5th July 1956

New coins are minted for Guernsey

Guernsey’s currency underwent a major change in 1956. Not only did it get a new set of coins, which circulated alongside mainland Sterling; it also saw its first local threepenny piece.

As reported in The Times,

Until now the coins of Guernsey have consisted of eight, four, two and one Double pieces. The States have now authorized a threepenny piece, and at the same time new designs have been adopted which will appear on a coinage of threepences and eight and four Double pieces. The coins have been sent to Guernsey by the Royal Mint, and will shortly be put into circulation.

Mainland equivalents

To four Double and two Double coins, both in bronze, were worth the same as a British penny and half penny, and were designed to be the same size as the mainland equivalents. They each had a Guernsey lily on one side, while the cupro-nickel threepenny piece sported a Guernsey cow and had a scalloped edge with 12 indentations.

The opposite side of each coin had the seal of the Bailiwick of Guernsey. This had been granted to the island by Edward I. According to The Guardian,

To ensure that the representation on the coins conforms as nearly as possible to the original seal the Royal Mint engravers copied the design for the dies from impressions on some fifteenth-century documents lent by private owners.

Guernsey had previous had one and two Double coins in addition to the four and eight Double pieces. However, these were withdrawn in 1956 after 126 years.

The four and eight Double coins were in circulation for just over a decade. Guernsey got its own five and 10 pence coins in 1968 and a 50 pence coin in 1969. It introduced decimal currency in 1971, at the same time as the mainland.


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Other events that occured in July

Guernseyman Edward Tupper killed by cannibals 1st
Alderney is occupied by German forces 2nd
Seigneur of Sark, Michael Beaumont, dies aged 88 3rd
Guernsey hosted the Island Games 2003 closing ceremony 4th
New coins are minted for Guernsey 5th
Royal Guernsey Light Infantry Museum opens 6th
Victor Hugo statue is unveiled in Candie Gardens 7th
First Commando raid of the Second World War 8th
Birth of Sark-based writer Mervyn Peake 9th
Guernsey nurses go on hunger strike 10th
ITV broadcasts first episode of Island at War 11th
A Guernsey man posted himself to Sark 12th
Murderer Peter Robin sentenced to death 13th
Victor Hugo plants his United States of Europe oak 14th
Point Law runs aground off Alderney 15th
Racing yacht Westward is blown up off Guernsey
BBC made its first ever Channel Islands broadcast 16th
The Star received some “grave” news 17th
The Guernsey Martyrs were burned at the stake 18th
Prince Charles and Camilla visit Guernsey 19th
President Garcia is re-floated in Saints Bay 20th
Typhoid suspect holidaymaker flies home 21st
Guernsey Controlling Committee’s Sir John Leale died 22nd
Alderney to Guernsey radio connection established 23rd
Val des Terres was first opened for traffic 24th
The BBC broadcasts from Sark for the first time 25th
Guernsey court escapee was caught again 26th
Braye du Valle was gifted by the crown 27th
Murderer sentenced to death in three hours 28th
Guernsey bought Herm from the mainland 29th
Albert Lamy appointed Guernsey Police Chief Officer 30th
Guernsey to Jersey plane crashed into the sea 31st