Farthing, Coin Type from United Kingdom - detailed information

Farthing, Coin Type from United Kingdom (issued 1806 - 1956)
Coin TypeFarthing

The Farthing was a small circulating coin of the British pre-decimal Pound Sterling, equal to a quarter of a penny. Prices were never written in farthings though - something worth a farthing would be quoted as 1/4d ("d" being the abbreviation for "penny", from the Roman "denarius"). There were 20 shillings to a pound, 12 pence to a shilling and 4 farthings to a penny, so 960 of these coins made up £1.

In 1801 the parliaments of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland each passed an Act of Union, uniting the two kingdoms and creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Re-coinage followed in 1806, after which four types of farthings were issued: a large copper coin with concave surfaces and a Britannia reverse (1806 and 1807 only), a large copper coin with a second Britannia design (1821 to 1864), then smaller bronze coins - with a third Britannia design (1860 to 1895), a simplified fourth Britannia design (1895 to 1936) and finally a new farthing design featuring a wren bird (1937 to 1956).

The farthing denomination was demonetised before the rest of the pre-decimal currency - it ceased to be legal tender after 31 December 1960.

Obverse
United Kingdom / Farthing - obverse photo

Effigy of the ruling British monarch, part of the legend (in Latin).

During the existence of the denomination, farthings were issued for:
- King George III (1806 - 1807)
- King George IV (1821 - 1831)
- King William IV (1831 - 1837)
- Queen Victoria (1838 - 1901)
- King Edward VII (1902 - 1910)
- King George V (1911 - 1936)
- King George VI (1937 - 1952)
- Queen Elizabeth (1953 - 1956)

Obverse Inscription Legend of the ruling British monarch
Reverse
United Kingdom / Farthing - reverse photo

The reverse went through several transformations during the existence of the denomination.

The first reverse (1806 - 1807) was designed by Conrad Heinrich Küchler; the coins were struck by the Soho Mint. It shows the figure of Britannia - the female personification of Great Britain - seated on a rock, facing left, holding a trident and extending an olive branch; a shield decorated with the British flag rests against the rock at right. In the background to the left, a sailing ship. Around above, the legend BRITANNIA. There is no indication of the value and denomination.

Subsequent coins were struck almost exclusively by the Royal Mint; its production was on a few occasions supplemented by Heaton and Sons in Birmingham.

The second reverse (1821 - 1864), designed by William Wyon, features a new rendition of Britannia; she is seated facing right, wearing a Corinthian helmet pushed back to reveal her face, resting her right hand on a shield bearing a saltire of arms, and holding a trident in her left hand. In the exergue, a rose, a thistle and a shamrock combined - the floral symbols of the constituent parts of the United Kingdom, respectively England, Scotland and Ireland.

Coins from the first issue of King George IV (1821 - 1826) display a larger figure of Britannia, with two additions: a lion reclining on her left side (only his head is visible in front of her left leg), and she holds an olive branch in her right hand, which she is resting on the shield. On these, the date is on the reverse and there is no floral arrangement in the exergue.

The reverse also bears part of the monarch's legend. As before, there is no indication of the coin's value and denomination.

The third reverse (1860 - 1895) has a new rendition of Britannia, by Leonard Charles Wyon. Again, she is wearing a crested Corinthian helmet pushed back to reveal her face, resting her right hand on a shield bearing the combined crosses of the Union Flag, and holding a trident in her left hand. In the background at right, a ship sailing away; at left, a lighthouse. Around above, interrupted by the crest of Britannia's helmet and her trident, the denomination FARTHING. In exergue, the date.

The fourth reverse (1895 - 1936) is a simplified version of the third, with the lighthouse and sailing ship removed from the background.

The fifth reverse (1937 - 1956) is a radical departure from the earlier traditions and features the image of a wren - the smallest British bird, as a symbol of the smallest denomination of British coinage. The date is above the bird, and the denomination FARTHING is around below.

Reverse Inscription FARTHING [year]
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

There are also pattern farthings listed separately.

