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 II (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 2 of 2)
Coin NameReverseObverseDetails
Farthing 1921 United Kingdom / Farthing 1921 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1921 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 9,469,097
Farthing 1922 United Kingdom / Farthing 1922 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1922 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 9,956,983
Farthing 1923 United Kingdom / Farthing 1923 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1923 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 8,034,457
Farthing 1924 United Kingdom / Farthing 1924 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1924 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 8,733,416
Farthing 1925 United Kingdom / Farthing 1925 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1925 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 12,634,697
Farthing 1926 United Kingdom / Farthing 1926 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1926 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 9,792,397
Farthing 1927 United Kingdom / Farthing 1927 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1927 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 7,868,355
Farthing 1928 United Kingdom / Farthing 1928 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1928 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 11,625,600
Farthing 1929 United Kingdom / Farthing 1929 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1929 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 8,419,200
Farthing 1930 United Kingdom / Farthing 1930 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1930 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 4,195,200
Farthing 1931 United Kingdom / Farthing 1931 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1931 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 6,595,200
Farthing 1932 United Kingdom / Farthing 1932 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1932 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 9,292,800
Farthing 1933 United Kingdom / Farthing 1933 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1933 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 4,560,000
Farthing 1934 United Kingdom / Farthing 1934 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1934 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 3,052,800
Farthing 1935 United Kingdom / Farthing 1935 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1935 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 2,227,200
Farthing 1936 United Kingdom / Farthing 1936 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1936 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 9,734,400
Farthing 1937 George VI United Kingdom / Farthing 1937 George VI - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1937 George VI - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 8,157,606
Farthing 1938 United Kingdom / Farthing 1938 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1938 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 7,449,600
Farthing 1939 United Kingdom / Farthing 1939 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1939 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 31,440,000
Farthing 1940 United Kingdom / Farthing 1940 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1940 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 18,360,000
Farthing 1941 United Kingdom / Farthing 1941 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1941 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 27,312,000
Farthing 1942 United Kingdom / Farthing 1942 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1942 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 28,857,600
Farthing 1943 United Kingdom / Farthing 1943 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1943 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 33,345,600
Farthing 1944 United Kingdom / Farthing 1944 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1944 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 25,137,600
Farthing 1945 United Kingdom / Farthing 1945 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1945 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 23,736,000
Farthing 1946 United Kingdom / Farthing 1946 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1946 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 24,364,800
Farthing 1947 United Kingdom / Farthing 1947 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1947 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 14,745,600
Farthing 1948 United Kingdom / Farthing 1948 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1948 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 16,622,400
Farthing 1949 United Kingdom / Farthing 1949 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1949 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 8,424,000
Farthing 1950 United Kingdom / Farthing 1950 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1950 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 10,342,304
Farthing 1951 United Kingdom / Farthing 1951 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1951 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 14,036,004
Farthing 1952 United Kingdom / Farthing 1952 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1952 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 5,251,200
Farthing 1953 United Kingdom / Farthing 1953 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1953 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 6,149,202
Farthing 1954 United Kingdom / Farthing 1954 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1954 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 6,566,400
Farthing 1955 United Kingdom / Farthing 1955 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1955 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 5,779,200
Farthing 1956 United Kingdom / Farthing 1956 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1956 - obverse photo Material: Bronze
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 1,996,800
Showing 101 to 136 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