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Episode 1829             Episode 1831
Episode 1830

Double florin
Mon, 2022-May-09 01:40 UTC
Length - 2:48

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Monday, 9 May 2022 is Double florin.

The double florin, or four-shilling piece, was a British coin produced by the Royal Mint between 1887 and 1890. One of the shortest-lived of all British coin denominations, it was struck in only four years. Its obverse, designed by Joseph Boehm and engraved by Leonard Charles Wyon, depicts Queen Victoria, whilst the reverse, featuring national symbols of the United Kingdom, was designed by Wyon based on the coinage of Charles II.

The double florin was introduced as part of a coinage redesign that took place in 1887, the year of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. One purpose of the redesign was to replace portraits of the queen which had changed little since her youth, and which no longer resembled the monarch, who was nearing her seventieth birthday. Mint officials and politicians also sought to reduce dependence on the half sovereign, a gold coin worth ten shillings which was expensive to strike, by issuing the double florin (four shillings) and reintroducing the crown (five shillings) coin. They may also have intended a further decimalisation of the coinage after the introduction of the florin (two shillings, or one-tenth of a pound) in 1849.

When issued in June 1887, the Jubilee coinage provoked an outcry. The small royal crown Boehm had placed on Victoria's head caused widespread mockery. The double florin in particular was criticised as it was close in size to the five-shilling crown, leading to confusion, especially since neither coin was inscribed with its denomination. The confusion was said to be particularly acute in public houses, where barmaids accepted it believing it to be a crown, giving it the nickname of "Barmaid's Ruin" or "Barmaid's Grief". The coin was abolished after 1890, though it remained in circulation. Upon full decimalisation in 1971, the double florin was not demonetised, and remains legal tender for 20p (£0.20).

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:40 UTC on Monday, 9 May 2022.

For the full current version of the article, see Double florin on Wikipedia.

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