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On 14 February 1966 Out Went The Silver Florins And In Came The Copper-Nickel Cents

 
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Valued Member
Australia
76 Posts
 Posted 11/04/2021  08:27 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add OzLeigh to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Did people really hand in their sterling silver florins for 20 cents each. Someone must have made a killing! Or was silver only worth 60 cents an ounce back then?
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United Kingdom
10527 Posts
 Posted 11/04/2021  09:28 am  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I imagine the 6d, 1/- and 2/- coins just continued to circulate alongside 5c, 10c and 20c coins, gradually getting scarcer as more and more decimals were issued. People may have handed in 3d coins to the banks to change them, as there was no decimal equivalent to these.

In the UK, pre-1947 silver shillings and florins were still relatively common in the early 1970s and you still found the occasional one up to the early 1990s, when the 5p and 10p were redesigned and all the older ones were demonetized. I certainly got a few pre-1947 silver coins in change when I visited New Zealand in January 1974.
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Canada
4492 Posts
 Posted 11/04/2021  12:21 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In 1966, most of the coinage would have been 50% silver, not sterling. Using a price of $1.29 US per ounce of silver, about $0.97 australian, so 1 shilling of 50% silver would have been worth about 9 cents
(assuming I got the right numbers) Australian. Hence you could have got more silver bullion by buying with 50% silver coins. In 1967 the price of silver jumped so it would have paid to melt the coins, if it were legal.

Sterling would have been worth quite a bit more than face value. We need some Australians to tell us what people were doing with that before and after the conversion.
Edited by oriole
11/04/2021 5:15 pm
Pillar of the Community
Australia
774 Posts
 Posted 11/04/2021  6:52 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Basil to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The last of the Oz Florins,1946 to 1963 were 50% Silver.
From 1966 on they were Cupro/Nickel as the OP states.
It was the 50c piece that was 80% Silver.
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Australia
14356 Posts
 Posted 11/04/2021  7:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Nobody would have handed over predecimal coins for a 1:1 swap. People simply would have been spending their predecimal money, and getting decimal coins back in change. People who knew and cared that certain silver coins actually contained more than face value of silver, would have hoarded them. To everyone else, coins were just coins, worth nothing more than face value.

In Australia, banks have always been tasked with withdrawing and not reissuing worn, damaged and obsolete coinage. Most silver predecimal coins would have been returned to the Mint for scrapping via this channel.

So most of the exchanging of old coins for new would have occurred as shops and businesses banked their takings, with the banks shipping the old coins back to the Mint.

As for "who made the killing", well, the government did. Some of it may have been recycled into 50 cent pieces, but most of the returned silver would have been sold for scrap, just as the silver price was spiking in the late 1960s.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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Australia
1246 Posts
 Posted 11/04/2021  11:23 pm  Show Profile   Check ryurazu's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add ryurazu to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
large portion was banked so unless you had somewhere to store high grade coins it would be meaningless to just hoard them as you would be fighting inflation not just the transaction slippages.

oh maybe sap can back me up. loads of florins where taken overseas to be scrapped in the 60-70s even tho that not suppose to happen also happened in the 1920 in part due to the silver difference of Australian coinage you could make arbitrage.
Edited by ryurazu
11/04/2021 11:27 pm
Pillar of the Community
Australia
2014 Posts
 Posted 11/12/2021  7:01 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Mr T to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I've looked at a few caches of coins from "granny's tin" over the years and most people didn't hang on to the silver coins. It looks like they usually kept whatever was in the purse/wallet at the time and got on with life.
Valued Member
Australia
76 Posts
 Posted 02/16/2022  11:45 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add OzLeigh to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Apparently, the only Australian coins which have been demonetised are the 1813 holey dollar and dump.
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Australia
1246 Posts
 Posted 02/17/2022  12:40 am  Show Profile   Check ryurazu's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add ryurazu to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
yes I think the both the holey and the dump are demonetised, due in part to there face and probably foreign coinage a piece of 8. the larger piece was a Crown (5 shilling) the small dump was 15 pence, however there are now restrikes and the genuine surviving pieces are worth in the region of 10-100K. Was made legal tender by Governor Macquarie.

It was to stop currency outflow from trade as in early colony foreign coinage was used however much of that left the country. https://www.nma.gov.au/explore/coll...holey-dollar

Also technically a Penny token were made illegal in 1863 Victoria and 1868 in NSW and therefore also demonetised, boat loads made there way across the ditch to New Zealand.
Edited by ryurazu
02/17/2022 12:44 am
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Australia
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 Posted 02/17/2022  03:09 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think there was a lot more "coin hoarding" happening during the War, than happened in 1966. Almost all the stories you hear of stashes of silver coins found buried inside old houses by demolishers or renovators, are hoards of WWII-era coins, not 1966 coins.

People did hoard 50 cent pieces once the government announced they were ceasing production, though they disappeared from circulation too quickly for many people to accumulate a large hoard. and 50 cent pieces were certainly smuggled out to Asian smelters at the height of the silver spike.

Tradesman tokens were indeed made illegal in each of the colonies, at different dates. Though as these were never officially issued as "coins", they cannot be considered to be "demonetized", since they were never properly "monetized" in the first place. You couldn't have taken your stash of tokens down to the bank to deposit them, for example (unless the local token issuer had a gentleman's agreement with the local bank).
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
Valued Member
Australia
453 Posts
 Posted 02/17/2022  03:26 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add echidna to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It wasn't till the early 1980s that silver was worth that much.
Bunker Hunt etc.
Pre-decimal silver (50%) could still be found in circulation in the 70s.
Even the late 70s.
A few took advantage of this during the boom in the early 1980s.
Thats all.
Ride due west as the sun sets. Turn left at the Rocky Mountains.
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Australia
1170 Posts
 Posted 02/17/2022  3:44 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add David Graham to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Born in 1970, I can't remember handling any unusual coins as a youngster so suspect the silvers were pretty rare in circulation from the late 70s onwards.
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