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 coins 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.

Various British colonies, dominions and dependencies also issued their own versions of the threepence 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:

- Ionian Islands, Thirty Lepta - issued 1834 to 1862, demonetised 1864
- British West Africa, Threepence - issued 1913 to 1957, demonetised 1968
- Australia, Threepence - issued 1910 to 1964, withdrawn 1966 (not demonetised)
- New Zealand, Threepence - issued 1933 to 1965, demonetised 1967
- New Guinea, Threepence - with central hole, issued 1935 and 1944, demonetised 1966
- Fiji, Threepence - 12-sided brass coin, issued 1947 to 1967, demonetised 1969
- Nigeria, Threepence - 12-sided brass coin, issued 1959 only, demonetised 1973

Coin Type: Threepence, Circulating - (143) Coins (Page 2 of 2)
Coin NameReverseObverseDetails
Threepence 1934 (Circulating) United Kingdom / Threepence 1934 (Circulating) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1934 (Circulating) - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 7,405,954
Threepence 1935 (Circulating) United Kingdom / Threepence 1935 (Circulating) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1935 (Circulating) - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 7,027,654
Threepence 1936 (Circulating) United Kingdom / Threepence 1936 (Circulating) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1936 (Circulating) - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 3,238,670
Threepence 1937 (Silver, circulating) United Kingdom / Threepence 1937 (Silver, circulating) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1937 (Silver, circulating) - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 8,174,558
Threepence 1937 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1937 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1937 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 45,734,359
Threepence 1938 (Silver, circulating) United Kingdom / Threepence 1938 (Silver, circulating) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1938 (Silver, circulating) - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 6,402,473
Threepence 1938 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1938 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1938 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 14,532,332
Threepence 1939 (Silver, circulating) United Kingdom / Threepence 1939 (Silver, circulating) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1939 (Silver, circulating) - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 1,355,866
Threepence 1939 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1939 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1939 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 5,603,021
Threepence 1940 (Silver, circulating) United Kingdom / Threepence 1940 (Silver, circulating) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1940 (Silver, circulating) - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 7,914,401
Threepence 1940 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1940 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1940 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 12,636,018
Threepence 1941 (Silver, circulating) United Kingdom / Threepence 1941 (Silver, circulating) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1941 (Silver, circulating) - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 7,979,411
Threepence 1941 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1941 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1941 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 60,239,489
Threepence 1942 (Silver, circulating) United Kingdom / Threepence 1942 (Silver, circulating) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1942 (Silver, circulating) - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 4,144,051
Threepence 1942 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1942 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1942 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 103,214,400
Threepence 1943 (Silver, circulating) United Kingdom / Threepence 1943 (Silver, circulating) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1943 (Silver, circulating) - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 1,379,220
Threepence 1943 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1943 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1943 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 101,702,400
Threepence 1944 (Silver, circulating) United Kingdom / Threepence 1944 (Silver, circulating) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1944 (Silver, circulating) - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 2,005,553
Threepence 1944 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1944 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1944 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 69,760,000
Threepence 1945 (Silver, circulating) Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 371,000
Threepence 1945 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1945 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1945 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 33,942,466
Threepence 1946 (Brass) Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 620,734
Threepence 1948 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1948 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1948 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 4,230,400
Threepence 1949 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1949 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1949 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 464,000
Threepence 1950 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1950 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1950 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 1,617,513
Threepence 1951 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1951 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1951 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 1,204,000
Threepence 1952 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1952 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1952 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 25,494,400
Threepence 1953 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1953 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1953 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 30,658,000
Threepence 1954 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1954 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1954 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 41,720,000
Threepence 1955 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1955 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1955 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 41,075,200
Threepence 1956 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1956 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1956 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 36,901,600
Threepence 1957 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1957 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1957 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 24,294,400
Threepence 1958 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1958 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1958 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 20,504,000
Threepence 1959 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1959 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1959 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 28,499,200
Threepence 1960 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1960 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1960 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 83,078,400
Threepence 1961 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1961 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1961 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 41,102,400
Threepence 1962 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1962 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1962 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 47,241,600
Threepence 1963 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1963 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1963 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 35,280,000
Threepence 1964 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1964 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1964 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 47,440,000
Threepence 1965 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1965 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1965 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 23,907,200
Threepence 1966 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1966 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1966 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 55,320,000
Threepence 1967 (Brass) United Kingdom / Threepence 1967 (Brass) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1967 (Brass) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 49,000,000
Threepence 1970 (Brass, proof only) United Kingdom / Threepence 1970 (Brass, proof only) - reverse photo United Kingdom / Threepence 1970 (Brass, proof only) - obverse photo Material: Nickel-Brass (Neusilber)
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 750,746
Showing 101 to 143 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