Fourpence 1852, Coin from United Kingdom - detailed information

Fourpence 1852, Coin from United Kingdom (demonetised 1955)
CoinFourpence 1852

The pre-decimal fourpence (4d), sometimes known as a groat or fourpenny bit, was a coin worth one sixtieth of a pound sterling, or four pence. The coin was also known as a "joey" after the MP Joseph Hume, who spoke in favour of its introduction. It was a revival of the pre-Union coin.

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), abbreviated to "three and six" in common speech. Values of less than a shilling were simply written in terms of pence, e.g. eight pence would be 8d.

The denomination was never too popular. In 1845, the circulating threepence was introduced to "afford additional convenience for the purpose of change". This new coin proved much more popular than the fourpence, and by the early 1850s it was decided there was no need for both coins. The final regular issue of groats was made in 1855, although proofs were minted in 1857 and 1858. The coins remained current in the United Kingdom and most colonies until 1887.

In 1888 a special request was made for a colonial variety to be minted for use in British Guiana and the British West Indies. The groat remained in circulation in British Guiana right up until that territory adopted the decimal system in 1955.

Note that there was also the Maundy fourpence, which is distinct and was never intended for circulation; it is still issued today.

MintRoyal Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintageunknown, Rarity: R3 (Extremely Rare)
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Obverse
United Kingdom / Fourpence 1852 - obverse photo

The obverse of the coin shows the young uncrowned effigy of Queen Victoria, facing left; the portrait is by William Wyon and is widely known as her "Young Head".

The Queen's hair is bound with a double fillet (ribbon) and collected into a knot behind.

Around, the monarch's legend: VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:. Translated from Latin: Victoria, by the Grace of God, Queen of the Britains, Defender of the Faith.

Obverse Inscription VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Reverse
United Kingdom / Fourpence 1852 - reverse photo

Within a beaded border, the reverse of the coin shows the figure of Britannia, the female personification of Great Britain, draped and wearing helmet, seated facing right, holding a trident and resting her right hand on an oval shield which bears the crosses of the Union flag.

Around left and right, the value and denomination FOUR PENCE; in exergue, the date: 1852.

Reverse Inscription FOUR PENCE 1852
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

The Rotographic catalogue "Collectors’ Coins Great Britain 1760 - 1970" lists mintage of 31,300, probably in error (in Remick and Krause, 31,300 is the mintage for 1851). Remick calls the 1852 groat "extremely rare" and doesn't list its mintage.

Fourpence 1852: References to Information Used
All (24) coins of type: Fourpence
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Fourpence 1836 4,253,040 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F:D:
Fourpence 1837 (William IV) 962,280 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Fourpence 1837 (Victoria, Proof only) unknown Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1838 2,150,280 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1839 1,461,240 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1840 1,496,880 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1841 344,520 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1842 724,680 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1843 1,817,640 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1844 855,360 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1845 914,760 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1846 1,366,200 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1847 226,200 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1848 712,800 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1849 380,160 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1851 31,300 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1852 unknown Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1853 11,880 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1854 1,096,613 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1855 646,041 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1857 (Proof only) unknown Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1858 (Proof only) unknown Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1862 (Proof only) unknown Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Fourpence 1888 120,000 Queen Victoria - Jubilee Head VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
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Fourpence 1852: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Coin TypeFourpence
Issued1852
MonarchQueen Victoria
EffigyQueen Victoria - Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head)
ReverseBritannia, Seated
Face Value4 (x Penny)
Mintageunknown, Rarity: R3 (Extremely Rare)
CurrentNo; demonetised 1955
Material0.925 Silver
DesignerJean Baptiste Merlen
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Mass1.890 g
OCC IDDANM-QEPY-CKZB-OJYG
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Fourpence 1852: Photos
ImageDetails
QUEEN VICTORIA, Colonial Britannia groat 1852
Copyright: Noble Numismatics
Source
QUEEN VICTORIA, Colonial Britannia groat 1852
Copyright: Noble Numismatics
Source
Fourpence 1852: Catalogue Reference IDs