Halfpenny (Pre-decimal), Coin Type from United Kingdom - detailed information

Halfpenny (Pre-decimal), Coin Type from United Kingdom (issued 1806 - 1970)
Coin TypeHalfpenny (Pre-decimal)

The British pre-decimal halfpenny coin (abbreviated as ½d; "d" comes from the Roman "denarius", of which the penny is a direct descendant), usually simply known as a halfpenny or half penny, was a unit of currency that equalled half of a penny or one four-hundred-and-eightieth of a pound sterling. There were 20 shillings to a pound, and 12 pence to a shilling so one pound was equal to 240 pence, so 480 of these coins made up £1.

The denomination continues the tradition of earlier halfpenny coins of Great Britain. In 1801 the parliaments of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland each passed an Act of Union, uniting the two kingdoms and creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Re-coinage followed in 1806; the first halfpenny coins after that are known as the "Fourth Issue" copper coinage of King George III - the earlier three coinages being while the country was still just Great Britain.

The halfpenny went through several transformations: a large copper coin with concave surfaces and a Britannia reverse (1806 and 1807 only), a large copper coin with a second Britannia design (1825 to 1860), then smaller bronze coins - with a third Britannia design (1860 to 1894), a simplified fourth Britannia design (1895 to 1936) and finally a new halfpenny design featuring a sailing ship (1937 to 1970).

The pre-decimal halfpenny was demonetised before decimalisation and ceased to be legal tender from 31 July 1969. The new decimal half penny was much smaller in size, and was itself demonetised in 1984.

Obverse
United Kingdom / Halfpenny (Pre-decimal) - obverse photo

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

During the existence of the denomination, half pennies were issued for:
- King George III (1806 - 1807)
- King George IV (1825 - 1831)
- King William IV (1831 - 1837)
- Queen Victoria (1838 - 1901)
- King Edward VII (1902 - 1910)
- King George V (1911 - 1936)
- King George VI (1937 - 1952)
- Queen Elizabeth (1953 - 1970)

Obverse Inscription Legend of the ruling British monarch
Reverse
United Kingdom / Halfpenny (Pre-decimal) - reverse photo

The reverse went through several transformations during the existence of the denomination.

The first reverse (1806 - 1807) was designed by Conrad Heinrich Küchler; the coins were struck by the Soho Mint. It shows the figure of Britannia - the female personification of Great Britain - seated on a rock, facing left, holding a trident and extending an olive branch; a shield decorated with the British flag rests against the rock at right. In the background to the left, a sailing ship. Around above, the legend BRITANNIA. There is no indication of the value and denomination.

Subsequent coins were struck almost exclusively by the Royal Mint; its production was on a few occasions supplemented by Heaton and Sons in Birmingham.

The second reverse (1825 - 1860), designed by William Wyon, features a new rendition of Britannia; she is seated facing right, wearing a Corinthian helmet pushed back to reveal her face, resting her right hand on a shield bearing a saltire of arms, and holding a trident in her left hand. In the exergue, a rose, a thistle and a shamrock combined - the floral symbols of the constituent parts of the United Kingdom, respectively England, Scotland and Ireland. The reverse also bears part of the monarch's legend. As before, there is no indication of the coin's value and denomination.

The third reverse (1860 - 1894) has a new rendition of Britannia, by Leonard Charles Wyon. Again, she is wearing a crested Corinthian helmet pushed back to reveal her face, resting her right hand on a shield bearing the combined crosses of the Union Flag, and holding a trident in her left hand. In the background at right, a ship sailing away; at left, a lighthouse. Around left and right, the denomination HALF PENNY. In exergue, the date.

The fourth reverse (1895 - 1936) is a simplified version of the third, with the lighthouse and sailing ship removed from the background.

The fifth reverse (1937 - 1970) is a radical departure from the earlier traditions and features a sailing ship - Sir Francis Drake’s "Golden Hind". The date is below, and the denomination HALF PENNY is around above.

Reverse Inscription HALF PENNY [year]
EdgeEdge Inscription
Notes

There are also pattern halfpennies listed separately.

Various British colonies, dominions and dependencies also issued their own versions of the half penny denomination, usually to be used in parallel with their Imperial counterpart and with compatible dimensions and composition but sometimes made deliberately different, e.g. with a central hole. For these, see:

- Bahamas Colony, One Penny - equal in size with the halfpenny but denominated as one penny; issued 1806 only
- Ionian Islands, One Obol - issued in 1819 only, demonetised 1864
- British West Africa, Halfpenny - with central hole, issued 1911 to 1952, demonetised 1968
- Australia, Halfpenny - issued 1911 to 1964, withdrawn 1966 (not demonetised)
- New Guinea, Half Penny - with central hole, issued 1929 only, demonetised 1966
- Fiji, Halfpenny - with central hole, issued 1934 to 1954, demonetised 1969
- New Zealand, Halfpenny - issued 1940 to 1965, demonetised 1967
- Nigeria, Halfpenny - with central hole, issued 1959 only, demonetised 1973

