# How much is a shilling worth today in Australian dollars?

A shilling is an old British currency that was used in Australia when it was a British colony. The shilling was replaced by the Australian dollar in 1966 when Australia moved to a decimal currency system. So how much would a shilling from the old currency be worth in today’s Australian dollars?

## The History of the Shilling in Australia

The shilling was introduced in Australia when the country was still a group of British colonies. It was one of the currencies used alongside the pound sterling. Australia used pounds, shillings, and pence until it adopted the decimal currency system in 1966.

Up until 1910, each Australian colony issued its own currency. However, in 1910, a unified Australian currency was introduced known as the Australian pound. The Australian pound was equivalent to the pound sterling and was divided into 20 shillings, with each shilling worth 12 pence. This system was maintained up until 1966.

In 1959, Australia’s government approved a changeover to the decimal system, which would replace the pound and shilling system. On 14 February 1966, Australia fully transitioned to a decimal currency system, replacing the pound with the Australian dollar. The conversion rate was set at 2 Australian dollars = 1 Australian pound.

## The Value of the Shilling in 1966

At the time of decimalisation in 1966, the shilling had the following values:

• 1 Australian pound = 20 shillings
• 1 shilling = 12 pence

So based on the conversion rate to the Australian dollar, here is what a shilling was worth in 1966:

• 1 Australian dollar = 10 shillings
• 1 shilling = 0.1 Australian dollars
• 1 shilling = 10 cents

In simple terms, when Australia switched to dollars and cents in 1966, one shilling became equivalent to 10 cents in the new decimal currency.

## Adjusting for Inflation

While we know that 1 shilling in 1966 was worth 10 cents, that equivalent value would be worth much more today after adjusting for inflation over the decades. To determine today’s equivalent, we need to factor in the accumulated rate of inflation from 1966 to now.

The best way to adjust for inflation is to use an inflation calculator. This converts the value of money from the past into present-day values based on how much prices have changed.

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s inflation calculator:

• The inflation rate between 1966 and 2023 is 1,581.95%
• This means A\$1 in 1966 would have the same purchasing power as A\$17.82 today

With this information, we can now calculate the 2023 equivalent value of 1 shilling from 1966:

• 1 shilling in 1966 = A\$0.10
• A\$0.10 in 1966 = A\$1.782 today after adjusting for inflation
• Therefore, 1 shilling today would be worth approximately A\$1.78 in 2023 values

## The Purchasing Power of 1 Shilling Today

Based on inflation-adjusted values, we can determine that 1 shilling from 1966 would be worth about A\$1.78 in today’s money. While that may not seem like much, it’s important to keep in mind changes in purchasing power.

Here is an example of how far 1 shilling from the 1960s would go today:

• In 1966, a loaf of bread cost around A\$0.12, so 1 shilling would buy you about 8 loaves
• Today, a loaf of bread costs approx. A\$2.50 on average, so A\$1.78 would only get you less than 1 loaf

While the numerical dollar value of 1 shilling has increased over time, its practical purchasing power has diminished significantly. Things that 1 shilling could buy in the 1960s would cost far more shillings/dollars today.

## The Value of Other Old British Coins

Now that we’ve determined the modern value of the 1 shilling coin, let’s examine some other old British coins that were used in Australia and their equivalent values today:

Coin Value in 1966 Value in 2023 (inflation-adjusted)
1 penny (1d) A\$0.01 A\$0.15
1 threepence (3d) A\$0.03 A\$0.45
1 sixpence (6d) A\$0.05 A\$0.90
1 shilling (1s) A\$0.10 A\$1.78
1 florin (2s) A\$0.20 A\$3.56
1 half crown (2s 6d) A\$0.25 A\$4.45

This table demonstrates how low the relative values of these old coins would be today. While they represented significant purchasing power back then, their modern dollar equivalents can’t buy very much.

## Key Factors That Changed the Shilling’s Value

There are a few key reasons why the shilling declined so much in real value from the 1960s to today:

• Inflation – Rising prices gradually reduced the purchasing power of the shilling over time.
• Decimalisation – Conversion to dollars and cents decreased the base value of a shilling.
• Wages/income growth – Wages and incomes have increased significantly since the 1960s.
• Consumer prices – The cost of common goods and services has risen over time.

While the shilling was a major currency in its day, economic and money developments over the decades have greatly reduced what a single shilling can buy today. Its value deteriorated both on paper and in tangible purchasing power.

## The Sentimental Value

Beyond the calculated dollar value, old shilling coins and other pre-decimal money have a sentimental value for many Australians, as they represent a bygone era. These coins may not have much monetary value today, but they can carry significant nostalgic value among those who used them many decades ago.

Coins like the shilling remind people of the not-too-distant days when pounds, shillings and pence were used in everyday transactions. They represent a transitional period in Australia’s history as the country evolved toward a modern decimal currency.

So while the shilling may not buy much today, it occupies a unique place in Australia’s economic history and heritage. Its low purchasing power is a reflection of just how much the country has transformed over the past 50+ years.

## Conclusion

In today’s Australian dollars, one shilling from 1966 would be equivalent in value to approximately A\$1.78. This factors in the 1966 conversion rate to dollars and cents, as well as the accumulated rate of inflation between 1966 and 2023.

While the nominal dollar value of a shilling has increased over time due to inflation, its practical purchasing power has greatly diminished. Prices of goods and services have far outpaced the rate of inflation over the decades.

Economic changes like decimalisation and rising incomes have contributed to the shilling’s diminished value. But old shilling coins and other pre-decimal money still hold sentimental value for many Australians as they represent the country’s monetary history and heritage.