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

Penny (Pre-decimal), Coin Type from United Kingdom (issued 1806 - 1970)
Coin TypePenny (Pre-decimal)

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. 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 penny 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 penny went through several transformations: a large copper coin with concave surfaces and a Britannia reverse (1806 and 1807 only, with a single mysterious proof in 1808), a large copper coin with a second Britannia design (1825 to 1860), then smaller bronze coins - with a third Britannia design (1860 to 1894), and finally a simplified fourth Britannia design (1895 to 1970), slightly retouched in 1937. There was also a short-lived attempt between 1817 and 1820 to have circulating silver pennies (identical to the Maundy penny) but this was quickly abandoned due to their inconveniently small size.

The coins remained in circulation until "Decimal Day", 15 February 1971 when the old currency was demonetised and the decimal Pound Sterling was introduced, with a new decimal penny replacing these coins at a ratio of one new penny to 2.4 of the old ones.

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

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

During the existence of the denomination, pennies were issued for:
- King George III (1806 - 1808)
- 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 / Penny (Pre-decimal) - reverse photo

The reverse went through several transformations during the existence of the denomination. Excluding the silver pennies, these were:

The first reverse (1806 - 1808) 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 and the King's Norton Metal Company, both in Birmingham, with mint marks H and KN respectively.

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 ONE PENNY. In exergue, the date.

The fourth reverse (1895 - 1970) is a simplified version of the third, with the lighthouse and sailing ship removed from the background. In 1937, the lighthouse to the left was restored and featured on the coins until 1970.

Reverse Inscription ONE PENNY [year]
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] Freeman, Michael J. 1970. The Bronze Coinage of Great Britain. Motherwell, Scotland.
[Book] Remick, Jerome. 1971. The Guide Book and Catalogue to British Commonwealth Coins., pp 202-206

Coin Type: Penny (Pre-decimal) - (127) Coins (Page 1 of 2)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Penny 1806 unknown King George III - Laureate Head by Küchler GEORGIUS III · D : G · REX. 1806
Penny 1807 unknown King George III - Laureate Head by Küchler GEORGIUS III · D : G · REX. 1807
Penny 1808 (Proof only) 1 King George III - Laureate Head by Küchler GEORGIUS III · D : G · REX. 1808
Penny 1817 (Silver, circulating) unknown King George III - Small Head GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA 1817
Penny 1818 (Silver, circulating) unknown King George III - Small Head GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA 1818
Penny 1820 (Silver, circulating) unknown King George III - Small Head GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA 1820
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
Penny 1860 (Small) 5,053,440 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1861 36,449,280 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1862 50,534,400 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1863 28,062,720 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1864 3,440,640 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1865 8,601,600 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1866 9,999,360 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1867 5,483,520 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1868 1,182,720 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1869 2,580,480 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1870 5,695,022 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1871 1,290,318 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1872 8,494,572 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1873 8,494,200 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1874 12,288,105 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1875 11,443,680 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1876 11,074,560 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1877 9,624,747 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1878 2,764,470 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1879 7,666,476 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1880 3,000,831 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1881 6,065,562 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1882 7,526,400 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1883 6,237,438 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1884 11,702,802 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1885 7,145,862 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1886 6,087,759 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1887 5,315,085 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1888 5,125,020 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1889 12,559,737 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1890 15,330,840 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1891 17,885,961 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1892 10,501,671 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1893 8,161,737 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1894 3,883,452 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1895 5,395,830 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Penny 1896 24,147,156 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Penny 1897 20,756,620 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Penny 1898 14,296,836 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Penny 1899 26,441,069 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Penny 1900 31,778,109 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Penny 1901 22,205,568 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Penny 1902 26,976,768 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1903 21,415,296 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1904 12,913,152 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1905 17,783,808 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1906 37,989,504 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1907 47,322,240 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1908 31,506,048 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1909 19,617,024 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1910 29,549,184 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1911 23,079,168 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1912 65,106,048 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1913 65,497,872 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1914 50,820,997 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1915 47,310,807 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1916 86,411,165 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1917 107,905,436 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1918 87,888,172 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1919 118,970,690 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1920 124,693,485 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1921 129,717,693 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1922 16,346,711 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1926 4,498,519 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1927 60,989,561 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1928 50,178,000 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1929 49,132,800 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1930 29,097,600 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1931 19,843,200 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1932 8,277,600 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Showing 1 to 100 of 127 Coins.
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Penny (Pre-decimal): Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Sub-types Penny (Britannia, first design)
Penny (Silver, circulating)
Penny (Britannia, second design)
Penny (Britannia, third design)
Penny (Britannia, fourth design)
From1806
To1970
Face Value1 (x Penny)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1971)
Material
Designer
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
Size
Mass
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Penny (Pre-decimal): Photos
ImageDetails
Coin - Penny, George III, Great Britain, 1806
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: First design (1806 - 1808).
Source
Proof Coin - Penny, George IV, Great Britain, 1826
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Second design (1825 - 1860).
Source
Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1863
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Third design (1860 - 1894).
Source
Great Britain 1894 penny KM-790
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: 1894 pattern.
Source
Great Britain 1895 penny
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Fourth design, no lighthouse (1895 - 1937).
Source
Great Britain 1938 penny
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Fourth design, with lighthouse (1937 - 1970).
Source
Coin - Penny, George III, Great Britain, 1806
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George III (1806 - 1808).
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 William IV (1831 - 1837).
Source
Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1849
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria, Young head (1839 - 1860).
Source
Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1863
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria, Bun head (1860 - 1894).
Source
Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1898
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria, Veiled head (1894 - 1901).
Source
Coin - Penny, Edward VII, Great Britain, 1902
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King Edward VII (1902 - 1910).
Source
Great Britain 1912-H penny
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: King George V, large version (1911 - 1927).
Source
Great Britain 1936 penny
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: King George V, small version (1928 - 1936).
Source
Proof Coin - Penny, George VI, Great Britain, 1937
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George VI, Emperor of India (1937 - 1948).
Source
Great Britain 1949 penny
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: King George VI (1949 - 1952).
Source
Great Britain 1961 penny
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Queen Elizabeth II (1953 - 1970).
Source