Coin Type: Halfpenny (Pre-decimal) - (135) Coins (Page 1 of 2)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Halfpenny 1806 unknown King George III - Laureate Head by Küchler GEORGIUS III · D : G · REX. 1806
Halfpenny 1807 unknown King George III - Laureate Head by Küchler GEORGIUS III · D : G · REX. 1807
Halfpenny 1825 215,040 King George IV - Laureate Head by Wyon GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA · 1825 ·
Halfpenny 1826 9,031,630 King George IV - Laureate Head by Wyon GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA · 1826 ·
Halfpenny 1827 5,376,000 King George IV - Laureate Head by Wyon GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA · 1827 ·
Halfpenny 1831 806,400 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII DEI GRATIA 1831
Halfpenny 1834 537,600 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII DEI GRATIA 1834
Halfpenny 1837 349,440 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII DEI GRATIA 1837
Halfpenny 1838 456,960 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1838
Halfpenny 1839 (Proof only) unknown Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1839
Halfpenny 1841 1,075,200 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1841
Halfpenny 1843 967,680 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1843
Halfpenny 1844 1,075,200 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1844
Halfpenny 1845 1,075,200 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1845
Halfpenny 1846 860,160 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1846
Halfpenny 1847 752,640 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1847
Halfpenny 1848 322,560 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1848
Halfpenny 1851 215,040 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1851
Halfpenny 1852 637,056 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1852
Halfpenny 1853 1,559,040 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1853
Halfpenny 1854 12,354,048 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1854
Halfpenny 1855 1,455,837 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1855
Halfpenny 1856 1,942,080 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1856
Halfpenny 1857 1,182,720 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1857
Halfpenny 1858 2,472,960 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1858
Halfpenny 1859 1,290,240 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1859
Halfpenny 1860 (Large) unknown Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1860
Halfpenny 1860 (Small) 6,630,400 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1861 54,118,400 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1862 61,107,200 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1863 15,948,800 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1864 537,600 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1865 8,064,000 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1866 2,508,800 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1867 2,508,800 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1868 3,046,400 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1869 3,225,600 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1870 4,350,739 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1871 1,075,280 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1872 4,659,410 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1873 3,404,880 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1874 6,365,265 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1875 6,685,215 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1876 6,809,600 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1877 5,209,505 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1878 1,425,535 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1879 3,582,545 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1880 2,423,465 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1881 3,799,515 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1882 4,480,000 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1883 3,000,725 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1884 6,989,580 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1885 8,600,574 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1886 8,586,155 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1887 10,701,305 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1888 6,814,070 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1889 7,748,234 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1890 11,254,235 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1891 13,192,260 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1892 2,478,335 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1893 7,229,344 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1894 1,767,635 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Halfpenny 1895 3,032,154 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Halfpenny 1896 9,142,500 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Halfpenny 1897 8,690,315 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Halfpenny 1898 8,595,180 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Halfpenny 1899 12,108,001 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Halfpenny 1900 13,805,190 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Halfpenny 1901 11,127,360 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Halfpenny 1902 13,672,960 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1903 11,450,880 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1904 8,131,200 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1905 10,124,800 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1906 11,101,440 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1907 16,849,280 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1908 16,620,800 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1909 8,279,040 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1910 10,769,920 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1911 12,570,880 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1912 21,185,920 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1913 17,476,480 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1914 20,289,111 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1915 21,563,040 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1916 39,386,143 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1917 38,245,436 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1918 22,321,072 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1919 28,104,001 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1920 35,146,793 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1921 28,027,293 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1922 10,734,964 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1923 12,266,282 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1924 13,971,038 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1925 12,216,123 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1926 6,712,306 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1927 15,589,622 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1928 20,935,200 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1929 25,680,000 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1930 12,532,800 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1931 16,137,600 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1932 14,448,000 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Showing 1 to 100 of 135 Coins.
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Halfpenny (Pre-decimal): Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Sub-types Halfpenny (Britannia, first design)
Halfpenny (Britannia, second design)
Halfpenny (Britannia, third design)
Halfpenny (Britannia, fourth design)
Halfpenny (Ship)
From1806
To1970
Face Value1/2 (x Penny)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1969)
Material
Designer
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
Size
Mass
Halfpenny (Pre-decimal): Photos
ImageDetails
Coin - Halfpenny, George III, Great Britain, 1807
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Britannia, first design (1806 - 1807).
Source
Coin - Halfpenny, William IV, Great Britain, 1831
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Britannia, second design (1825 - 1860).
Source
Coin - Halfpenny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1860
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Britannia, third design (1860 - 1894).
Source
Great Britain 1930 1/2 Penny
Copyright: smarty_marty24
Notes: Britannia, fourth design (1895 - 1936).
Source
Great Britain 1939 1/2 Penny
Copyright: smarty_marty24
Notes: Golden Hind ship (1937 - 1970).
Source
Coin - Halfpenny, George III, Great Britain, 1807
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George III (1806 - 1807).
Source
Coin - Halfpenny, William IV, Great Britain, 1831
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King William IV (1831 - 1837).
Source
Great Britain 1852 half penny
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria, Young head (1838 - 1860).
Source
Coin - Halfpenny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1860
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria, Bun head (1860 - 1894).
Source
Coin - Halfpenny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1895
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria, Veiled head (1895 - 1901).
Source
Coin - Halfpenny, Edward VII, Great Britain, 1902
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King Edward VII (1902 - 1910).
Source
Great Britain 1930 1/2 Penny
Copyright: smarty_marty24
Source
Great Britain 1939 1/2 Penny
Copyright: smarty_marty24
Source