenub went back into 1936, as they were first erroneously released with Edward VIII's portrait. The silver threenub was not the most convenient of coin sizes because of it's diminutive size - I surmise that is the reason the bronze example was issued because of the more usable size. It is possible that the silver examples continued to be issued because of a lot of unused blanks, but that is conjecture. At any rate mintages of the .500 silver coin continued to diminish until they were last minted in 1942.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think Art it's much like the reason half dimes were replaced by Nickels, the half dime was small and easy to lose! (Amongst other potential reasons).

 

The silver threepence may have continued because it was used in the colonies (West Indies), but also there was some demand for the coin around Christmas time, where it used to be hidden in Christmas puddings as a treat for the lucky person who found it. That is as long as they didn't end up choking on it!

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Although I know it's not UK, if you're interested in coinages affected by WWII then you want to check out the German coinage, that was seriously affected.

 

Silver coinage suspended in '39, the brass and bronze issues switched to zinc soon after. In 1945 after VE day, the Third Reich coinage continued to be issued by the Allies in it's wartime alloys with the exact same design except the Swastika was removed from the dies.

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almost any country occupied by the germans used that horrible zinc.

japan used tin on lower denominations too

Holland STILL did runs silver 10 cents through the war though

 

i think the 3D's were unpopular.. and they were made until 1945 nothing to do with the war, it was phasing out i guess.

incidently there were changes to the pennies in the war years.

and of US interest, the 1943 cent planchet was used for the 2 francs in belgium in 1944 after liberation

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