Halfpenny 1954, Coin from United Kingdom - detailed information

Halfpenny 1954, Coin from United Kingdom (demonetised 1969)
CoinHalfpenny 1954

The British pre-decimal halfpenny coin (abbreviated as ½d), usually simply known as a halfpenny or half penny, was a unit of currency that equalled half of a penny or one four-hundred-and-eightieth of a pound sterling (there were 20 shillings to a pound, and 12 pence to a shilling so one pound was equal to 240 pence, so 480 of these coins made up £1).

Bronze coins of these specifications were introduced in 1860 to replace earlier larger copper halfpennies. Between 1860 and 1895, the half penny had the third Britannia design on the reverse, and Queen Victoria's "Bun Head" effigy. In 1895, the reverse was updated to the fourth Britannia design, which was a simplified version of the earlier design; it was issued until 1936.

In 1937, the Britannia type was discontinued in favour of the new halfpenny issue of King George VI. Both the new obverse and reverse were designed by Thomas Humphrey Paget. The striking reverse design shows Sir Francis Drake’s ship, the Golden Hind.

Halfpenny coins issued in 1954 remained in circulation for 15 years until 1969, when they were demonetised prior to the decimalisation of the currency.

MintRoyal Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage19,375,200 (19.4 million), Rarity: C (Common)
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Obverse
United Kingdom / Halfpenny 1954 - obverse photo

The obverse of the coin shows the laureate young laureate bust of Queen Elizabeth II facing right - her effigy known as the "First Portrait". The laurel wreath in the Queen's hair is tied with a ribbon with two ends flowing behind.

The designer's initials, M.G. (for Mary Gillick) appear incuse on the base of the shoulder truncation.

The monarch's legend runs continuously all around the bust: + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :. Translated from Latin: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith.

According to Freeman, only one obverse variety existed in 1954:

Obverse 3 has a legend which now omits the Queen's claim to rule "all the Britains". Details are in higher relief; the bust is exactly 17 mm from the top of the head to the base of the neck truncation. The cross points to the left of a border tooth, while the "I" of "GRATIA" points directly at a dot. The designer's initials are not as distinct as on Obverse 2, but more so than on Obverse 1.

Obverse Inscription + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Reverse
United Kingdom / Halfpenny 1954 - reverse photo

The reverse of the coin depicts, within a beaded border, the full port view of a three-masted sailing ship, with bowsprit, full rigging and bellowing sails (a representation of the Golden Hind of Sir Francis Drake), upon waves the lower outline of which is curved and concentric with the edge of the coin. Above the fore- and after-masts flutter the flags of St Andrew; above the main mast is a pennant incorporating the cross of St George.

Around above, the denomination HALF PENNY; below, the date 1954.

In the field, to the right of the stern, the designer's initials HP (for [Thomas] Humphrey Paget).

Freeman distinguishes two reverses in 1954:

Reverse A is like Reverse P of King George VI, with the ship and see design 19.25 mm as before.

Reverse B has a distance of 18.8 mm from the top of the ship to the base of the sea. The border teeth are considerably longer than in Reverse A and the rim is thicker.There are faint horizontal lines on the foremast flag; waves are slightly thicker and not as clearly outlined.

Reverse Inscription HALF PENNY 1954
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

Most half penny coins of 1954 have Obverse 3 and Reverse A (Freeman 466; definitions by Freeman).

For information about Freeman obverse/reverse varieties, see descriptions on the halfpenny / ship type page.

References to additional information:

[Book] Bressett, Kenneth E. 1962. A Guidebook of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Wisconsin, USA. pp29-30
[Book] Freeman, Michael J. 1970. The Bronze Coinage of Great Britain. Motherwell, Scotland, (2016 ed. pp111-112)
[Book] Remick, Jerome. 1971. The Guide Book and Catalogue to British Commonwealth Coins., pp199-200

Halfpenny 1954: Known varieties
Variety Proof, Obverse 3, Reverse A (Freeman 467)
Mintage Issued: unknown (included in total). Rarity: R6 (4 to 8 examples known)
Variety Obverse 3, Reverse B (Freeman 468)
Mintage Issued: unknown (included in total). Rarity: R (Rare)
Halfpenny 1954: References to Information Used
Showing 35 from a total of 135 coins of type: Halfpenny (Pre-decimal)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Halfpenny 1933 10,560,000 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1934 7,704,000 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1935 12,180,000 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1936 19,807,200 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Halfpenny 1937 George VI 27,732,002 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1938 40,320,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1939 28,924,800 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1940 32,162,400 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1941 45,120,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1942 71,908,800 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1943 76,200,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1944 81,840,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1945 57,000,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1946 22,725,600 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1947 21,266,400 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1948 26,947,200 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1949 24,744,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Halfpenny 1950 24,171,113 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Halfpenny 1951 14,888,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Halfpenny 1952 33,278,400 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Halfpenny 1953 8,950,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH II DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REGINA F: D:
Halfpenny 1954 19,375,200 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1955 18,465,600 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1956 21,799,200 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1957 39,672,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1958 66,283,200 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1959 79,224,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1960 41,340,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1962 41,779,200 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1963 44,766,080 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1964 72,134,400 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1965 105,964,800 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1966 96,081,600 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1967 146,491,200 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1970 750,476 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Showing 101 to 135 of 135 Coins.
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Halfpenny 1954: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Coin TypeHalfpenny (Ship)
Issued1954
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
EffigyQueen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick
Face Value1/2 (x Penny)
Circulation Mintage19,375,200 (19.4 million)
Total Mintage19,375,200 (19.4 million), Rarity: C (Common)
CurrentNo; demonetised 1969
MaterialBronze
DesignerThomas Humphrey Paget
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
Size25.500 mm
Mass5.400 g
OCC IDQRAP-OBNC-AAXM-OYJD
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Halfpenny 1954: Photos
ImageDetails
Great Britain, Elizabeth II, 1/2 Penny, 1954
Copyright: NumisCorner.com
Source
Great Britain, Elizabeth II, 1/2 Penny, 1954
Copyright: NumisCorner.com
Source
Halfpenny 1954: Catalogue Reference IDs