Figure of Britannia seated facing right on a rock, wearing a helmet and breastplate with flowing dress; she holds a trident and rests her right hand on a shield which bears the combined crosses of the Union Flag; at right a ship sailing away; at left, a lighthouse; around, the denomination ONE PENNY; in exergue, the date.
Freeman describes several reverse varieties:
Reverse A (1860)
Border of circular dots. Within the border, a plain linear circle, up to which the sea at the feet of Britannia extends on both sides. The rock on which the lighthouse is based does not reach the linear circle. The designer's initials L.C.W. appear incuse on the rock below and to the left of the shield. The crosses on the shield are outlined with closed double raised lines. The thumb of Britannia's right hand does not quite reach the end of the cross.
Reverse B (1860)
Similar to reverse A but the crosses of the shield are outlined with treble incuse lines, and the thumb of Britannia's right hand touches the end of the cross.
Reverse C (1860)
Similar to reverse A but the raised lines on the shield crosses are thinner and farther apart. The thumb of Britannia's right hand touches the end of the cross. The rock on which the lighthouse is based extends leftwards as far as the linear circle. The plume on Britannia's helmet is shorter. There is an incuse hemline to the drapery. Parts of the sea at her feet extend beyond the linear circle.
Reverse D (1860 - 1861)
Similar to reverse C but the border dots are tooth-like, elongated and incomplete in that they join the rim. On this reverse, flaws frequently occur, and the top of the lighthouse. the tips of the trident prongs and the designer's initials L.C.W. are often mis-struck. The horizontal line which forms the upper limit of the exergue curves upwards slightly at the left where it meets the linear circle.
Reverse E (1860)
Similar to Reverse D but with L.C.W. incuse below the foot of Britannia. The rim of the shield is thicker than on previous reverses. The masonry on the lighthouse is sharply depicted, as are the waves on both sides of Britannia. There is no upward curve of the exergual line.
Reverse F (1861)
Similar to Reverse D but there are no designer's initials L.C.W. There is now a rock line where the letters would have been, touching the shield rim. The lighthouse in the background has a distinctly rounded top.
Reverse G (1861 - 1875)
There are numerous difference between this reverse and all earlier ones. The design and letters are smaller and sit lower on the flan than before. There are no designer's initials L.C.W. and the exergual line does not curve upwards at the left. The shield, instead of being flat as in the earlier versions is now convex. The sea crosses the linear circle at all points, extending to the border. There is no rock at the base of the lighthous; the top of the lighthouse is now bell-shaped, with a small knob at the tip. Trident prongs are shorter and closer together. There are no incuse hemlines on the drapery. The border teeth are shorter.
Specimens of Reverse G are found with the central and lower areas of the shield weakly struck.
Reverse H (1874, 1875, 1877)
Britannia's head is smaller in proportion to her body, and her neck is long and thin. The lighthouse is thin, its masonry faint, and its base is closer to the linear circle than on previous reverses. It has four incuse vertical lines below the top, and six windows. The trident shafts is thicker, its prongs more crudely depicted. The sea extends to, but does not cross, the linear circle. The date numerals are small and close to each other. Border teeth are small.
Reverse I (1874)
The rim thickness and spacing of date numerals is are as reverse G, but Britannia resembles Reverse H. However, her thumb extends farther down the shield. Her hair falls behind her head, whereas on earlier reverses it lay on the neck. The lighthouse is thicker, and has four windows.
This reverse is only seen with "H" mint mark.
Reverse J (1875 - 1881)
Similar to Reverse G and even more to Reverse I. The figure of Britannia is more massive than before; the top of the plume of her helmet is nerare to the rim than before. The exergue is deeper. The lighthouse is thicker but less sharply depicted. The sea does not quite reach the linear circle on either side. Date numerals are more widely spaced, and are nearer to the exergue line.
Reverse K (1876, 1879)
Similar to reverse H, with closely spaced date numerals. Britannia's head is larger, her neck shorter and thicker; the helmet is also thicker, and as a result the plume appears to be closer to her neck.
Reverse L (1880)
Similar to Reverse J but there appears to be a smaller cluster of rocks to the left of the lighthouse. The trident shaft is altered, most notably by the addition of three rings which encircle the shaft near Britannia's hand. Her head is lighter and there is an extra feather in the plume of the helmet.
Reverse M (1881, 1882)
Similar to reverse J but Britannia's shield is flat and heraldically coloured (i.e. has small stripes representing the colours). The lower end of Britannia's helmet terminates in two strands.
Reverse N (1881 - 1894)
Britannia is thinner than before. On the shield, the plain sections of the diagonal cross are outlined with raised lines. There are about one-third more border teeth than on reverse M. The hull of the sailing ship is smaller, the the trident shaft as well as the lighthouse are thinner. The lower end of Britannia's helmet terminates in a single strand.