Coin Type: Farthing - (136) Coins (Page 1 of 2)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Farthing 1806 unknown King George III - Laureate Head by Küchler GEORGIUS III · D : G · REX. 1806
Farthing 1807 unknown King George III - Laureate Head by Küchler GEORGIUS III · D : G · REX. 1807
Farthing 1821 2,688,000 King George IV - Laureate Head by Pistrucci GEORGIUS IIII DEI GRATIA.
Farthing 1822 5,924,352 King George IV - Laureate Head by Pistrucci GEORGIUS IIII DEI GRATIA.
Farthing 1823 2,365,440 King George IV - Laureate Head by Pistrucci GEORGIUS IIII DEI GRATIA.
Farthing 1825 4,300,800 King George IV - Laureate Head by Pistrucci GEORGIUS IIII DEI GRATIA.
Farthing 1826 (First Issue) 6,666,240 King George IV - Laureate Head by Pistrucci GEORGIUS IIII DEI GRATIA.
Farthing 1826 (Second Issue) 6,666,240 King George IV - Laureate Head by Wyon GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA · 1826 ·
Farthing 1827 2,365,440 King George IV - Laureate Head by Wyon GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA · 1827 ·
Farthing 1828 2,365,440 King George IV - Laureate Head by Wyon GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA · 1828 ·
Farthing 1829 1,505,280 King George IV - Laureate Head by Wyon GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA · 1829 ·
Farthing 1830 2,365,440 King George IV - Laureate Head by Wyon GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA · 1830 ·
Farthing 1831 2,688,000 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII DEI GRATIA 1831
Farthing 1834 1,935,360 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII DEI GRATIA 1834
Farthing 1835 1,720,320 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII DEI GRATIA 1835
Farthing 1836 1,290,240 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII DEI GRATIA 18316
Farthing 1837 3,010,560 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII DEI GRATIA 1837
Farthing 1838 591,360 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1838
Farthing 1839 4,300,800 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1839
Farthing 1840 3,010,560 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1840
Farthing 1841 1,720,320 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1841
Farthing 1842 1,290,240 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1842
Farthing 1843 4,085,760 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1843
Farthing 1844 430,080 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1844
Farthing 1845 3,225,600 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1845
Farthing 1846 2,580,480 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1846
Farthing 1847 3,879,720 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1847
Farthing 1848 1,290,240 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1848
Farthing 1849 645,120 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1849
Farthing 1850 430,080 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1850
Farthing 1851 1,935,360 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1851
Farthing 1852 822,528 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1852
Farthing 1853 1,028,628 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1853
Farthing 1854 6,504,960 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1854
Farthing 1855 3,440,640 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1855
Farthing 1856 1,771,392 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1856
Farthing 1857 1,075,200 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1857
Farthing 1858 1,720,320 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1858
Farthing 1859 1,290,240 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1859
Farthing 1860 (Copper) unknown Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1860
Farthing 1860 2,867,200 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1861 8,601,600 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1862 14,336,000 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1863 1,433,600 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1864 (Copper) unknown Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1864
Farthing 1864 2,508,800 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1865 4,659,200 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1866 3,584,000 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1867 5,017,600 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1868 4,851,208 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1869 3,225,600 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1872 2,150,400 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1873 3,225,620 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1874 3,584,000 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1875 6,805,560 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1876 1,175,200 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1877 (Proof only) unknown Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1878 4,008,540 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1879 3,977,180 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1880 1,842,710 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1881 5,286,670 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1882 1,792,000 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1883 1,128,680 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1884 5,782,000 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1885 5,442,308 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1886 7,767,790 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1887 1,340,800 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1888 1,887,250 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1890 2,133,070 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1891 4,959,690 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1892 887,240 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1893 3,904,320 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1894 2,396,770 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1895 (Young Head) 2,852,852 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Farthing 1895 (Veiled Head) 2,852,852 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Farthing 1896 3,668,610 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Farthing 1897 4,579,800 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Farthing 1898 4,010,080 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Farthing 1899 3,864,616 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Farthing 1900 5,969,317 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Farthing 1901 8,016,459 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Farthing 1902 5,125,120 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1903 5,331,200 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1904 3,628,800 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1905 4,076,800 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1906 5,340,160 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1907 4,399,360 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1908 4,264,960 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1909 8,852,480 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1910 2,598,400 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1911 5,196,800 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1912 7,669,760 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1913 4,184,320 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1914 6,126,988 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1915 7,129,254 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1916 10,993,325 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1917 21,434,844 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1918 19,362,818 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1919 15,089,425 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1920 11,480,536 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Showing 1 to 100 of 136 Coins.
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Farthing: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Sub-types Farthing (Britannia, first design)
Farthing (Britannia, second design)
Farthing (Britannia, third design)
Farthing (Britannia, fourth design)
Farthing (Wren)
From1806
To1956
Face Value1/4 (x Penny)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1961)
Material
Designer
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
Size
Mass