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Detailed information about coin type: Farthing (Britannia, second design) from United Kingdom:

Coin type: Farthing (Britannia, second design)

All British copper coinage was demonetised in 1869, with only the bronze coinage (started in 1860) remaining in circulation.

CountryUnited Kingdom CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Sub-type ofFarthing Sub-types
Face value1/4 (x Penny)
Years produced1821 - 1864 CurrentNo (demonetised 1961)
MaterialCopper DesignerWilliam Wyon
Production technologyMilled (machine-made) ShapeRound
Size (mm)21 Thickness (mm)
Mass (g)4.6700

Effigy of the ruling British monarch, legend in Latin. During the existence of this coin type, farthings were issued for: King George IV (1821 - 1831), King William IV (1831 - 1837) and Queen Victoria (1838 - 1864).

The first issue of coins for George IV have a laureate bust of the king facing left. The obverse was designed by Benedetto Pistrucci and the reverse by William Wyon. The unconventional Roman numeral "IIII" was used in the monarch's legend on coins of the first issue from 1821 to 1826. This was replaced on the second issue (where the obverse was also designed by William Wyon) by "IV".

Obverse inscriptionLegend of the ruling British monarch

Figure of Britannia seated facing right, resting her right hand on a shield bearing a saltire of arms, and holding a trident in her left hand; around, the rest of the monarch's legend: BRITANNIAR: REX FID: DEF: (King of Britain, Defender of the Faith) during the reigns of King George IV and King William IV, or BRITANNIAR: REG: FID: DEF: (Queen of Britain, Defender of the Faith) for Queen Victoria; in exergue, a rose, a thistle and a shamrock combined.

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.

EdgePlain Edge inscriptionNone

References to additional information:

[Book] Bressett, Kenneth E. 1962. A Guidebook of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Wisconsin, USA. pp 14-16
[Book] Remick, Jerome. 1971. The Guide Book and Catalogue to British Commonwealth Coins., pp190-191

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