Halfcrown Queen Victoria, First Issue, Coin Type from United Kingdom - detailed information

Halfcrown Queen Victoria, First Issue, Coin Type from United Kingdom (issued 1839 - 1887)
Coin TypeHalfcrown Queen Victoria, First Issue

The halfcrown (or half crown) was a denomination of the pre-decimal Pound Sterling coinage worth one-eighth of a pound, or two and a half shillings (a full crown being defined as five shillings), or 30 pence. In sums, it was abbreviated "2/6" (pronounced "two and six" - two shillings and six pence, a full shilling being twelve pence). The half crown was first issued in 1549 in the reign of King Edward VI.

This type of halfcrown coins was struck during the reign of Queen Victoria. Its reverse design is by Jean Baptiste Merlen, who also designed the earlier halfcrowns issued for King William IV.

The design (both reverse and obverse) was preserved for almost fifty years; this coin type was struck in substantial numbers from 1839 to 1850, then only proofs were offered for several years, followed by a nine-year gap as the Royal Mint attempted to circulate the new florin (two shillings) denomination instead. In 1874, production of this type resumed with a slightly modified effigy and continued until 1887, when it was finally replaced by Queen Victoria's second issue coinage on the occasion of her Jubilee (50 years on the throne).

The composition is Sterling Silver (0.925 silver) and the coins have 0.4205 oz ASW (ounces of Absolute Silver Weight). The half crown was demonetised (ahead of other pre-decimal coins) on 1 January 1970, the year before the United Kingdom adopted decimal currency.

Obverse
United Kingdom / Halfcrown Queen Victoria, First Issue - obverse photo

The obverse of the coin shows the young uncrowned effigy of Queen Victoria, facing left; the portrait is by William Wyon and is widely known as her "Young Head".

The Queen's hair is bound with a double fillet (ribbon) and collected into a knot behind.

Around above, the monarch's legend: VICTORIA DEI GRATIA.Translated from Latin: Victoria, by the Grace of God.

Around below, the date of issue: [year].

Obverse Inscription VICTORIA DEI GRATIA [year]
Reverse
United Kingdom / Halfcrown Queen Victoria, First Issue - reverse photo

Within an open laurel wreath, the reverse of the coin shows the crowned shield bearing the Royal Arms of the United Kingdom. The shield is quartered, depicting in the first and fourth quarters the three passant guardant lions of England; in the second, the rampant lion and double tressure flory-counterflory of Scotland; and in the third, a harp for Ireland.

The shield is surmounted by St Edward's Crown, named after Saint Edward the Confessor, one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England. It has been traditionally used to crown English and British monarchs at their coronations since the 13th century, with a two-century gap between 1689 and 1911 so Queen Victoria was not herself crowned with it.

Around below, a small rose, thistle and shamrock - the floral emblems of England, Scotland and Ireland respectively.

Around above, the continuation of the Queen's legend: BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF: (Queen of the Britains, Defender of the Faith).

Reverse Inscription BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF:
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Coin Type: Halfcrown Queen Victoria, First Issue - (28) Coins
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Halfcrown 1839 unknown Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1839
Halfcrown 1840 386,496 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1840
Halfcrown 1841 42,768 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1841
Halfcrown 1842 486,288 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1842
Halfcrown 1843 454,608 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1843
Halfcrown 1844 1,999,008 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1844
Halfcrown 1845 2,231,856 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1845
Halfcrown 1846 1,907,136 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1846
Halfcrown 1848 367,488 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1848
Halfcrown 1849 261,360 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1849
Halfcrown 1850 483,120 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1850
Halfcrown 1853 (Proof only) unknown Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1853
Halfcrown 1862 (Proof only) unknown Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1862
Halfcrown 1864 (Proof only) unknown Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1864
Halfcrown 1874 2,188,599 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1874
Halfcrown 1875 1,113,843 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1875
Halfcrown 1876 633,221 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1876
Halfcrown 1877 447,059 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1877
Halfcrown 1878 1,466,323 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1878
Halfcrown 1879 901,356 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1879
Halfcrown 1880 1,346,350 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1880
Halfcrown 1881 2,301,495 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1881
Halfcrown 1882 808,227 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1882
Halfcrown 1883 2,982,779 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1883
Halfcrown 1884 1,569,175 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1884
Halfcrown 1885 1,628,438 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1885
Halfcrown 1886 891,767 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1886
Halfcrown 1887 Young Head 1,438,046 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1887
Advertising
Family-run store trading in rare coins and bullion, plus jewellery design and sales
Family-run store trading in rare coins and bullion, plus jewellery design and sales
Halfcrown Queen Victoria, First Issue: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Sub-type ofHalfcrown
From1839
To1887
Face Value2 1/2 (x Shilling)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1970)
Material0.925 Silver
DesignerJean Baptiste Merlen
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size32.0000 mm
Mass14.1380 g
Halfcrown Queen Victoria, First Issue: Photos
ImageDetails
Great Britain 1853 half crown
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Source
Great Britain 1853 half crown
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Source
Great Britain 1875 half crown
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria, modified Young Head.
Source