Florin (Two Shillings), Coin Type from United Kingdom - detailed information

Florin (Two Shillings), Coin Type from United Kingdom (issued 1848 - 1970)
Coin TypeFlorin (Two Shillings)

The Florin (written as 2/- or 2s) was a coin worth one tenth of a pre-decimal Pound Sterling, or two shillings, or 24 pence. The denomination was introduced in 1848 and was issued until 1970.

Prior to Decimal Day in 1971 there were 240 pence in one pound sterling. Twelve pence made a shilling, and twenty shillings made a pound. Values less than a pound were usually written in terms of shillings and pence, e.g. forty-two pence would be three shillings and six pence (3/6), pronounced "three and six". Values of less than a shilling were simply written in terms of pence, e.g. eight pence would be 8d. The abbreviation "s" for a shilling does not come from the word "shilling" but from "sestertius", the Roman denomination which it was considered to continue.

The denomination was initially sterling silver (92.5%), debased to 50% silver in 1920 and finally to copper-nickel in 1947.

In 1968, in the run-up to decimalisation, the two shilling coin was superseded by the decimal ten pence coin, which had the same value and initially the same size and weight. When the currency became decimal in 1971, florins were re-denominated as ten new pence and continued in circulation, alongside the ten pence coin, until 1993 when the 10p was reduced in size.

Obverse
United Kingdom / Florin (Two Shillings) - obverse photo

Effigy of the ruling British monarch, legend (in Latin).

During the existence of the denomination, florin coins were issued for:
- Queen Victoria (1848 - 1901), with three different portraits
- King Edward VII (1902 - 1910)
- King George V (1911 - 1936)
- King George VI (1937 - 1951)
- Queen Elizabeth II (1953 - 1970)

Obverse Inscription Legend of the ruling British monarch
Reverse
United Kingdom / Florin (Two Shillings) - reverse photo

The reverse went through several transformations during the existence of the denomination.

The first design (1848 - 1887) shows a crowned cruciform (cross pattern) of shields bearing the three lions passant of England (twice, in positions 1 and 3), the lion rampant of Scotland (2), and the harp of Ireland (4). The shields are contained within a deeply tressured circular panel. In the angles are two roses, a shamrock and a thistle - the national plants of England, Scotland and Ireland respectively. In the centre there is a double Tudor rose. Around above, interrupted by St Edward's crown on top of the English shield, preceded by two decorative crosses and followed by one cross, the name of the denomination: ONE FLORIN; around below, its value as a fraction of the Pound Sterling: ONE TENTH OF A POUND. The general style, and especially the inscriptions, are Gothic hence the type is called the Gothic Florin (or the Godless Florin for the first two issues in 1848 and 1849, due to the omission of the "by the Grace of God" part of the Queens's legend in these years).

The second design (1887 - 1892), known as the Jubilee Florin because it had the Jubilee portrait of Queen Victoria on the obverse, is a similar cruciform but not as ornate, and the lettering is no longer Gothic in style; it no longer displayed the value and denomination though.

The third design (1893 - 1901) features, partly within the Garter of the Order of the Garter, three shields with the arms of England, Scotland, and Ireland. They are collectively crowned with St Edward's crown. Between the shields, a rose, thistle, and shamrock - the floral emblems of England, Scotland and Ireland respectively. Behind the shields, two crossed sceptres - one surmounted with an eagle, and one with an orb and cross. The Garter surrounding the shields is inscribed with the Royal motto HONI · SOIT · QUI · MAL · Y · PENSE ·, partly obscured by the shields. The value and denomination are given as · ONE · FLORIN TWO · SHILLINGS.

The fourth design (1902 - 1910) shows the standing figure of Britannia - the female personification of Great Britain, holding a trident in one hand and balancing a shield with the British Union Jack flag in the other, her cloak billowing in the wind behind. She wears a crested Corinthian helmet pushed back to reveal her face. Britannia is standing on the prow of an ancient ship, on which is inscribed the date of issue. Around left and around right, the value of the coin in two forms: ONE FLORIN on the left and TWO SHILLINGS on the right.

The fifth design (1911 - 1926) features a cruciform of four crowned shields forming a cross around the Star of the Garter. The shields bear the arms of England (top and bottom), Scotland (right), and Ireland (left). In the angles are four sceptres dividing the shields, two surmounted by orbs, the others by a harp and a thistle. Around above, divided by the crown on the top English shield, the denomination ONE FLORIN; around below, divided by the crown of the bottom English shield, the date of issue.

The sixth design (1927 - 1936) features a cruciform of four shields forming a cross around the King's initial, the letter G; the cross is diagonal (rotated 45 degrees). The shields bear the arms of England (above left and below right, Scotland (above right), and Ireland (below left). Dividing the shields are four sceptres ending with crosses, each surmounted by a representation of St. Edward's Crown. The denomination is given as ONE FLORIN.

