Commonest coinage predating 1971 UK decimalisation are these coppers lastly seen exchanged among Huthwaite shops. A hint of silver in the Sixpence, Shilling, Florin and Half Crown is merely an alloy token colouring, reflecting back to when majority were initially minted and truly valued upon purity of silver content.
Silver historically proved to be the most reliable metal for valuing coins up to and beyond a pound, even though there were some times of extreme shortage. Main problem with placing face value on that precious metal for larger denominations, was size and weight simply made such coins impractical for everyday use. A very obvious alternative was using higher ranked gold.
Through very ancient use, gold is still a recognised international currency. There's evidence of Celtic coins far predating Roman occupancy. Nonetheless, it was long after an English nation adopted Lsd as the standard unit, that gold made tenuous additions to the currency into a mid 14th century. But the royal mints soon realised one major disadvantage was an ever rising price of bullion. This would eventually make gold coins worth more than their original face values. Some attempts at substituting silver coins never gained lasting public acceptance due to excessive sizes. It led a succession of revalued gold coins, only to be melted down and losing names such as the Helm, Noble and Angel.
They'd been topped by the first one pound coin issued 1549 worth 20/- shillings. Replaced by a Guinea, that also inflated to set instead an established value at 21 shillings. A revalued Sovereign restored the name that lives on as an icon for the Royal Mint. Our present pound coin can only imitate glint when retaining similar size, whereas a sparkling new Sovereign in 2014 still measuring 22 carat, commanded an inflated price tag of upward £325.
Numismatics can better identify fuller British Coinage. Majority of those would never be seen when working families started rapidly populating Hucknall Huthwaite into the 20th century. There were several extremely wealthy residents who had personal opportunity of dealing in pounds beyond influential business interests. By which time, paper money had largely replaced use of purer gold and silver coinage above a Half Crown.
The Bank of England offers historic reference to their transferal notes spanning beyond 300 years. Earliest resemble printed cheques. Paper notes issued 1725 increment in 10's from £20 up to one thousand. After smaller £5 increments came 1797 issues covering both one and two pounds in same single sided format.
Vast expense of war has influenced currency throughout the ages. World War One demanded first issue August 1914 of the double sided bank notes, compared with the last pictorially covering 10/- Shillings to five pounds. These then gradually began regularly filling wage packet increases, adding ten pounds from 1964.
The decimalised pound offered no reason for changes, except removing ten shillings while adding a twenty pound note in response to the inflated cost of living. Every form of currency will remain subject to fraud, A modern £50 note issued from 1981 recognised the most cost effective target for counterfeiters, despite all counter measures including a metallic thread, water marking, embossed and micro printing techniques. For that reason, many local or smaller businesses continued refusing to accept them as payment.
Time continues devaluing our pound, and wore out the well used old notes until replaced by our current coin back in 1983. Fears of being robbed while carrying larger amounts of cash promoted payments by personal cheque book. Traveller cheques may still offer a safer option for oversea spending, although the simple plastic cheque guarantee card has turned into an international electronic debit or credit device after resistance to join the Euro currency. The Bank of England announced 2013 that polymer banknotes will be durably resistant also against criminal intents, and these are destined to enter UK circulation from year 2016.