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.
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