United Kingdom: Coin Type Fourpence - detailed information

United Kingdom: Coin Type Fourpence (issued 1836 - 1888)
Coin TypeFourpence

The pre-decimal fourpence (4d), sometimes known as a groat or fourpenny bit, was a coin worth one sixtieth of a pound sterling, or four pence. The coin was also known as a joey after the MP Joseph Hume, who spoke in favour of its introduction. It was a revival of the pre-Union coin.

Before Decimal Day in 1971 there were two hundred and forty pence in one pound sterling. 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. forty-two pence would be three shillings and six pence (3/6), abbreviated to "three and six" in common speech. Values of less than a shilling were simply written in terms of pence, e.g. eight pence would be 8d.

The threepence was introduced in 1845 to "afford additional convenience for the purpose of change". This new coin proved much more popular than the fourpence, and by the early 1850s it was decided there was no need for both coins. The final regular issue of groats was made in 1855, although proofs were minted in 1857 and 1858.

The coins remained current in the United Kingdom and most colonies until 1887.

In 1888 a special request was made for a colonial variety to be minted for use in British Guiana and the British West Indies. The groat remained in circulation in British Guiana right up until that territory adopted the decimal system in 1955.

Composition: 0.925 silver (0.0561 oz ASW).

Obverse

Effigy of the British monarch, legend (in Latin). During the existence of the denomination, monarchs were King William IV and Queen Victoria.

Obverse InscriptionLegend of the British monarch
Reverse

Figure of Britannia, draped and wearing helmet, seated facing right holding trident and resting right hand on an oval shield which bears the crosses of the Union flag; around, FOUR PENCE; in exergue, the date.

Reverse InscriptionFOUR PENCE [year]
EdgeMilled
Edge InscriptionNone
All Coins of Type: Fourpence (24)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Fourpence 1836 4,253,040 Portrait by William Wyon GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F:D:
Fourpence 1837 (William IV) 962,280 Portrait by William Wyon GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F:D:
Fourpence 1837 (Victoria, Proof only) unknown Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1838 2,150,280 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1839 1,461,240 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1840 1,496,880 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1841 344,520 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1842 724,680 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1843 1,817,640 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1844 855,360 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1845 914,760 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1846 1,366,200 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1847 226,200 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1848 712,800 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1849 380,160 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1851 31,300 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1852 unknown Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1853 11,880 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1854 1,096,613 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1855 646,041 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1857 (Proof only) unknown Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1858 (Proof only) unknown Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1862 (Proof only) unknown Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1888 120,000 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
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Fourpence: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
From1836
To1888
Face Value4 (x Penny)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1955)
Material0.925 Silver
DesignerJean Baptiste Merlen
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationReversed (Coin Alignment, Axis 6)
Size (mm)
Mass (g)1.8900
Fourpence: Photos
ImageDetails
Great Britain 1838 4 Pence (Groat)
Copyright: smarty_marty24
Notes: Common Britannia reverse (1836 - 1888).
Source
Coin - Groat, William IV, Great Britain, 1836
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King William IV (1836 - 1837).
Source
Great Britain 1849 4 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria, Young head (1837 - 1858).
Source
Coin - 4 Pence, British Guiana & West Indies, 1888
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria, Jubilee head (1888).
Source