Sixpence 2016, Coin from United Kingdom - detailed information

Sixpence 2016, Coin from United Kingdom
CoinSixpence 2016

The sixpence (also spelled six pence as two words), abbreviated as 6d (from 6 denarii, the Latin word for a small silver denomination) had been a regular circulating coin of the pre-decimal Pound Sterling since the reign of King Edward VI in England (1547 - 1553); it was equal to 6/240 of a pound. The coin went through many changes until the 20th century, when it was first debased from sterling silver to 0.500 silver, then changed to copper-nickel.

After decimalisation in 1971, the pre-decimal sixpence denomination had no equivalent in the new decimal system and was demonetised in 1980. Throughout its history as a circulating coin, it had traditionally been used also as a wedding gift, with a popular Old English rhyme going, "Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe" - which names the four good-luck objects, plus a sixpence to bring prosperity, that a bride should include somewhere in her wedding outfit or carry with her on her wedding day. The bride’s father would give her a silver sixpence to place in her left shoe to bring the happy couple prosperity in their life together.

Another age-old British Christmas tradition is for families to stir a Christmas silver sixpence coin into their Christmas pudding for good fortune. Stir-up-Sunday, the last Sunday before Advent, is the traditional day to make the Christmas pudding. Traditionally, a silver sixpence was stirred into the mix, to bring the finder wealth and good luck in the year to come. In the past it was usual for every member of the household to give the pudding a stir and make a wish. Some families have used the same Christmas sixpence for as long as they can remember.

In 2016, the Royal Mint revived that tradition when it started issuing sixpence coins again, with a new reverse design by John Bergdahl. These are denominated as 6 new (decimal) pence and have the composition of the pre-1920 sterling silver coins. The Royal Mint sells them in gift packaging suitable for the occasion (wedding or Christmas); although legal tender, these coins are not meant for circulation.

The 2016 sixpence coins were only packaged in a gift box ("Wedding Gift") or in a Christmas presentation card; none were issued loose.

MintRoyal Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage10,405
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United Kingdom / Sixpence 2016 - obverse photo

The obverse of the coin depicts the crowned old head of Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem crown worn for her Coronation (her effigy known as the "Fifth Portrait").

In small letters below the head, the artist's initials J.C (for Jody Clark).

Running continuously around the effigy is the monarch's legend: ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·. Translated from Latin: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith.

Obverse Inscription ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRA · REGINA · FID · DEF ·
United Kingdom / Sixpence 2016 - reverse photo

Within a flower wreath, the Royal cypher E II R (for Elizabeth II Regina - translated from Latin, Elizabeth the Second, Queen), crowned with St Edward's Crown. The crown divides the date: 2016.

Around above, the denomination: SIXPENCE.

The designer's initials JB (for John Bergdahl) are in the lower right field.

Reverse Inscription SIXPENCE 2016 E II R
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone

The Royal Mint lists two items called The Silver Six Pence 2016 on its sales page for 2016, one with mintage 4,825 and the other one 5,580. Most probably one is for the boxed version and one for the carded version.

Sixpence 2016: Known varieties
Variety In Christmas presentation card
Mintage Issued: 5,580
Material0.925 Silver
Sixpence 2016: References to Information Used
Royal Mint Mintage link
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Sixpence 2016: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling
Coin TypeSixpence, Decimal
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
EffigyQueen Elizabeth II - Portrait by Jody Clark (Fifth Portrait)
ReverseImperial Crown - St Edward's Crown and the Tudor Crown
Face Value6 (x Penny)
Total Mintage10,405
Material0.925 Silver
DesignerJohn Bergdahl
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size19.4100 mm
Mass3.3500 g
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Sixpence 2016: Photos
Sixpence 2016: Photo 2016 Sprig Wedding Silver Sixpence / thumbnail 2016 Sprig Wedding Silver Sixpence
Copyright: Royal Mint
Sixpence 2016: Photo 2016 Sprig Wedding Silver Sixpence / thumbnail 2016 Sprig Wedding Silver Sixpence
Copyright: Royal Mint
Sixpence 2016: Catalogue Reference IDs