Fourpence, Coin Type from United Kingdom - detailed information

Fourpence, Coin Type from United Kingdom (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 denomination was never too popular. In 1845, the circulating threepence was introduced 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.

The composition of the coin is Sterling Silver (0.925 silver, equal to 0.0561 oz ASW).

Note that there was also the Maundy fourpence, which is distinct and was never intended for circulation; it is still issued today.

Obverse
United Kingdom / Fourpence - obverse photo

Effigy of the ruling British monarch, legend (in Latin).

During the existence of the denomination, threepence were issued for:
- King William IV (1836 - 1837)
- Queen Victoria (1837 - 1888)

Obverse Inscription Legend of the British monarch
Reverse
United Kingdom / Fourpence - reverse photo

Within a beaded border, the reverse of the coin shows the figure of Britannia, the female personification of Great Britain, draped and wearing helmet, seated facing right, holding a trident and resting her right hand on an oval shield which bears the crosses of the Union flag.

Around left and right, the value and denomination FOUR PENCE; in exergue, the date: [year].

Reverse Inscription FOUR PENCE [year]
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Coin Type: Fourpence - (24) Coins
Coin NameReverseObverseDetails
Fourpence 1836 United Kingdom / Fourpence 1836 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Fourpence 1836 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 4,253,040
Fourpence 1837 (William IV) United Kingdom / Fourpence 1837 (William IV) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Fourpence 1837 (William IV) - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 962,280
Fourpence 1837 (Victoria, Proof only) Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: unknown
Fourpence 1838 United Kingdom / Fourpence 1838 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Fourpence 1838 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 2,150,280
Fourpence 1839 United Kingdom / Fourpence 1839 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Fourpence 1839 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 1,461,240
Fourpence 1840 United Kingdom / Fourpence 1840 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Fourpence 1840 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 1,496,880
Fourpence 1841 United Kingdom / Fourpence 1841 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Fourpence 1841 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 344,520
Fourpence 1842 United Kingdom / Fourpence 1842 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Fourpence 1842 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 724,680
Fourpence 1843 United Kingdom / Fourpence 1843 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Fourpence 1843 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 1,817,640
Fourpence 1844 Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 855,360
Fourpence 1845 Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 914,760
Fourpence 1846 United Kingdom / Fourpence 1846 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Fourpence 1846 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 1,366,200
Fourpence 1847 Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 226,200
Fourpence 1848 United Kingdom / Fourpence 1848 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Fourpence 1848 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 712,800
Fourpence 1849 United Kingdom / Fourpence 1849 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Fourpence 1849 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 380,160
Fourpence 1851 Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 31,300
Fourpence 1852 United Kingdom / Fourpence 1852 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Fourpence 1852 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: unknown
Fourpence 1853 Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 11,880
Fourpence 1854 United Kingdom / Fourpence 1854 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Fourpence 1854 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 1,096,613
Fourpence 1855 United Kingdom / Fourpence 1855 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Fourpence 1855 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 646,041
Fourpence 1857 (Proof only) United Kingdom / Fourpence 1857 (Proof only) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Fourpence 1857 (Proof only) - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: unknown
Fourpence 1858 (Proof only) Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: unknown
Fourpence 1862 (Proof only) Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: unknown
Fourpence 1888 United Kingdom / Fourpence 1888 - reverse photo United Kingdom / Fourpence 1888 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 120,000
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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
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size
Mass1.890 g
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