DecimalizationDecimalization was the process of converting the United Kingdom's system of pounds, shillings, and pence to a decimal system of units with 100 "new pence" to a pound, which kept the same value as before.
As there were previously 20 shillings, each of 12 pence, in a pound, each "new penny" (or "pee", since the abbreviation p for pence replaced the old d for denarii which was used as an abbreviation for old pennies) was worth exactly 2.4 old pence, and 5 new pence were equivalent to an old shilling. 10 new pence were equivalent to a florin.
Children found this easy to grasp, but many older people struggled to adapt to the new system. This took place on February 15, 1971.
Australia went through a similar process in 1966. The currency was renamed the Australian dollar in the process, as size of the basic currency unit was changed -- in Britain, consideration was given to having a new "decimal pound" worth ten shillings in the old currency which would have resulted in the "decimal penny" being worth only slightly more than the old penny; in the event, it was decided that Sterlings' importance as a reserve currency meant that the Pound should retain its former value.