Penny 1874, Coin from United Kingdom - detailed information

Penny 1874, Coin from United Kingdom (demonetised 1971)
CoinPenny 1874

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. The bronze coins of this type replaced the larger copper pennies which were issued until 1860; copper was considered to be impractical as it wore too rapidly due to extensive circulation. The new, more durable, alloy was composed of 95 parts of copper, four of tin and one of zinc. The coins were also smaller and thinner, therefore more convenient to carry. The dies were engraved by Leonard Charles Wyon, then Engraver to the Royal Mint.

The reverse features a new, third, design of Britannia. The obverse carries Leonard Wyon's "Bun Head" portrait of Queen Victoria. Both sides were updated to the pennies carrying the fourth Britannia design and a new effigy of the Queen in 1895.

One penny coins issued in 1874 remained in circulation for 97 years until "Decimal Day", 15 February 1971 when the old currency was demonetised and the decimal Pound Sterling was introduced, with a new decimal penny replacing these old coins.

For the first time this year, pennies were also minted at the Ralph Heaton & Sons Mint in Birmingham (known as the Heaton Mint). These pennies can be distinguished by the H mint mark below the date.

MintMint markTotal Mintage
Heaton Mint Letter H 6,666,240 (6.7 million)
Royal Mint No mint mark 5,621,865 (5.6 million)
Obverse
United Kingdom / Penny 1874 - obverse photo

The obverse of the coin shows the young effigy of Queen Victoria by Leonard Charles Wyon, which is widely known as the "Bun Head" due to the Queen's hairstyle.

The portrait depicts Queen Victoria facing left, wearing a bodice and a mantle decorated with rose, thistle and shamrock (the floral symbols of the constituent parts of the United Kingdom - England, Scotland and Ireland respectively); in her hair is a wreath of leaves and berries tied at back with ribbon, her hair is 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 SO") readable.

Around, the monarch's legend: VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :. Translated from Latin: Victoria, by the Grace of God, Queen of the Britains, Defender of the Faith.

The Queen’s portrait was changed slightly in 1874 to show a gradual ageing of her features.

In addition to earlier obverses, Freeman describes:

Obverse 7
The Queen appears older, indicated most obviously by the thick neck. The profile is more coarse, the nose irregular, the eye closer to the bridge of the nose. The hair below the wreath is much straighter and there is a groove between the back of the head and the "bun". Only the top of the rose on the neckline is showing, and the design on the mantle is lower so that the bottom half of the thistle and some rose leaves no longer appear.

Obverse 8
Similar to obverse 7 but the Queen's nose is slightly larger, straighter and more rounded at the tip. The line between the nose and mouth is shorter and more curved. There is no groove between the back of the head and the bun. The loose ends of the ribbon are thicker and nearer to each other.

Obverse Inscription VICTORIA D : G : BRITT : REG : F : D :
Reverse
United Kingdom / Penny 1874 - 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 the combined crosses of the Union Flag, and holding a trident in her left hand.

In the background at right, a ship sailing away; at left, a lighthouse.

Around left and right, the denomination ONE PENNY.

In exergue, the date 1874.

Coins minted at the Heaton Mint in Birmingham have a small letter H as mint mark, under the date. Coins struck by the Royal Mint in London have no mint mark.

In addition to earlier reverses, Freeman describes:

Reverse H
Britannia's head is smaller in proportion to her body, and her neck is long and thin. The lighthouse is thin, its masonry faint, and its base is closer to the linear circle than on previous reverses. It has four incuse vertical lines below the top, and six windows. The trident shafts is thicker, its prongs more crudely depicted. The sea extends to, but does not cross, the linear circle. The date numerals are small and close to each other. Border teeth are small.

Reverse I
The rim thickness and spacing of date numerals is are as reverse G, but Britannia resembles Reverse H. However, her thumb extends farther down the shield. Her hair falls behind her head, whereas on earlier reverses it lay on the neck. The lighthouse is thicker, and has four windows.

This reverse is only seen with "H" mint mark.

Reverse Inscription ONE PENNY 1874
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

Normal coins for the year are considered to be those with Obverse 6 and Reverse G (Freeman 65 if minted by the Royal Mint, or Freeman 66 if struck by the Heaton Mint).

For information about Freeman obverse/reverse varieties, see descriptions on the one penny / third Britannia type page.

References to additional information:

[Book] Bressett, Kenneth E. 1962. A Guidebook of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Wisconsin, USA, pp 31-40
[Book] Freeman, Michael J. 1970. The Bronze Coinage of Great Britain. Motherwell, Scotland, (2016 ed. pp 21-48)
[Book] Remick, Jerome. 1971. The Guide Book and Catalogue to British Commonwealth Coins, pp 202-206

Penny 1874: Known varieties
Variety Obverse 6, Reverse H, Royal Mint (Freeman 67)
Mintage Issued: unknown (included in total)
Variety Obverse 6, Reverse H, Heaton Mint (Freeman 68)
Mintage Issued: unknown (included in total)
Variety Obverse 6, Reverse I, Heaton Mint (Freeman 69)
Mintage Issued: unknown (included in total)
Variety Obverse 7, Reverse G, Royal Mint (Freeman 70)
Mintage Issued: unknown (included in total)
Variety Obverse 7, Reverse G, Heaton Mint (Freeman 71)
Mintage Issued: unknown (included in total)
Variety Obverse 7, Reverse H, Royal Mint (Freeman 72)
Mintage Issued: unknown (included in total)
Variety Obverse 7, Reverse H, Heaton Mint (Freeman 73)
Mintage Issued: unknown (included in total)
Variety Obverse 7, Reverse H, Heaton Mint, Proof (Freeman 74)
Mintage Issued: unknown
Variety Obverse 7, Reverse I, Heaton Mint (Freeman 76)
Mintage Issued: unknown (included in total)
Variety Obverse 8, Reverse G, Royal Mint (Freeman 77)
Mintage Issued: unknown (included in total)
Variety Obverse 8, Reverse H, Royal Mint (Freeman 78)
Mintage Issued: unknown (included in total)
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 1874: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Coin TypePenny, Britannia third design
Issued1874
MonarchQueen Victoria
EffigyQueen Victoria - Portrait by Leonard Charles Wyon (Bun Head)
ReverseBritannia, Seated
Face Value1 (x Penny)
Total Mintage12,288,105 (12.3 million)
CurrentNo; demonetised 1971
MaterialBronze
DesignerLeonard Charles Wyon
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size31.000 mm
Mass9.400 g
OCC IDDKLM-OMKC-VBMP-ONZB
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Penny 1874: Photos
ImageDetails
Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1874
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Royal Mint (no mint mark).
Source
Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1874
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Royal Mint.
Source
Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1874
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Heaton Mint (H mint mark).
Source
Coin - Penny, Queen Victoria, Great Britain, 1874
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Heaton Mint (H mint mark).
Source
Penny 1874: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Freeman, Bronze Coinage of Great BritainFrom 65 through to 78 incl.
Spink, Coins of England and the United Kingdom3954 (Royal Mint London), 3955 (Heaton Mint)
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsGreat Britain KM# 749.2 (old), 755 (new portrait)