Britain: Heptagonal Hex

Britain faces another Dday, but this time the D stands for decimal. On Feb. 15, 1971, the British will stop dividing their pounds into 20 shillings or 240 pence and officially convert their currency to a decimal system with 100 "new pence" to the pound.

The first two coins, which had the same shape, heft and value as existing pieces, entered circulation painlessly. They were a five-new-pence coin worth twelve old pennies and a ten-new-pence coin that is the equivalent of two old shillings. Now comes the third decimal piece: the 50-new-penny unit,...

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