Penny 1808 (Proof only), Coin from United Kingdom - detailed information

Penny 1808 (Proof only), Coin from United Kingdom (demonetised 1870)
CoinPenny 1808 (Proof only)

The British pre-decimal penny coin, abbreviated as 1d (from "denarius" - the Roman coin from which the penny is directly descended), was a unit of currency that equalled one two-hundred-and-fortieth 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).

The denomination continues the tradition of earlier penny coins of Great Britain, which also featured the figure of Britannia. In 1801 the parliaments of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland each passed an Act of Union, uniting the two kingdoms and creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Re-coinage followed in 1806 and these coins are part of it; they are known as the "Fourth Issue" copper coinage of King George III, the first three coinages being while the country was still just Great Britain. It is also known as the "Second Soho design" (the first being the Cartwheel Penny of 1797).

Between 1770 and the end of the century the practice of counterfeiting had become so prevalent in England that scarcely any genuine British copper coins remained in circulation. The 1770-1775 issue was melted in huge quantities and made into lightweight counterfeit coins; the only other pieces in circulation were the merchants' tokens issued by private firms for their own convenience.

It was during this period that Matthew Boulton offered a solution to the problem by proposing that (1) each coin should contain its intrinsic value of metal, (2) a retaining collar should be used to maintain a constant diameter and (3) a broad raised rim should be used to save the coin from undue wear. He further proposed that a steam powered coinage press be used to produce a more uniformly finished coin with a greater rate of output. A total of £310,885 worth of pennies were coined by Boulton at the Soho Mint in the years 1799, 1806 and 1807; a unique piece dated 1808 is also known. The dies were produced by Conrad Heinrich Küchler, a talented Flemish die cutter. The faces of these coins are slightly concave to protect the design from wear and prevent counterfeiting. The design is identical to that of the half penny and farthing coins minted in the same years; the difference is only in size. Typically for British coinage of the time, the denomination (or, indeed, the country of issue) is not spelled out on the coin.

This format of the denomination was short-lived. After 1807, no penny coins were issued until 1825 (except for another short-lived penny experiment with a circulating silver format), when a smaller version was introduced, with a different design and traditional flat surfaces. All these pennies were minted in copper, but after 1860 the denomination changed to bronze with an even smaller size; all British copper coinage was demonetised after 31 December 1869.

The 1808 penny is unique (just one example known, proof).

According to Sotheby, from the 1912 sale catalogue where it sold for £12/10/0:
"The reverse is from an ordinary current 1807 die. As the last figure of the date shows no sign of alteration from a 6 or a 7, a new working die must have been specially made, and this would explain the proof-like surface of the obverse. It is in red mint condition, and although, like the current pennies, it has the edge deeply grooved and the rev. it is unlikely that it was issued for currency. Weight 292.8 grains."

MintSoho Mint Mint MarkSOHO Total Mintage1, Rarity: R7 (Highest rarity possible, 3 or less examples known)
Obverse
United Kingdom / Penny 1808 (Proof only) - obverse photo

Within a beaded border, the obverse of the coin shows the laureate and draped bust of King George III facing right.

Around, the monarch's legend GEORGIUS III · D : G · REX.. Translated from Latin: George the Third, by the Grace of God, King. Below that, the date 1808.

On the neck truncation, a tiny letter K represents the designer's initial (for [Conrad Heinrich] Küchler).

Obverse Inscription GEORGIUS III · D : G · REX. 1808
Reverse
United Kingdom / Penny 1808 (Proof only) - reverse photo

Within a beaded border, the reverse of the coin shows the figure of Britannia - the female personification of Great Britain - seated on a rock, facing left, holding a trident and extending an olive branch; a shield decorated with the British flag rests against the rock at right. In the background to the left, a sailing ship.

Around above, the legend BRITANNIA.

The mint name, SOHO, is in relief on the right end of the rock. At the foot of Britannia's trident, between its shaft and the shield, a tiny letter K represents the designer's initial (for [Conrad Heinrich] Küchler).

Reverse Inscription BRITANNIA
EdgeSecurity groove (grained)Edge InscriptionNone
Notes

Not listed in Whitman 1962 or Remick 1971.

