The Third Farthing was a small circulating coin of the British pre-decimal Pound Sterling, equal to 1/3 of a farthing, or one twelfth of a penny. There were 20 shillings to a pound, 12 pence to a shilling and 4 farthings to a penny, so 2,880 of these coins made up £1.
The coin was introduced in 1827 exclusively for use in Malta, but it is considered to be part of the British coinage as at that time Malta was considered more as a part of Britain than a colony. The farthing coin was already in circulation in Malta as a 3 grani coin, and the third farthing was introduced as 1 grano. A proclamation issued in Malta on 3 November 1827 legalised the new coins, referring to them as British Grains. The cost of living in Malta was lower than in Britain, and it was not considered appropriate to introduce them in Britain so they were never legal tender there.
Comparatively few coins were needed for Malta, so the denomination was not issued often. Coins were issued in 1827, 1835 and 1844 in copper, then in only nine different years between 1866 and 1913, in bronze.
Within a beaded border, the bare head of King William IV facing right.
Incuse on the truncation of the King's neck, the designer's initials W.W. (for William Wyon).
Around, part of the monarch's legend: GULIELMUS IIII DEI GRATIA; translated from Latin: William the Fourth, by the Grace of God.
Below, the date of issue 1835.
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 a saltire of arms, and holding a trident in her left hand.
Around, the rest of the monarch's legend: BRITANNIAR: REX FID: DEF:; translated from Latin: King of Britain, Defender of the Faith.
In the exergue, a rose, a thistle and a shamrock combined - the floral symbols of the constituent parts of the United Kingdom, respectively England, Scotland and Ireland.
||BRITANNIAR: REX FID: DEF:
References to additional information:
[Book] Bressett, Kenneth E. 1962. A Guidebook of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Wisconsin, USA. pp 9-10
[Book] Remick, Jerome. 1971. The Guide Book and Catalogue to British Commonwealth Coins., pp187-188