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Detailed information about Coin: Penny 1874 from United Kingdom

Coin: Penny 1874
Description

For the first time this year, pennies were also minted at Ralph Heaton & Sons mint in Birmingham (known as the Heaton Mint). These pennies can be distinguished by the H mint mark below the date.

CountryUnited Kingdom CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Face value1 (x Penny) TypePenny (Britannia, third design)
Year1874 CurrentNo (demonetised 1971)
Mintage12,288,105 (12.3 million)
Mints
NameMint markMintage
Heaton and Sons (Birmingham Mint) Letter H 6,666,240 (6.7 million)
Royal Mint No mint mark 5,621,865 (5.6 million)
MaterialBronze DesignerLeonard Charles Wyon
MonarchQueen Victoria EffigyPortrait by Leonard Charles Wyon (Bun Head)
Production technologyMilled (machine-made) ShapeRound
Size (mm)31 Thickness (mm)
Mass (g)9.4000
Obverse

Bust of Queen Victoria facing left wearing bodice and a mantle decorated with rose, thistle and shamrock; in her hair a wreath of leaves and berries tied at back with ribbon, her hair drawn to a plaited bun behind; she wears a circular brooch; at the back of her shoulder, a small part of the Star of the Garter is visible, with a small part of its motto ('HONI SO') readable.

Around, the legend VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D : (Victoria, by the Grace of God, Queen of the Britains, Defender of the Faith).

The Queen’s portrait was changed slightly in 1874 to show a gradual aging of her features.

In addition to earlier obverses, Freeman describes:

Obverse 7
The Queen appears older, indicated most obviously by the thick neck. The profile is more coarse, the nose irregular, the eye closer to the bridge of the nose. The hair below the wreath is much straighter and there is a groove between the back of the head and the "bun". Only the top of the rose on the neckline is showing, and the design on the mantle is lower so that the bottom half of the thistle and some rose leaves no longer appear.

Obverse 8
Similar to obverse 7 but the Queen's nose is slightly larger, straighter and more rounded at the tip. The line between the nose and mouth is shorter and more curved. There is no groove between the back of the head and the bun. The loose ends of the ribbon are thicker and nearer to each other.

Obverse inscription VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Reverse

Figure of Britannia seated facing right on a rock, wearing a helmet and breastplate with flowing dress; she holds a trident and rests her right hand on a shield which bears the combined crosses of the Union Flag; at right a ship sailing away; at left, a lighthouse; around, the denomination ONE PENNY; in exergue, the date 1874.

Coins minted at the Heaton Mint in Birmingham have a small letter H as mint mark, under the date.

In addition to earlier reverses, Freeman describes:

Reverse H
Britannia's head is smaller in proportion to her body, and her neck is long and thin. The lighthouse is thin, its masonry faint, and its base is closer to the linear circle than on previous reverses. It has four incuse vertical lines below the top, and six windows. The trident shafts is thicker, its prongs more crudely depicted. The sea extends to, but does not cross, the linear circle. The date numerals are small and close to each other. Border teeth are small.

Reverse I
The rim thickness and spacing of date numerals is are as reverse G, but Britannia resembles Reverse H. However, her thumb extends farther down the shield. Her hair falls behind her head, whereas on earlier reverses it lay on the neck. The lighthouse is thicker, and has four windows.

This reverse is only seen with "H" mint mark.

Reverse inscriptionONE PENNY 1874
EdgePlain Edge inscriptionNone
Notes

Normal coins for the year are considered to be those with Obverse 6 and Reverse G (Freeman 65 if minted by the Royal Mint, or Freeman 66 if struck by the Heaton Mint).

References to additional information:

[Book] Freeman, Michael J. 2016. The Bronze Coinage of Great Britain. Rotographic, London, UK. pp35-38

