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,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!