The three pence coin — expressed in writing as "3d" — first appeared in England during the fine silver coinage of King Edward VI (1547–1553), when it formed part of a set of new denominations. Although it was an easy denomination to work with in the context of the old sterling coinage system, being a quarter of a shilling, initially it was not popular with the public who preferred the groat (four pence). Hence the coin was not minted in the following two reigns.
The reign of king George V (1910-1936) features several changes to the threepence denomination. As with all British silver coins, the silver content was reduced from sterling (0.925) silver to 50% silver, 40% copper, 10% nickel in 1920, 50% silver, 50% copper in 1922, and 50% silver, 40% copper, 5% nickel, 5% zinc in 1927, while the design of the reverse of the circulating threepence (but not the maundy threepence) was completely changed in 1927 to three oak sprigs with three acorns and a "G" in the centre, and the inscription THREE PENCE date. The inscription on the obverse throughout the reign was GEORGIVS V D G BRITT OMN REX F D IND IMP.