Penny 1874: Known varieties
VarietyMintageDetails
Obverse 6, Reverse H, Royal Mint (Freeman 67) unknown (included in main number)
Obverse 6, Reverse H, Heaton Mint (Freeman 68) unknown (included in main number)
Obverse 6, Reverse I, Heaton Mint (Freeman 69) unknown (included in main number)
Obverse 7, Reverse G, Royal Mint (Freeman 70) unknown (included in main number)
Obverse 7, Reverse G, Heaton Mint (Freeman 71) unknown (included in main number)
Obverse 7, Reverse H, Royal Mint (Freeman 72) unknown (included in main number)
Obverse 7, Reverse H, Heaton Mint (Freeman 73) unknown (included in main number)
Obverse 7, Reverse H, Heaton Mint, Proof (Freeman 74) unknown
Obverse 7, Reverse I, Heaton Mint (Freeman 76) unknown (included in main number)
Obverse 8, Reverse G, Royal Mint (Freeman 77) unknown (included in main number)
Obverse 8, Reverse H, Royal Mint (Freeman 78) unknown (included in main number)
Penny 1874: Photos
Penny 1874: Photo Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1874
Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1874
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Royal Mint (no mint mark).
source
Penny 1874: Photo Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1874
Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1874
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Royal Mint.
source
Penny 1874: Photo Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1874
Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1874
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Heaton Mint (H mint mark).
source
Penny 1874: Photo Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1874
Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1874
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Heaton Mint (H mint mark).
source
Penny 1874: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Freeman, Bronze Coinage of Great BritainFrom 65 through to 78 incl.
Spink, Coins of England and the United Kingdom3954 (Royal Mint London), 3955 (Heaton Mint)
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsGreat Britain KM# 749.2 (old), 755 (new portrait)
Penny 1874: References to Information Used
SourceEditionAboutLinkNotes
Museums Victoria Collections 2016 Coin description link
Whitman, Guidebook of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries 1962 Mint
Whitman, Guidebook of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries 1962 Mintage
Whitman, Guidebook of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries 1962 Varieties Proof, Heaton Mint
Freeman, Bronze Coinage of Great Britain 1970 Varieties
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Penny 1874: Some useful external links
Museums Victoria Collections: Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1874 Museums Victoria Collections: Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1874 H
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List of all (129) coins of type: United Kingdom / Penny (Pre-decimal)
Penny 1806 Penny 1807 Penny 1808 (Proof only) Penny 1817 (Silver, circulating) Penny 1818 (Silver, circulating) Penny 1820 (Silver, circulating)
Penny 1825 Penny 1826 Penny 1827 Penny 1831 Penny 1834 Penny 1837
Penny 1839 (Proof only) Penny 1841 Penny 1843 Penny 1844 Penny 1845 Penny 1846
Penny 1847 Penny 1848 Penny 1849 Penny 1851 Penny 1853 Penny 1854
Penny 1855 Penny 1856 Penny 1857 Penny 1858 Penny 1859 Penny 1860 (Large)
Penny 1860 (Small) Penny 1861 Penny 1862 Penny 1863 Penny 1864 Penny 1865
Penny 1866 Penny 1867 Penny 1868 Penny 1869 Penny 1870 Penny 1871
Penny 1872 Penny 1873 Penny 1874 Penny 1875 Penny 1876 Penny 1877
Penny 1878 Penny 1879 Penny 1880 Penny 1881 Penny 1882 Penny 1883
Penny 1884 Penny 1885 Penny 1886 Penny 1887 Penny 1888 Penny 1889
Penny 1890 Penny 1891 Penny 1892 Penny 1893 Penny 1894 (Bun Head) Penny 1894 (Veiled Head, Pattern)
Penny 1895 Penny 1896 Penny 1897 Penny 1898 Penny 1899 Penny 1900
Penny 1901 Penny 1902 Penny 1903 Penny 1904 Penny 1905 Penny 1906
Penny 1907 Penny 1908 Penny 1909 Penny 1910 Penny 1911 Penny 1912
Penny 1913 Penny 1914 Penny 1915 Penny 1916 Penny 1917 Penny 1918
Penny 1919 Penny 1920 Penny 1921 Penny 1922 Penny 1926 Penny 1927
Penny 1928 Penny 1929 Penny 1930 Penny 1931 Penny 1932 Penny 1933
Penny 1934 Penny 1935 Penny 1936 Penny 1937 Edward VIII (not released) Penny 1937 George VI Penny 1938
Penny 1939 Penny 1940 Penny 1944 Penny 1945 Penny 1946 Penny 1947
Penny 1948 Penny 1949 Penny 1950 Penny 1951 Penny 1952 Penny 1953
Penny 1954 Penny 1961 Penny 1962 Penny 1963 Penny 1964 Penny 1965
Penny 1966 Penny 1967 Penny 1970 (Proof only)