|Coin||Quarter Farthing 1851|
The Quarter Farthing was the smallest circulating coin of the British pre-decimal Pound Sterling, equal to 1/4 of a farthing, or 1/16 of a penny. There were 20 shillings to a pound, 12 pence to a shilling and 4 farthings to a penny, so 3,840 of these coins made up £1.
The coin was introduced in 1839 exclusively for use in Ceylon, but it is considered to be part of the British coinage, being made in the same style as the contemporary half-farthing. The half farthing was also made exclusively for Ceylon in the beginning, but was later made legal tender in the United Kingdom too; the quarter farthing, however, was not. It was roughly equal to a half duit or a half Indian pie.
The obverse of the coin was struck from the dies for Queen Victoria's Maundy twopence. The denomination was short-lived, and after a final proof-only issue in 1868 (in bronze, unlike the circulation coins which were copper) it was discontinued.
The obverse of the coin shows the young uncrowned effigy of Queen Victoria, facing left; the portrait is by William Wyon and is widely known as her "Young Head".
The Queen's hair is bound with a double fillet (ribbon) and collected into a knot behind.
Around, the monarch's legend: VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:. Translated from Latin: Victoria, by the Grace of God, Queen of the Britains, Defender of the Faith.
Within a beaded border, the reverse of the coin shows at its centre, on two lines, the value and denomination in words: QUARTER FARTHING.
Above that, St Edward's Crown. Named after Saint Edward the Confessor, it has been traditionally used to crown English and British monarchs at their coronations since the 13th century (with a two-century gap between 1689 and 1911).
Below the denomination, the date 1851, under which a Tudor rose.
||QUARTER FARTHING 1851
Mintage includes coins issued in 1851, 1852 and 1853.
References to additional information:
[Book] Bressett, Kenneth E. 1962. A Guidebook of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Wisconsin, USA. p9
[Book] Remick, Jerome. 1971. The Guide Book and Catalogue to British Commonwealth Coins., p187