The seventh design (1937 - 1951) features a rose (the floral symbol of England) crowned with the Crown of Saint Edward, dividing a thistle (the floral symbol of Scotland) above the letter G (for Georgivs - George) and a shamrock (the floral symbol of Ireland) above the letter R (for Rex - King). The denomination is given as TWO SHILLINGS. The design was issued in 50% silver until 1946, then in copper-nickel.

The eighth and final design (1953 - 1970) features at its centre a rose, the floral emblem of England. It is surrounded by linked thistles, shamrocks and leeks - the floral emblems of the other constituent countries of the United Kingdom: Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales respectively. The denomination is given as TWO SHILLINGS.

Reverse Inscription ONE FLORIN ONE TENTH OF A POUND
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

Various British colonies, dominions and dependencies also issued their own versions of the florin denomination (in some places called "two shillings"), usually to be used in parallel with their Imperial counterpart and with compatible dimensions and composition but sometimes made deliberately different. For these, see:

- Australia, Florin - issued 1910 to 1963, withdrawn 1966 (not demonetised); replaced by compatible Twenty Cents - still being issued and current
- British West Africa, Two Shillings - issued 1913 to 1952, demonetised 1968
- New Zealand, Florin - issued 1933 to 1965, demonetised 2006; replaced by compatible Twenty Cents issued 1967 to 2006, demonetised 2006
- Fiji, Florin - issued 1934 to 1965, demonetised 1969; replaced by compatible Twenty Cents issued 1969 to 2006, demonetised 2009
- Nigeria, Two Shillings - issued in 1959 only, demonetised 1973

Coin Type: Florin (Two Shillings) - (117) Coins (Page 2 of 2)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Two Shillings (Florin) 1951 27,431,747 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX
Two Shillings (Florin) 1953 11,998,710 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA BRITT: OMN: REGINA
Two Shillings (Florin) 1954 13,085,422 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Two Shillings (Florin) 1955 25,887,253 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Two Shillings (Florin) 1956 47,824,500 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Two Shillings (Florin) 1957 33,071,282 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Two Shillings (Florin) 1958 9,564,580 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Two Shillings (Florin) 1959 14,080,319 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Two Shillings (Florin) 1960 13,831,782 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Two Shillings (Florin) 1961 37,735,315 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Two Shillings (Florin) 1962 35,129,903 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Two Shillings (Florin) 1963 25,580,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Two Shillings (Florin) 1964 16,313,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Two Shillings (Florin) 1965 48,723,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Two Shillings (Florin) 1966 84,574,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Two Shillings (Florin) 1967 22,000,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Two Shillings (Florin) 1970 (Proof only) 750,476 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Showing 101 to 117 of 117 Coins.
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Florin (Two Shillings): Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Sub-types Godless Florin
Gothic Florin
Jubilee Florin
Florin Three Shields
Florin Britannia
Florin George V First Issue
Florin George V Second Issue
Florin George VI (Silver)
Florin George VI (CuproNickel)
Florin Elizabeth II
From1848
To1970
Face Value2 (x Shilling)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1993)
MaterialSilver to 1946, then CuproNickel
Designer
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
Size
Mass
Florin (Two Shillings): Photos
ImageDetails
Pattern Coin - Florin, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1848
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Godless florin (1848 - 1849).
Source
Proof Coin - Florin, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1880
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Gothic florin (1851 - 1887).
Source
Great Britain 1887 florin KM-762
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Jubilee type (1887 - 1892).
Source
Proof Coin - Florin, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1893
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Three shields reverse (1893 - 1901).
Source
Great Britain 1907 florin
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Britannia reverse (1902 - 1910).
Source
Coin - Florin (2 Shillings), George V, Great Britain, 1911
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: George V First Issue (1911 - 1926).
Source
Proof Coin - Florin (2 Shillings), George V, Great Britain, 1928
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: George V Second Issue (1927 - 1936).
Source
Proof Coin - Florin, George VI, Great Britain, 1947
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: George VI Silver and CuproNickel common reverse (1937 - 1951).
Source
Proof Coin - Florin, Elizabeth II, Great Britain, 1953
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Queen Elizabeth II common reverse (1953 - 1970).
Source
Pattern Coin - Florin, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1848
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria, Gothic portrait and Arabic date (1848 - 1849).
Source
Proof Coin - Florin, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1880
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria, Gothic portrait and Roman date (1851 - 1887).
Source
Great Britain 1887 florin KM-762
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria, Jubilee Head (1887 - 1892).
Source
Proof Coin - Florin, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1893
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria, Veiled head (1893 - 1901).
Source
Great Britain 1907 florin
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: King Edward VII (1902 - 1910).
Source
Coin - Florin (2 Shillings), George V, Great Britain, 1911
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George V (1911 - 1936).
Source
Proof Coin - Florin, George VI, Great Britain, 1947
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George VI (1937 - 1951).
Source
Proof Coin - Florin, Elizabeth II, Great Britain, 1953
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Elizabeth II, Queen of all the Britains (1953).
Source