Fourpence 1888, Coin from United Kingdom - detailed information

Fourpence 1888, Coin from United Kingdom (demonetised 1955)
CoinFourpence 1888

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.

This was the final year of issue of the denomination, which had already been demonetised in most of the British Empire; it is also the only groat to feature the Jubilee portrait of the Queen.

In 1840 the value of the British Guiana guilder was fixed at 1 shilling and 4 pence (16 pence) and as a result the 4 pence piece was equated to the important 1/4 guilder denomination, known in British Guiana as a 'bit'. The 4 pence or groat therefore became the principle coin circulating in the colony although 3 pence, 2 pence and 1 1/2 pence silver coins were also provided.

MintRoyal Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage120,000
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Obverse
United Kingdom / Fourpence 1888 - obverse photo

The obverse of the coin shows an older bust of Queen Victoria facing left, wearing the small imperial crown, a long veil falling behind her head, a pearl necklace and earrings, the Ribbon and Star of the Garter and the badge of the Imperial Order of India.

The effigy was created by Joseph Edgar Boehm to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria (50 years on the throne), 1837-1887, and is known as her "Jubilee Head" portrait.

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 1888 - 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: 1888.

Reverse Inscription FOUR PENCE 1888
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Fourpence 1888: Known varieties
Variety Proof
Mintage Issued: unknown
Fourpence 1888: 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 1888: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Coin TypeFourpence
Issued1888
MonarchQueen Victoria
EffigyQueen Victoria - Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee Head)
ReverseBritannia, Seated
Face Value4 (x Penny)
Total Mintage120,000
CurrentNo; demonetised 1955
Material0.925 Silver
DesignerJean Baptiste Merlen
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Mass1.890 g
OCC IDXGAV-PEXA-CVNJ-OMDY
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Fourpence 1888: Photos
ImageDetails
Coin - 4 Pence, British Guiana & West Indies, 1888
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Coin - 4 Pence, British Guiana & West Indies, 1888
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
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Great Britain 1888 4 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
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Great Britain 1888 4 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
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Fourpence 1888: Catalogue Reference IDs