Farthing, Coin Type from United Kingdom - detailed information

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

The British farthing (¼d) coin, from "fourthing," was a unit of currency of one quarter of a penny, or one nine hundred and sixtieth of a pound sterling. It was minted in bronze, and replaced the earlier copper farthings. It was used during the reign of six monarchs: Victoria, Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, George VI and Elizabeth II, ceasing to be legal tender in 1960. It featured two different designs on its reverse during its last one hundred years in circulation. From 1860 until 1936 the image of Britannia, and from 1937 onwards the image of a wren. Like all British coinage, it bore the portrait of the monarch on the obverse.

Before Decimal Day in 1971 there were two hundred and forty pence in one pound sterling. There were four farthings in a penny. Twelve pence made a shilling, and twenty shillings made a pound. Values less than a pound were usually written in terms of shillings and pence, e.g. three shillings and six pence (3/6), pronounced "three and six" or "three and sixpence". Values of less than a shilling were simply written in terms of pence, e.g. 8d, pronounced "eightpence". A price with a farthing in it would be written like this: (19/11¼), pronounced "nineteen and elevenpence farthing".

Farthings were demonetised before the rest of the pre-decimal currency. They ceased to be legal tender after 31 December 1960.


Obverse Inscription

Reverse Inscription
Edge Inscription
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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)
Face Value1/4 (x Penny)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1961)
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
Size (mm)
Mass (g)
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