Sunday, July 3, 2011

I Heart macro - pre decimal coins.

Hello friends,

I came across these old coins whilst clearing out my kitchen cupboards in preparation for a kitchen renovation.

They have quite a history really.....
They are pre-decimal currency, old silver coins from pre-1966. (Australian conversion from Pounds, Shillings and Pence to decimal currency - Dollars and Cents - occurred on the 14th February 1966 - I remember that day so well)

I kept them because, when I was a child, my mother used to put them in the Christmas pudding...yes the whole  lot!

I remember the sound when she cut the pudding and you could hear the knife against the coins...
We used to 'bag' a piece we liked (the ones that made the most noise)...."I want that one, Mum!"
Often we would chose a piece only to find that it really did not have that many coins inside...how disappointing! My older siblings would often give me theirs if I failed to get any or very little.

When decimal currency was introduced in 1966, the new coins could not be added to the Christmas pudding, as they had different metal composition deemed to be unsafe for adding to food.
So, we kept the old silver coins and my parents would exchange the equivalent value amount in the new money for the return of the old threepences, sixpences and shillings and florins (two shillings). These are her original pudding coins.


The Threepence (equivalent to 2 cents today) has the wheat on one side and the King on the reverse -this coin is dated 1943)
The sixpence (equivalent to 5 cents now) has the Australian coat of arms on one side and the Queen on the other.
The shilling (equivalent to 10 cents) also has the  coat of arms and
the Florin (or "two  bob" as it was commonly known as then) is the current day equivalent of 20 cents.

My husband tells me that the old coins are now worth much more than the conversion equivalents, partly because of rarity value and mainly because of the silver content valued at the high current price of silver.

They look pretty grungy, but this Christmas with my new oven in place, I will give them a clean-up and put them in that pudding!

It will be good to hear that familiar noise again.

To check out all the other great macro photos  and join in the fun, please click on the photo below to take you to our host, Lori's site.


studio waterstone



14 comments:

Nadege, said...

We didn't come to Australia till 1969, so I never got to see the old money. What a lovely story and the memories will come flooding back at Xmas when you cut into that pudding.

Val said...

What a lovely macro shot Jenni - and a lovely story. We had tiny silver threepenny pieces too, in the UK, but unfortunately I never kept any!

kim said...

You have 2 treasures the coins and the memories. Thanks for sharing your tradition with us. This would be a fun framed piece.

My Life Under the Bus said...

That is fantastic that you have kept them all these years!!!What a sweet story - and I am jealous of your renovation - a random srew popped out of my oven door 2 weeks ago and now the handle hangs off and we can't find a replacement - who ever heard of such a thing?
have a lovely day!

Jenni said...

I know your pain, Patty. When my oven broke I rang a repair man who just looked at me and laughed.Yes, I know the oven was about 24 years old....however I did want it to last another year as we knew we were redoing the kitchen and didn't want to replace it just then. I have been without one for nearly 18 months! Can you take out the other screw and take that to a hardware store?
Jenni

MaryL said...

That was a wonderful post!! I love the look of 'foreign' (to me) money... why is it that other countries have the prettiest and coolest currencies!?? Although I have noticed a bit of color has finally been introduced to a few of our American bills. I have a big bag of coins from around the world...just love them :)

Mellisa said...

What a lovely tradition and how fantastic that you will be rekindling it! Hope you share pics of your kitchen reno too :)

Holly said...

Thank you for the history lesson, and the tradition! I love that you are keeping it up - so many things like this are lost these days :) And the shot? Just loverly!

CraftyHope said...

I love the texture in this shot. I can't believe they go in food. . .definitely not a tradition here. Sounds interesting! Thanks for sharing the history and tradition! They are really neat coins.

Lori @ Studio Waterstone said...

What a wonderful tradition! Love the picture and the story.

Patty said...

Great story, and incredible detail on those coins! Nice shot.

Cindy said...

Jenni, oh what a wonderful story of family and cultural tradition. I love learning about traditions in other families. And I'll admit I never heard of this one before! There is no way in the world my Mother would ever allow real coins to touch food! But I can imagine the anticipation you faced when waiting to see what coins would be in your slice of the pudding. Reminds me a little of the King Cake tradition and waiting to see whose slice will have the plastic baby in it. It will be an extra special holiday this year when you revive your old traditions, especially in your new kitchen!

Jenni said...

Hi everyone who has come by and commented, I love to read all your comments.
Cindy, I don't know the King cake and plastic baby tradition at all...will have to look that one up!. As far as money going in to the cake...it is always scrubbed and boiled up first!...as well as boiled in the pudding..so it is very clean! LOL
Jenni

Marsha of Marsha Neal Studio said...

These are SO cool! Love the photo and learning about old coins...

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