1971 was a momentous year for British coinage as they adopted the decimal system. Whilst the transition from £sd caused confusion for some to begin with, the new coinage was far simpler for businesses and consumers alike (not to mention tourists to the UK!). The Queen Elizabeth II Proof Coin Set 1971 – struck to the highest possible collector standard – contains all of the original decimal coins which entered into circulation presented in their original specially designed plastic case which has protected the coins for almost half a century and they show only mild “toning” compared to other coins of this period. All of the coins bear the denomination “New Pence” – it wasn’t until 1982 that the Royal Mint dropped the word “New” from their coinage.
Interestingly, the 50 pence coin was introduced into circulation in 1969, prior to decimalisation, to help with the familiarisation process. So many were struck in 1969 and 1970, that there was no need to strike any more in 1971 and the only way to own one is through obtaining this Proof Year Set.
Also included with the Queen Elizabeth II Proof Quality Coin Set of 1971 is a dated Royal Mint medallion which was an additional bonus for collectors. This is a lovely dated medal which carries the coat of arms of the Royal Mint on one side and the date on the other.