Bust of Queen Victoria facing left wearing bodice and a mantle decorated with rose, thistle and shamrock; in her hair a wreath of leaves and berries tied at back with ribbon, her hair drawn to a plaited bun behind; she wears a circular brooch; at the back of her shoulder, a small part of the Star of the Garter is visible, with a small part of its motto ('HONI S') readable.
Around, the monarch's legend VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D : (Victoria, by the Grace of God, Queen of the Britains, Defender of the Faith).
Unlike one penny coins of the same year and design, there is no designer's signature (L.C. Wyon) under the bust.
Freeman describes several obverse varieties:
As the obverse of the penny coins of the same year, with a beaded border. There are minor differences such as a slightly different expression of the face, different number of leaves and berries in the wreath, only "HONI S" visible from the motto of the Order of the Garter etc. The main difference is the lack of designer;s signature below the bust. The bus measures 20.5 mm from the top of the head to the base of the mantle, at the centre of each.
Similar to Obverse 1 but facial features as those described for the penny Obverse 1*, most of all the forehead being more rounded. The knot connecting the ribbon to the lowest leaves of the wreath has been removed.
Similar to Obverse 1 but with a toothed border. The profile is different, the nose and lips more rounded, there is a curl of hair curving downwards 1 mm from the bust. The bust measures 20.75 mm.
Similar to Obverse 2 but with smaller facial features. There is an incuse border dividing the leaves in the wreath.
Similar to Obverse 3 but there are now 15 leaves in the wreath (where they were 14 before); there are only four berries. The border teeth are short.
Similar to Obverse 4 but there are no incuse lines at the upper part of the "bun". However, there are now double incuse lines depicting the veins in some leaves, The lettering of the legend is heavier.
A new obverse corresponding to Obverse 6 of the one penny. The Queen's nose is now slightly curved, as is the mouth; her hair is more wavy. There are 16 leaves in the wreath. All leaf veins are in relief.