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English currency was notionally .925-fine sterling silver at the time of Henry II, but the weight and value of the silver penny steadily declined from 1300 onwards.

In 1257, Henry III minted a gold penny which had the nominal value of 1 shilling eightpence (i.e., 20 d.).

It may also be informally used to refer to any similar smallest-denomination coin, such as the euro cent or Chinese fen.

The Carolingian penny was originally a .940-fine silver coin weighing 1/240 pound.

Borrowed from the Carolingian denarius (whence its former abbreviation d.), it is usually the smallest denomination within a currency system.

From this abbreviation, it is common to speak of pennies and values in pence as "p".

"pawn" (in the sense of a pledge or debt, as in a pawnbroker putting up collateral as a pledge for repayment of loans); *panning as a form of the West Germanic word for "frying pan", presumably owing to its shape; and *ponding as a very early borrowing of Latin Following decimalization, the British and Irish coins were marked "new penny" until 19, respectively.

The regular plural pennies fell out of use in England from the 16th century, except in reference to coins considered individually.

In 1527, Henry VIII abolished the Tower pound of 5400 grains, replacing it with the Troy pound of 5760 grains and establishing a new pennyweight of although, confusingly, the penny coin by then weighed about 8 grains, and had never weighed as much as this 24 grains.

The last silver pence for general circulation were minted during the reign of Charles II around 1660.