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1889 Currency

Page history last edited by Michael 2 years, 6 months ago

     Prices in England are quoted in pounds (£), which circulate in various paper denominations (most commonly in £5 and £10 amounts). £1 is equal to 20 silver shillings ("s"); each shilling is worth 12 copper or bronze pence ("p") - thus 240 pence per pound. Crowns are silver coins worth 5 shillings (60p), half-crowns are worth 30 pence, silver florins are worth 2 shillings (24p), and sovereigns are gold coins worth 20 shillings; gold guineas (equal to 21 shillings), while no longer in circulation, are often used when pricing upper-class goods. Copper or bronze farthings (1/4 pence, denoted "q"), ha-pence, tuppence, thruppence and sixpence coins are in circulation, as well.

     In the United States, a troy ounce of gold is worth $20.67 since 1834. The Federal Reserve Bulletin for November 1, 1917 has a table with the average annual price of a fine ounce of silver for the years 1882 to 1914, on the London markets. For 1889, one ounce is worth $0.93511; the bi-metallic ratio is thus 22.1, if you're interested.

     Examples of currency in circulation in other countries, and their value in United States dollars in 1889:











Great Britain

Pound Sterling















     Primary source:  Commercial Relations of the United States with Foreign Countries During the Years 1896 and 1897, Volume I; pub. 1898 by U.S. Dept. of State.


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