Threepence (Circulating), Coin Type from United Kingdom - detailed information

Threepence (Circulating), Coin Type from United Kingdom (issued 1834 - 1970)
Coin TypeThreepence (Circulating)

The British threepence (3d) coin, usually simply known as a threepence or threepenny bit, was a unit of currency equalling one eightieth of a pound sterling, or three pence sterling. It was used in the United Kingdom, and earlier in Great Britain and England. Similar denominations were later used throughout the British Empire, notably in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The threepence was first issued for circulation in Britain in 1845, earlier circulation pieces were for colonial use only.

Threepence coins had been issued for a long time as "Maundy" money (non circulating legal tender, distributed in very small amounts by the King or Queen in person). Apart from their prooflike surface, they are virtually indistinguishable from the circulating coins. For consistency though, the Maundy threepence coins are listed separately in the NCLT section together with the other Maundy denominations.

Before Decimal Day in 1971 there were two hundred and forty pence in one pound sterling. Twelve pence made a shilling, and twenty shillings made a pound. Values less than a pound were usually written in terms of shillings and pence, e.g. forty-two pence would be three shillings and six pence (3/6), pronounced "three and six". Values of less than a shilling were simply written in terms of pence, e.g. eight pence would be 8d.

The denomination went through several transformations during its long existence. Its design resembled that of the Maundy threepence until 1926, when a new reverse with oak sprigs was introduced. This was replaced in 1937 with a Tudor rose, issued in 1945 after which time the silver version of the denomination was discontinued. There were also two design of 12-sided brass threepence, one featuring a thrift plant (1937 to 1950) and one with a Tudor-style portcullis (1953 to 1970).

The coins remained in circulation until "Decimal Day", 15 February 1971, and ceased to be legal tender after 31 August 1971. Unlike some of the larger denominations, they were not re-denominated to a decimal value when the decimal Pound Sterling was introduced.

Obverse
United Kingdom / Threepence (Circulating) - obverse photo

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

During the existence of the denomination, threepence were issued for:
- King George III (1817 - 1820)
- King William IV (1834 - 1837)
- Queen Victoria (1838 - 1901)
- King Edward VII (1902 - 1910)
- King George V (1911 - 1936)
- King George VI (1937 - 1952)
- Queen Elizabeth II (1953 - 1970)

Obverse Inscription Legend of the ruling British monarch
Reverse
United Kingdom / Threepence (Circulating) - reverse photo

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

The first design (1817 - 1887) shows, within an open oak wreath, the numeral value 3 [pence]. Above the value, St Edward's Crown. Named after Saint Edward the Confessor, 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). Divided by the value, the date of issue: [year].

Between 1817 and 1820 (during the reign of King George III), the date was on the obverse and part of the monarch's legend was on the reverse. The crown was re-designed in 1887.

The second design (1887 - 1926) is based on the first, which was re-touched when the Queen's effigy was also updated on the obverse; the most pronounced difference is in the shape of the crown, which is now rounded on top.

The third design (1927 - 1936), by George Kruger Gray, is a radical departure from the earlier heraldic coinage and features three sprigs of oak - intertwined and ending with three acorns. In the centre, there is a tiny letter G.

Around above, divided by one of the acorns, the value and denomination: THREE · · PENCE ·; around below, the date of issue: · [year] ·.

The fourth design (1937 - 1945), again by George Kruger Gray, shows the Shield of St George lying on a Tudor rose, dividing the date: [year].

Above, the rest of the monarch's legend: FID: DEF: IND: IMP: (Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India). Below, the value and denomination THREE · PENCE. Below the rose in small letters, the designer's initials K · G.

This was the final silver version of the denomination, after which it was changed to a twelve-sided nickel brass format.

The first twelve-sided design for the brass version (1937 - 1952) depicts a three-headed thrift plant (Allium porum, or wild leek). Around above, the value and denomination THREE PENCE; below, the date of issue: [year].

The second twelve-sided design for the brass version (1953 - 1970) depicts a a Tudor portcullis with chains and a coronet above. Below the portcullis in small letters, the artist's initials WG (for William Gardner). Around left and right, the value and denomination THREE PENCE; interrupting them below, the date of issue: [year].

Reverse Inscription 3 [year]
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

See also Threepence Patterns.

