The pre-decimal twopence (2d), also known as a "half groat", was a coin worth one one-hundred-and-twentieth of a pound sterling, or two pence. It was a very short lived denomination.
A large copper piece was issued in 1797 only (before the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was established on 1 January 1801, so technically belonging to Great Britain and not the UK). In 1817, silver twopence coins were issued for circulation, then again in 1818 and 1820, after which it was decided the coin was too tiny to be practical. During Queen Victoria's reign, they were issued again in three separate years, mainly for use in the colonies.
Coins of the same size and virtually the same design (but with proof-like finish) have been issued regularly since 1817 and continue to be released every year as part of Maundy sets; these are listed separately under Maundy Twopence. Apart from the surface quality, they are indistinguishable.
There were two forms of twopence, the currency issue like this piece (with a duller surface), and a special piece for the Maundy Thursday ceremonies - both with numeral 2 on the reverse but the Maundy issues have a proof-like finish.
Apart from the surface quality, they are indistinguishable. For the purpose of completeness though, the Maundy coins are listed separately in the Non Circulating Legal Tender (NCLT) section.
|Remick, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins||1971||Mint|
|Twopence 1817 (Circulating)||unknown||King George III - Small Head||GEORGIVS III DEI GRATIA 1817|
|Twopence 1818 (Circulating)||unknown||King George III - Small Head||GEORGIVS III DEI GRATIA 1818|
|Twopence 1820 (Circulating)||unknown||King George III - Small Head||GEORGIVS III DEI GRATIA 1820|
|Twopence 1838 (Circulating)||1,045,000||Queen Victoria - Young Head||VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:|
|Twopence 1843 (Circulating)||903,000||Queen Victoria - Young Head||VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:|
|Twopence 1848 (Circulating)||261,000||Queen Victoria - Young Head||VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:|
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|Currency||Pound Sterling (pre-decimal)|
|Coin Type||Twopence (Circulating)|
|Monarch||King George III|
|Effigy||King George III - Small Laureate Head|
|Face Value||2 (x Penny)|
|Current||No; demonetised 1971|
|Designer||Jean Baptiste Merlen|
|Orientation||Coin Alignment (Axis 6)|
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|Krause, Standard Catalog of World Coins||Great Britain KM# 669|