Penny 1808 (Proof only): References to Information Used
SourceEditionAboutLinkNotes
Museums Victoria Collections 2016 Coin description
Showing 100 from a total of 127 coins of type: Penny (Pre-decimal)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Penny 1806 unknown King George III - Laureate Head by Küchler GEORGIUS III · D : G · REX. 1806
Penny 1807 unknown King George III - Laureate Head by Küchler GEORGIUS III · D : G · REX. 1807
Penny 1808 (Proof only) 1 King George III - Laureate Head by Küchler GEORGIUS III · D : G · REX. 1808
Penny 1817 (Silver, circulating) unknown King George III - Small Head GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA 1817
Penny 1818 (Silver, circulating) unknown King George III - Small Head GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA 1818
Penny 1820 (Silver, circulating) unknown King George III - Small Head GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA 1820
Penny 1825 1,075,200 King George IV - Laureate Head by Wyon GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA · 1825 ·
Penny 1826 5,913,600 King George IV - Laureate Head by Wyon GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA · 1826 ·
Penny 1827 1,451,520 King George IV - Laureate Head by Wyon GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA · 1827 ·
Penny 1831 806,400 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII DEI GRATIA 1831
Penny 1834 322,560 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII DEI GRATIA 1834
Penny 1837 174,720 King William IV - Bare Head GULIELMUS IIII DEI GRATIA 1837
Penny 1839 (Proof only) unknown Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1839
Penny 1841 913,920 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1841
Penny 1843 483,840 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1843
Penny 1844 215,040 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1844
Penny 1845 322,560 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1845
Penny 1846 483,840 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1846
Penny 1847 430,080 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1847
Penny 1848 161,280 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1848
Penny 1849 268,800 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1849
Penny 1851 532,224 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1851
Penny 1853 1,021,440 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1853
Penny 1854 6,720,000 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1854
Penny 1855 5,273,856 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1855
Penny 1856 1,212,288 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1856
Penny 1857 752,640 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1857
Penny 1858 1,559,040 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1858
Penny 1859 1,075,200 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1859
Penny 1860 (Large) 32,256 Queen Victoria - Young Head VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1860
Penny 1860 (Small) 5,053,440 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1861 36,449,280 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1862 50,534,400 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1863 28,062,720 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1864 3,440,640 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1865 8,601,600 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1866 9,999,360 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1867 5,483,520 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1868 1,182,720 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1869 2,580,480 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1870 5,695,022 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1871 1,290,318 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1872 8,494,572 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1873 8,494,200 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1874 12,288,105 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1875 11,443,680 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1876 11,074,560 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1877 9,624,747 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1878 2,764,470 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1879 7,666,476 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1880 3,000,831 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1881 6,065,562 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1882 7,526,400 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1883 6,237,438 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1884 11,702,802 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1885 7,145,862 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1886 6,087,759 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1887 5,315,085 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1888 5,125,020 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1889 12,559,737 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1890 15,330,840 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1891 17,885,961 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1892 10,501,671 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1893 8,161,737 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1894 3,883,452 Queen Victoria - Bun Head VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Penny 1895 5,395,830 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Penny 1896 24,147,156 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Penny 1897 20,756,620 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Penny 1898 14,296,836 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Penny 1899 26,441,069 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Penny 1900 31,778,109 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Penny 1901 22,205,568 Queen Victoria - Veiled Head VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·
Penny 1902 26,976,768 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1903 21,415,296 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1904 12,913,152 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1905 17,783,808 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1906 37,989,504 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1907 47,322,240 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1908 31,506,048 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1909 19,617,024 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1910 29,549,184 King Edward VII - Bare Head EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1911 23,079,168 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1912 65,106,048 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1913 65,497,872 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1914 50,820,997 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1915 47,310,807 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1916 86,411,165 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1917 107,905,436 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1918 87,888,172 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1919 118,970,690 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1920 124,693,485 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1921 129,717,693 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1922 16,346,711 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1926 4,498,519 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1927 60,989,561 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1928 50,178,000 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1929 49,132,800 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1930 29,097,600 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1931 19,843,200 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1932 8,277,600 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Showing 1 to 100 of 127 Coins.
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Penny 1808 (Proof only): Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Coin TypePenny (Britannia, first design)
Issued1808
MonarchKing George III
EffigyKing George III - Laureate Head by Conrad Küchler
ReverseBritannia, Seated
Face Value1 (x Penny)
Total Mintage1, Rarity: R7 (Highest rarity possible, 3 or less examples known)
CurrentNo; demonetised 1870
MaterialCopper
DesignerConrad Heinrich Küchler
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size35.000 mm
Mass18.876 g
OCC IDXYRV-PEVR-CZXL-EDQG
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Penny 1808 (Proof only): Photos
ImageDetails
The Unique 1808 Penny, George III
Copyright: The Coinery
Source
The Unique 1808 Penny, George III
Copyright: The Coinery
Source
Penny 1808 (Proof only): Catalogue Reference IDs