Farthing (Britannia, fourth design), Coin Type from United Kingdom - detailed information

Farthing (Britannia, fourth design), Coin Type from United Kingdom (issued 1895 - 1936)
Coin TypeFarthing (Britannia, fourth design)

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.

The denomination continues the tradition of earlier farthing coins of Great Britain, which also featured the figure of Britannia. The bronze coins of bronze coins of these specifications replaced the larger copper farthings which were issued until 1860. The new, more durable, alloy was composed of 95 parts of copper, four of tin and one of zinc. Between 1860 and 1895, the farthing had the third Britannia design on the reverse, and Queen Victoria's "Bun Head" effigy. During 1895, the reverse was updated to this fourth Britannia design - which is a simplified version of the earlier design by Leonard Charles Wyon, and the obverse to the Queen's "Veiled Head" portrait (in 1895, farthings of the two types were issued). The coins of this type were issued until 1936, with obverses changing to King Edward VII and King George V accordingly. In 1937, the reverse was redesigned for the new issue of King George VI.

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

Obverse
United Kingdom / Farthing (Britannia, fourth design) - obverse photo

Effigy of the ruling British monarch, legend in Latin. During the existence of this coin type, pennies were issued for:

- Queen Victoria (1895 - 1901)
- King Edward VII (1902 - 1910)
- King George V (1911 - 1936)

Obverse Inscription Legend of the ruling British monarch
Reverse
United Kingdom / Farthing (Britannia, fourth design) - reverse photo

The reverse of the coin shows, within a beaded border, the figure of Britannia - the female personification of Great Britain - seated facing right, wearing a crested Corinthian helmet pushed back to reveal her face and a flowing dress, resting her right hand on a shield bearing the combined crosses of the Union Flag, and holding a trident in her left hand.

Around left and right, the denomination FARTHING. In exergue, the date.

Reverse Inscription FARTHING [year]
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

The dies for this issue were engraved by George William de Saulles. The obverse is from a model by Thomas Brock, and the reverse is a modified copy of L. C. Wyon’s design with the lighthouse and ship eliminated. Most of the farthings dated 1897, and all those of subsequent dates up to and including 1917, were issued with a black finish so that they could be more readily distinguished from the half sovereign (which was of comparable dimensions and had the same obverse). The chemical method to achieve the darkening was by acid fumes; the usual result is to blacken them but on some coins the shades are from almost black down to light brown.

References to additional information:

[Book] Bressett, Kenneth E. 1962. A Guidebook of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Wisconsin, USA. pp18-20
[Book] Freeman, Michael J. 1970. The Bronze Coinage of Great Britain. Motherwell, Scotland. (2016 ed. pp127-132)
[Book] Remick, Jerome. 1971. The Guide Book and Catalogue to British Commonwealth Coins., pp192-193

Coin Type: Farthing (Britannia, fourth design) - (42) Coins
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
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:
Farthing 1921 9,469,097 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1922 9,956,983 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1923 8,034,457 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1924 8,733,416 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1925 12,634,697 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1926 9,792,397 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1927 7,868,355 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1928 11,625,600 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1929 8,419,200 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1930 4,195,200 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1931 6,595,200 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1932 9,292,800 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1933 4,560,000 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1934 3,052,800 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1935 2,227,200 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1936 9,734,400 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
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Farthing (Britannia, fourth design): Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Sub-type ofFarthing
From1895
To1936
Face Value1/4 (x Penny)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1961)
MaterialBronze
DesignerLeonard Charles Wyon
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size20.000 mm
Thickness1.100 mm
Mass2.830 g