Penny 1948, Coin from United Kingdom - detailed information

Penny 1948, Coin from United Kingdom (demonetised 1971)
CoinPenny 1948

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 these specifications replaced the larger copper pennies which were issued until 1860. The new, more durable, alloy was composed of 95 parts of copper, four of tin and one of zinc. Between 1860 and 1895, the penny had the third Britannia design on the reverse, and Queen Victoria's "Bun Head" effigy. In 1895, the reverse was updated to this fourth Britannia design - which is a simplified version of the earlier design by Leonard Charles Wyon, and the obverse to the Queen's "Veiled Head" portrait. Unlike the smaller denominations, which were redesigned for the new coinage of King George VI in 1937 (see the Ship Halfpenny and the Wren Farthing), the penny did not get a new design and retained the classic Britannia reverse until the end.

During the reign of King George V, the mint had issues with the monarch's portrait by Sir Bertram Mackennal. Many of the bronze blanks used for the coins were produced by private firms in Birmingham. A great deal of difficulty was encountered in striking coins of this design. The high relief portrait caused a displacement of metal, called "ghosting", that showed through on the reverse side as an incuse outline of the head. A new bronze alloy was adopted in 1923 in an effort to remedy the situation. It consisted of 95.5 per cent copper, 3 per cent tin and 1.5 per cent zinc. This alloy has a more golden tint than the former one. It lessened the hardness, enabling the coins to be more easily struck and lengthened the life of the dies. During 1925 the features of the design were slightly modified to further help eliminate the "ghosting", but this fault was not fully corrected until 1928 when a new design, with a smaller head, was introduced. The coins with the modified effigy from late 1925 and thereafter all have the designer’s initials in small letters without periods.

One penny coins issued in 1948 remained in circulation for 23 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.

MintRoyal Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage63,961,200 (64.0 million), Rarity: C (Common)
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Obverse
United Kingdom / Penny 1948 - obverse photo

The obverse of the coin shows the bare (uncrowned) head of King George VI facing left.

Below the neck truncation in small letters, the artist's initials HP (for [Thomas] Humphrey Paget).

Around, the monarch's legend: GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.. Translated from Latin: George the Sixth, by the Grace of God, King of all the Britains, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India.

Obverse Inscription GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Reverse
United Kingdom / Penny 1948 - 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 crested Corinthian helmet pushed back to reveal her face and a flowing dress, 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, sea waves and at left, a lighthouse.

Around left and right, the value and denomination ONE PENNY.

In exergue, the date 1948.

Reverse Inscription ONE PENNY 1948
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

All one penny coins of 1948 have Obverse 2 and Reverse C (definitions by Freeman).

For information about Freeman obverse/reverse varieties, see descriptions on the one penny / fourth 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. pp48-73)
[Book] Remick, Jerome. 1971. The Guide Book and Catalogue to British Commonwealth Coins., pp 202-206

Penny 1948: Known varieties
Variety Proof (Freeman 237)
Images United Kingdom / Penny 1948 / Proof (Freeman 237) - obverse photo United Kingdom / Penny 1948 / Proof (Freeman 237) - reverse photo
Mintage Issued: unknown
Details

Not listed in Spink.

Showing 27 from a total of 127 coins of type: Penny (Pre-decimal)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Penny 1933 7 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1934 13,965,600 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1935 56,070,000 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1936 134,160,000 King George V - Bare Head GEORGIVS V DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REX FID: DEF: IND: IMP:
Penny 1937 George VI 109,058,406 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1938 121,560,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1939 55,560,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1940 42,284,400 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1944 42,600,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1945 79,531,200 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1946 66,855,600 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1947 52,220,400 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1948 63,961,200 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1949 14,324,400 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Penny 1950 257,513 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Penny 1951 140,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Penny 1952 1 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Penny 1953 1,348,400 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH II DEI GRA : BRITT : OMN : REGINA F : D :
Penny 1954 1 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Penny 1961 39,703,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Penny 1962 137,640,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Penny 1963 134,013,600 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Penny 1964 144,462,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Penny 1965 135,534,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Penny 1966 157,430,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Penny 1967 164,000,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Penny 1970 (Proof only) 750,476 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Showing 101 to 127 of 127 Coins.
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Penny 1948: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Coin TypePenny, Britannia fourth design
Issued1948
MonarchKing George VI
EffigyKing George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget
ReverseBritannia, Seated
Face Value1 (x Penny)
Total Mintage63,961,200 (64.0 million), Rarity: C (Common)
CurrentNo; demonetised 1971
MaterialBronze
DesignerLeonard Charles Wyon
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size31.000 mm
Mass9.400 g
OCC IDLBRP-ORRC-BQVP-OMNY
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Penny 1948: Photos
ImageDetails
Great Britain 1948 penny
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Proof.
Source
Great Britain 1948 penny
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Proof.
Source
Penny 1948: Catalogue Reference IDs