Up to and including 1946 UK silver coins really did contain silver. In fact up to 1919 the silver change in your pocket was 92.5% silver – the same as your silver chain or tea set. You could’ve literally taken off 14 grams of your chain and you’d have had the same as a half crown.
In 1946 they fully debased the coinage by making silver coins out of cupro nickel.
In 1920 they ‘partially debased’ the coinage by making silver coins of only 50% silver. The population was outraged.
Now, silver has gone up in value so much that it is now worthwhile melting old silver coins for their silver content – and it’s not illegal as ‘old money’ was ‘called in’ after decimalisation. If you’ve got any foreign silver coins bring them in anyway and we’ll look them up or test them – as each country stopped using silver at different dates.
If you’re concerned that your silver coins are worth more numismatically, bring them in and we will look them up in the latest coins value booklet we have. Then you can make a decision.