Sixpence to spend, to lend . . . no more
After 429 years, the British sixpence ceased to be legal tender Tuesday. At its birth in 1551, the sixpence could pay a man's wages for a month. But this year it had shrunk to about the worth of a nickel.
During its career the tiny silver coin was always one of Britain's favorites. Generations of Britons sang, "I've got sixpence, jolly, jolly sixpence." Sixpence were slipped under the pillows of countless children who had lost a tooth, and were also buried in Christmas pudding.