United Kingdom Coins
The earliest coins of the United Kingdom date back to the Iron Age, around 2,500 years ago. These were produced by various tribes and kingdoms in what is now the UK, and often featured abstract designs or symbols. The Romans introduced their own coins when they invaded Britain in 43 AD, and these continued to be used until the withdrawal of Roman forces in the 5th century. After that, there was a period of several hundred years when there were few or no coins produced in the UK, and trade was conducted through barter. The first truly “British” coins were produced in the 7th century by the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, such as Wessex and Mercia. These often featured the bust of the reigning monarch or a Christian symbol, and were made of silver.
During the Middle Ages, coins continued to be produced by various monarchs and rulers, and their designs often reflected the political and religious context of the time. For example, coins of King Edward I often featured a castle, symbolizing his conquest of Wales, while coins of Henry VIII featured a rose and a portcullis, representing the union of the Houses of Lancaster and York. In 1816, a new coinage system was introduced in the UK, based on decimalization. The pound was divided into 100 pence, and new coins were introduced in denominations of 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, and £2. Since then, there have been many changes and updates to the UK’s coinage, with new designs and commemorative coins released regularly. For example, in recent years, there have been coins to mark the London Olympics, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and the 100th anniversary of the First World War.