Coin Type: Threepence (Circulating) - (143) Coins (Page 1 of 2)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Threepence 1817 (Circulating) unknown King George III - Small Head GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA 1817
Threepence 1818 (Circulating) unknown King George III - Small Head GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA 1818
Threepence 1820 (Circulating) unknown King George III - Small Head GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA 1820
Threepence 1834 (Circulating) 401,016 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Threepence 1835 (Circulating) 491,040 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Threepence 1836 (Circulating) 411,840 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Threepence 1837 (Circulating) 42,768 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Threepence 1838 (Circulating) 1,203,840 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1839 (Circulating) 570,240 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1840 (Circulating) 633,600 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1841 (Circulating) 443,520 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1842 (Circulating) 2,027,520 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1843 (Circulating) 2,027,520 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1844 (Circulating) 1,045,400 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1845 (Circulating) 1,319,200 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1846 (Circulating) 52,008 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1849 (Circulating) 131,208 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1850 (Circulating) 954,889 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1851 (Circulating) 483,553 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1852 (Circulating) unknown Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1853 (Circulating) 36,168 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1854 (Circulating) 1,471,734 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1855 (Circulating) 387,838 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1856 (Circulating) 1,018,248 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1857 (Circulating) 1,766,718 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1858 (Circulating) 1,445,928 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1859 (Circulating) 3,584,328 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1860 (Circulating) 3,410,088 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1861 (Circulating) 3,299,208 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1862 (Circulating) 1,160,808 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1863 (Circulating) 954,488 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1864 (Circulating) 1,335,048 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1865 (Circulating) 1,746,888 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1866 (Circulating) 1,905,288 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1867 (Circulating) 717,288 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1868 (Circulating) 1,461,768 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1869 (Circulating) unknown Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1870 (Circulating) 1,287,796 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1871 (Circulating) 1,004,121 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1872 (Circulating) 1,297,759 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1873 (Circulating) 4,060,038 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1874 (Circulating) 4,431,519 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1875 (Circulating) 3,310,988 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1876 (Circulating) 1,838,877 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1877 (Circulating) 2,626,881 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1878 (Circulating) 2,424,463 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1879 (Circulating) 3,144,753 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1880 (Circulating) 1,614,557 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1881 (Circulating) 3,252,753 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1882 (Circulating) 447,453 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1883 (Circulating) 4,374,459 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1884 (Circulating) 3,326,912 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1885 (Circulating) 5,188,141 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1886 (Circulating) 6,157,157 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1887 (Circulating, Young Head) 2,785,249 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1887 (Circulating, Jubilee Head) 2,785,249 Queen Victoria - Jubilee Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA BRITT: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1888 (Circulating) 522,678 Queen Victoria - Jubilee Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA BRITT: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1889 (Circulating) 4,591,498 Queen Victoria - Jubilee Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA BRITT: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1890 (Circulating) 4,470,322 Queen Victoria - Jubilee Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA BRITT: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1891 (Circulating) 6,327,515 Queen Victoria - Jubilee Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA BRITT: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1892 (Circulating) 2,582,714 Queen Victoria - Jubilee Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA BRITT: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1893 (Circulating, Jubilee head) 3,076,269 Queen Victoria - Jubilee Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA BRITT: REGINA F: D:
Threepence 1893 (Circulating, Veiled head) 3,076,269 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Threepence 1894 (Circulating) 1,617,579 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Threepence 1895 (Circulating) 4,797,585 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Threepence 1896 (Circulating) 4,607,418 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Threepence 1897 (Circulating) 4,550,270 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Threepence 1898 (Circulating) 4,576,153 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Threepence 1899 (Circulating) 6,253,257 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Threepence 1900 (Circulating) 10,661,874 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Threepence 1901 (Circulating) 6,099,821 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Threepence 1902 (Circulating) 8,302,060 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Threepence 1903 (Circulating) 5,234,864 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Threepence 1904 (Circulating) 3,627,360 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Threepence 1905 (Circulating) 3,563,365 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Threepence 1906 (Circulating) 3,173,707 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Threepence 1907 (Circulating) 4,841,420 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Threepence 1908 (Circulating) 8,175,934 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Threepence 1909 (Circulating) 4,054,559 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Threepence 1910 (Circulating) 4,564,820 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Threepence 1911 (Circulating) 5,849,076 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1912 (Circulating) 8,934,071 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1913 (Circulating) 7,144,470 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1914 (Circulating) 6,734,566 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1915 (Circulating) 5,451,910 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1916 (Circulating) 18,556,329 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1917 (Circulating) 21,663,727 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1918 (Circulating) 20,632,284 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1919 (Circulating) 16,846,445 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1920 (Circulating) 16,704,996 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1921 (Circulating) 8,750,687 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1922 (Circulating) 7,981,371 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1925 (Circulating) 3,733,297 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1926 (Circulating) 4,109,144 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1927 (Circulating, proof only) 15,022 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1928 (Circulating) 1,302,106 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1930 (Circulating) 1,319,412 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1931 (Circulating) 6,251,936 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1932 (Circulating) 5,887,325 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Threepence 1933 (Circulating) 5,578,541 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:
Showing 1 to 100 of 143 Coins.
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Threepence (Circulating): Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Sub-types Threepence, King George III
Threepence, First Design
Threepence, Second Design
Threepence, Oak Sprigs
Threepence, Tudor Rose
Threepence, Brass, Thrift Plant
Threepence, Brass, Portcullis
From1834
To1970
Face Value3 (x Penny)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1971)
Material
Designer
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
Size
Mass
Threepence (Circulating): Photos
ImageDetails
Coin - Threepence, George III, Great Britain, 1818
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George III reverse (1817 - 1820).
Source
Coin - Threepence, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1886
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: First oak wreath reverse (1834 - 1887).
Source
Great Britain 1891 3 Pence
Copyright: smarty_marty24
Notes: Second oak wreath reverse (1887 - 1926).
Source
Coin - Threepence, George V, Great Britain, 1928
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Oak sprigs reverse (1927 - 1936).
Source
Great Britain 1949 3 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Brass, thrift plant (1937 - 1952).
Source
Coin - Threepence, Elizabeth II, Great Britain, 1960
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Brass, Portcullis (1953 - 1970).
Source
Coin - Threepence, George III, Great Britain, 1818
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George III (1817 - 1820).
Source
Coin - Threepence, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1877
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria, young head (1838 - 1887).
Source
Great Britain 1891 3 Pence
Copyright: smarty_marty24
Notes: Queen Victoria, Jubilee head (1887 - 1893).
Source
Coin - Threepence, Edward VII, Great Britain, 1902
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King Edward VII (1902 - 1910).
Source
Coin - Threepence, George V, Great Britain, 1928
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George V (1911 - 1936).
Source
Great Britain 1949 3 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: King George VI, brass (1949 - 1952).
Source
Coin - Threepence, Elizabeth II, Great Britain, 1960
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Queen Elizabeth II, brass (1954 - 1970).
Source