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.
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.
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.
||BRITANNIAR: REX FID: DEF:
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