The Florin/Two Shillings coin was first issued in 1849 and continued until the last issue in 1967 under the reign of our current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.
Its value was one tenth of a pound as the used to be twenty shillings to the pound prior to decimalisation. Under this system there was 12 pennies to a shilling and, therefore, this coin equates to 24 pennies.
This was the last pre-decimal coin circulating after decimalisation having a value of 10 New Pence until it was demonetised in 1993. It had the same size and specifications as the new ten pence piece surviving for quarter of a century after decimalisation.
The original florins were issued from 1849 and met with some controversy for omitting a reference to God from Queen Victoria’s titles and were named “Godless” florins. These were replaced with the “Gothic” florins which carry the date in roman numerals. These we first issued in 1851.
The 1849 “Godless” Florin was the first coin in over 200 years to carry the portrait of a monarch wearing a crown, Queen Victoria as a very young woman. As a country we were always playing with decimalisation and to this end this coin was issued with its value stated as “one tenth of a pound” but also dropped any reference to faith or God surrounding the portrait of the Queen, hence the term “Godless”.
Like the vast majority of our coinage the florin/two shillings has gone through many design changes until the final design was introduced in 1954.
These coins are very collectable and are ideal birthday, wedding and anniversary gifts. They are an inexpensive way to introduce yourself to coin collecting.