Penny, Britannia second design, Coin Type from United Kingdom - detailed information

Penny, Britannia second design, Coin Type from United Kingdom (issued 1825 - 1860)
Coin TypePenny, Britannia second design

The British pre-decimal penny coin, abbreviated as 1d (from "denarius" - the Roman coin from which the penny is directly descended), was a unit of currency that equalled one two-hundred-and-fortieth 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).

The denomination continues the tradition of earlier penny coins of Great Britain, which also featured the figure of Britannia. 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; there was a short-lived penny format with larger coins with concave surfaces struck by the Soho Mint but it was only issued for two years.

After 1807, no penny coins were issued until 1825 (with the exception of some circulating silver pennies), when this smaller version with a new-look Britannia and traditional flat surfaces was introduced; the design is by William Wyon, chief engraver of the Royal Mint, which was the only mint issuing the new coins.

The design is identical to that of the half penny, farthing and half farthing coins minted in the same years; the difference is only in size. Typically for British coinage of the time, the denomination (or, indeed, the country of issue) is not spelled out on the coin.

All these pennies were minted in copper, but after 1860 the denomination changed to bronze with an even smaller size; all British copper coinage was demonetised after 31 December 1869.

Obverse
United Kingdom / Penny, Britannia second design - obverse photo

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

During the existence of this coin type, pennies were issued for:
- King George IV (1825 - 1827)
- King William IV (1831 - 1837)
- Queen Victoria (1839 - 1860)

Obverse Inscription Legend of the ruling British monarch
Reverse
United Kingdom / Penny, Britannia second design - reverse photo

The reverse of the coin shows, within a beaded border, the figure of Britannia - the female personification of Great Britain - 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.

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 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.

Reverse Inscription BRITANNIAR: REX FID: DEF: (BRITANNIAR: REG: FID: DEF:)
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

References to additional information:

[Book] Bressett, Kenneth E. 1962. A Guidebook of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Wisconsin, USA. pp 31-40
[Book] Remick, Jerome. 1971. The Guide Book and Catalogue to British Commonwealth Coins., pp 202-206

Coin Type: Penny, Britannia second design - (24) Coins
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Penny 1825 1,075,200 King George IV - Laureate Head by Wyon GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA · 1825 ·
Penny 1826 5,913,600 King George IV - Laureate Head by Wyon GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA · 1826 ·
Penny 1827 1,451,520 King George IV - Laureate Head by Wyon GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA · 1827 ·
Penny 1831 806,400 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII DEI GRATIA 1831
Penny 1834 322,560 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII DEI GRATIA 1834
Penny 1837 174,720 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII DEI GRATIA 1837
Penny 1839 (Proof only) unknown Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1839
Penny 1841 913,920 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1841
Penny 1843 483,840 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1843
Penny 1844 215,040 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1844
Penny 1845 322,560 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1845
Penny 1846 483,840 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1846
Penny 1847 430,080 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1847
Penny 1848 161,280 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1848
Penny 1849 268,800 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1849
Penny 1851 532,224 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1851
Penny 1853 1,021,440 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1853
Penny 1854 6,720,000 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1854
Penny 1855 5,273,856 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1855
Penny 1856 1,212,288 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1856
Penny 1857 752,640 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1857
Penny 1858 1,559,040 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1858
Penny 1859 1,075,200 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1859
Penny 1860 (Large) 32,256 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1860
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Penny, Britannia second design: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Sub-type ofPenny (Pre-decimal)
From1825
To1860
Face Value1 (x Penny)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1870)
MaterialCopper
DesignerWilliam Wyon
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size34.000 mm
Thickness2.600 mm
Mass18.720 g
Penny, Britannia second design: Photos
ImageDetails
Proof Coin - Penny, George IV, Great Britain, 1826
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Common reverse (1825 - 1860).
Source
Proof Coin - Penny, George IV, Great Britain, 1826
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George IV (1825 - 1827).
Source
Coin - Penny, William IV, Great Britain, 1831
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George IV (1831 - 1837).
Source
Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1849
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria (1839 - 1860).
Source