Tuesday, February 14, 2006

40 years of dollars and cents

Apart from St Valentine's Day which is a myth perpetuated by the greeting card, chocolate and florist industries, today also marks 40 years of dollars and cents in Australia.

Decimal currency was introduced in Australia on 14 February 1966 (way before my time and my human's time).

Before Australians bought goods and services in dollars and cents (in our own country), we bought using pounds (£), shillings (s.) and pence (d.).

One pence was a penny. There were even half penny coins.

12 pence made up one shilling. 20 shillings made up one pound. So technically you could change 240 pence into a pound (that is a lot of change), and those big copper pieces would have weighed a lot!

So the price of something might be 1s. 4d. (so you needed a one shilling coin and 4 pennies). As there were also threepence and sixpence coins, this might have been two sixpence, one threepence and one penny. Or if you had a lot of change, 16 pennies.

The coins used were halfpenny, penny (which was huge), threepence (which was tiny), sixpence, shilling, two shillings (or florin).

When Australia converted in 1966, the halfpenny sort of became 1 cent, the penny became 2 cents (and shrunk in size), the threepence became 5 cents, sixpence became 10 cents, the shilling became 20 cents, and there was a new 50 cent piece.

In 1966, we had paper notes in 1 dollar, 2 dollars, 5 dollars, 10 dollars, and 20 dollars, and 50 dollars.

In 1984, the 1 dollar note became a coin, and in 1988, the 2 dollar note also became a coin. At some stage, a new 100 dollar note was introduced. Then later, the paper notes were phased out in favour of polymer notes (which are difficult to forge).

I think it would have been fun to stick with the old pre-decimal currency, especially to confuse tourists. Speaking of currency, I haven't received my allowance this week. Hmmm, perhaps I could receive this in old currency instead of Australian dollars? Nah, I'd have to go back in time to spend it!

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


Last night I slept on my other bed all night long with Michelle. I think my human was upset about that this morning, but he still fed me. Michelle left this morning anyway so I don't know why my human would be upset with me, I get to cuddle him nearly every night.

Tonight I got a really special treat for dinner. Lamb! My human even gave me the best pieces! He must have forgiven me. I watched him cutting the meat off a leg of lamb so I would have been furious if I had not been given any.



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