Half Farthing 1830, Coin from United Kingdom - detailed information

Half Farthing 1830, Coin from United Kingdom (demonetised 1870)
CoinHalf Farthing 1830

The Half Farthing was a small circulating coin of the British pre-decimal Pound Sterling, equal to one eighth of a penny. There were 20 shillings to a pound, 12 pence to a shilling and 4 farthings to a penny, so 1,920 of these coins made up £1.

The denomination was initially produced for use in the colony of Ceylon only. It was made current for use in the United Kingdom by a proclamation on 13 June 1842 and remained so until demonetised along with the rest of the copper coinage after 31 December 1869.

There was much cynicism of the need for such a coin in Britain, with letters written to The Times, but the coin did indeed circulate widely in Britain and Ceylon. However, when the rest of the copper coinage was changed to bronze after 1860, the half farthing was not; the last circulation coins of the denomination were issued in 1856.

MintRoyal Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage8,776,320 (8.8 million)
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United Kingdom / Half Farthing 1830 - obverse photo

Within a beaded border, the laureate head of King George IV facing left, with tie with loop showing only one end; his hair is short and the neck is bare. There are no designer's initials below.

Around, part of the monarch's legend GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA; translated from Latin: George the Fourth, by the Grace of God.

Below, the date of issue: 1830.

Obverse Inscription GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA 1830
United Kingdom / Half Farthing 1830 - reverse photo

The reverse of the coin shows, within a beaded border, the figure of Britannia - the female personification of Great Britain - seated facing right, wearing a Corinthian helmet pushed back to reveal her face, resting her right hand on a shield bearing a saltire of arms, and holding a trident in her left hand.

Around, the rest of the monarch's legend: BRITANNIAR: REX FID: DEF:; translated from Latin: King of Britain, Defender of the Faith.

In the exergue, a rose, a thistle and a shamrock combined - the floral symbols of the constituent parts of the United Kingdom, respectively England, Scotland and Ireland.

Reverse Inscription BRITANNIAR: REX FID: DEF:
EdgeEdge Inscription

References to additional information:

[Book] Bressett, Kenneth E. 1962. A Guidebook of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Wisconsin, USA. p11
[Book] Remick, Jerome. 1971. The Guide Book and Catalogue to British Commonwealth Coins., p188

Half Farthing 1830: Known varieties
Variety Reverse II, small date
Mintage Issued: unknown (included in total)

Reverse II or Reverse B has Britannia's head lower than the legend, while the trident touches the base of the letters. This is unlike the "regular" coins (Reverse I or Reverse A), where Britannia's head interrupts the legend and the trident goes higher than the base of the letters.

Variety Reverse II, large date
Mintage Issued: unknown (included in total)
Variety Proof, Reverse II
Mintage Issued: unknown
Half Farthing 1830: References to Information Used
Wild Winds Ancient Coins
Wild Winds Ancient Coins
Half Farthing 1830: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Coin TypeHalf Farthing
MonarchKing George IV
EffigyKing George IV - Laureate Head by William Wyon
ReverseBritannia, Seated
Face Value1/8 (x Penny)
Circulation Mintage8,776,320 (8.8 million)
Total Mintage8,776,320 (8.8 million)
CurrentNo; demonetised 1870
DesignerWilliam Wyon
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size18.000 mm
Mass2.400 g
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Half Farthing 1830: Photos
Great Britain 1830 1/2 farthing
Copyright: Heritage Auctions
Great Britain 1830 1/2 farthing
Copyright: Heritage Auctions
Half Farthing 1830: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Spink, Coins of England and the United Kingdom3826
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsGreat Britain KM# 704.1, 704.2 (Reverse II)