Farthing 1956, Coin from United Kingdom - detailed information

Farthing 1956, Coin from United Kingdom (demonetised 1961)
CoinFarthing 1956

The Farthing was a small circulating coin of the British pre-decimal Pound Sterling, equal to a quarter of a penny. Prices were never written in farthings though - something worth a farthing would be quoted as 1/4d ("d" being the abbreviation for "penny", from the Roman "denarius"). There were 20 shillings to a pound, 12 pence to a shilling and 4 farthings to a penny, so 960 of these coins made up £1.

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, after which four types of farthings were issued: a large copper coin with concave surfaces and a Britannia reverse (1806 and 1807 only), a large copper coin with a second Britannia design (1821 to 1864), then smaller bronze coins - with a third Britannia design (1860 to 1895), a simplified fourth Britannia design (1895 to 1936) and finally this new farthing design featuring a wren bird (1937 to 1956).

The new reverse was adopted mainly due to certain members of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee who favoured a complete departure from the traditional design of former years. A number of artists were invited to submit designs and that of a wren, by Harold Wilson Parker, was finally accepted. The wren (Troglodytes troglodytes), being the smallest British bird, symbolises the smallest denomination of British coin.

Farthings were demonetised before the rest of the pre-decimal currency. They ceased to be legal tender after 31 December 1960. In other words, farthings issued in 1956 remained in circulation for only five years.

MintRoyal Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage1,996,800 (2.0 million)
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Obverse
United Kingdom / Farthing 1956 - obverse photo

The obverse of the coin shows the laureate young laureate bust of Queen Elizabeth II facing right - her effigy known as the "First Portrait". The laurel wreath in the Queen's hair is tied with a ribbon with two ends flowing behind.

The designer's initials, M.G. (for Mary Gillick) appear incuse on the base of the shoulder truncation.

The monarch's legend runs continuously all around the bust: + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :. Translated from Latin: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith.

Obverse Inscription + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Reverse
United Kingdom / Farthing 1956 - reverse photo

Within a beaded border, the reverse of the coin depicts a wren (bird) standing facing left; in the field behind it, in monogram form the signature of the designer: HWP (for Harold Wilson Parker).

Around below, the denomination FARTHING; above, the date 1956.

Reverse Inscription FARTHING 1956
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

References to additional information:

[Book] Bressett, Kenneth E. 1962. A Guidebook of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Wisconsin, USA. pp20-21
[Book] Freeman, Michael J. 1970. The Bronze Coinage of Great Britain. Motherwell, Scotland. (2016 ed pp132-138)
[Book] Remick, Jerome. 1971. The Guide Book and Catalogue to British Commonwealth Coins., p193

Farthing 1956: Known varieties
Variety Proof
Images United Kingdom / Farthing 1956 / Proof - obverse photo United Kingdom / Farthing 1956 / Proof - reverse photo
Mintage Issued: unknown
Farthing 1956: References to Information Used
Showing 36 from a total of 136 coins of type: Farthing
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Farthing 1921 9,469,097 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1922 9,956,983 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1923 8,034,457 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1924 8,733,416 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1925 12,634,697 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1926 9,792,397 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1927 7,868,355 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1928 11,625,600 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1929 8,419,200 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1930 4,195,200 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1931 6,595,200 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1932 9,292,800 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1933 4,560,000 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1934 3,052,800 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1935 2,227,200 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1936 9,734,400 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Farthing 1937 George VI 8,157,606 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Farthing 1938 7,449,600 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Farthing 1939 31,440,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Farthing 1940 18,360,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Farthing 1941 27,312,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Farthing 1942 28,857,600 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Farthing 1943 33,345,600 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Farthing 1944 25,137,600 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Farthing 1945 23,736,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Farthing 1946 24,364,800 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Farthing 1947 14,745,600 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Farthing 1948 16,622,400 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Farthing 1949 8,424,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Farthing 1950 10,342,304 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Farthing 1951 14,036,004 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Farthing 1952 5,251,200 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Farthing 1953 6,149,202 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH II DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REGINA F: D:
Farthing 1954 6,566,400 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Farthing 1955 5,779,200 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Farthing 1956 1,996,800 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Showing 101 to 136 of 136 Coins.
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Farthing 1956: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Coin TypeFarthing (Wren)
Issued1956
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
EffigyQueen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick
Face Value1/4 (x Penny)
Circulation Mintage1,996,800 (2.0 million)
Total Mintage1,996,800 (2.0 million)
CurrentNo; demonetised 1961
MaterialBronze
DesignerHarold Wilson Parker
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size20.000 mm
Thickness1.380 mm
Mass2.830 g
OCC IDNXYD-ENZC-PPYM-EVRB
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Farthing 1956: Photos
ImageDetails
Great Britain: Elizabeth II Proof Farthing 1956
Copyright: Heritage Auctions
Notes: Proof.
Source
Great Britain: Elizabeth II Proof Farthing 1956
Copyright: Heritage Auctions
Notes: Proof.
Source
Farthing 1956: Catalogue Reference IDs