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.
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 is truncated at the neck and does not show the Queen's shoulders, unlike on all other denominations.
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 reverse of the coin shows at its centre, on two lines, the value and denomination in words: ONE THIRD 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 value, the date 1878.
Around, a wreath of oak leaves tied below the date with a ribbon.