Daily Prompt: Not quite a fortune

Englisch coins

Being a Brit I would visit my dad in London once a year when possible. I live in Switzerland. We never had a Swiss-exit because we decided from the beginning that we did not belong in the EU, only geographically. For this reason the Swiss kept their Swiss francs. The Brits were always something completely different and although they agreed to belong to the EU, probably beause of the wine prices being  cheaper,  they kept their English money, as well as their pints (english beer should only be served by the pint apparently).

The result of my many back and forth travels to London was to acquire a fortune in english change. I grew up in Great Britain with a money system that was quite unique. Decimal? Why do it easy.  Tens and hundreds, even thousands, were too complicated for the british. Why should it be so easy. Our original monetary system was composed of pennies, being 12 of them to a shilling, and a pound which was logically 20 shillings. We also had guineas (21 shillings)  but not as a coin, just as a price. These were the basics. Of course, we also had halfpennies and farthings (quarter of a penny), threepenny pieces and sixpence, as well as half a crown which was 2 shilling and sixpence. Imagine growing up in an english education system and learning it all, but I could do it. None of that adding zero to siplify addition and substracion. Why do it the easy way when you can do it more complicated.

I left London in the throws of the introduction of a decimal sysem. Switzerland no problem, they had decimals with their Swiss francs for some time.

After the decimal system had been abolished in England, there we still some of the old coins in circulation, but they had different values. The Brits had to get used to it, but for my once a year visit I had a mixed purse with various generations of english coins, some decimal and some that had become decimal and some no longer existant. If I bought anything in England at the time I did not have a clue what I had in my hand. The shop assistants were very helpful, and I felt like a complete idiot. My country, but no longer my momey.

I kept two purses at home in Switzerland. My daily purse with the Swiss money and a second purse containing english money for my visits to England. My father passed away last year, and I no longer have intentions of visiting London. Mr. Swiss was a business man and travelled to England now and again, the result being he had also accumulated a fortune in english change.

This week we had a sort out and he gave me a bag full of english change. My english purse was now full and so I had to transfer it into a box – see photo above. It is not a fortune. My No. 2 son will be going to Edinburgh this year for a conference, so I will probably see if I can pass some on before he goes.

A Swiss Fortune

Daily Prompt: Not quite a Fortune

9 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Not quite a fortune

    • I noticed that that the States doesn’t have a decimal system, strange. Sorry, but I don’t think you will ever have a chance to use your lira, although they were the good old days.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I know. They are mementos of that strange time in Milan where I was asked to translate from Italian to English for a Korean girl trying to order an espresso from a vendor near the Duomo where I went every afternoon to watch the people. Life’s just very weird sometimes. :p


  1. Your post brought memories back to me of my first visit to England in 1967. All the confusion with the money!!! But I was young, and it was not that hard to learn. Now, it would be impossible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember a couple of years ago in London paying in a shop and giving an old shilling in the money thinking it would count as 5 p. The shop assistant looked at it and asked where I found that, she hadn’t seen one of those since year and they no longer accept them.


  2. In Australia we went decimal on Valentine’s Day 1966 which truly was a blessing. Up until quite recently New Zealand coins were so similar to ours that people would just use both regardless of where they were. Sadly someone in their wisdom changed the NZ coins and now households on both sides of the ditch accumulate loads of change like you have.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Most of my change is still being used in England. I just have to wait for No. 2 son to be on a business trip or holiday to the British Isles and give it to him to spend. I will no longer need it. I moved over to Switzerland in 1966 and it was then that the changes were being made in the commonwealth as it was then.

      Liked by 1 person

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