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O’Brien Coin Guide: GB & Ireland Copper Farthings (Victoria)


Background

Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, the fourth son of King George III. Both the Duke of Kent and King George III died in 1820.

  • She inherited the British throne at the age of 18, after her father’s three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children.

Victoria was raised under close supervision by her German-born mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in 1840.

  • Their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent.
  • This led to the sobriquet “the grandmother of Europe”

Victorian Copper Farthings

  • Edge: Plain
  • Border: Teeth, and the teeth sit inside a narrow raised rim.
  • Diameter: 22mm
  • Weight: 4.55-4.9g
  • Designer: William Wyon
1844 GB & Ireland copper farthing (Victoria)

1844 GB & Ireland copper farthing (Victoria)

Obverse: Young Head

  • Victoria’s head and neck undraped facing left.
  • The hair is bound with a double ribbon, and gathered behind in a knot with a long loose curl hanging down.
  • The engraver’s initials W.W. (William Wyon) are raised, and are located below the neck.
  • The legend which reads “VICTORIA DEI GRATIA:” almost encircles the bust
    • Translation: “Victoria by the Grace of God”

Reverse:

  • Britannia seated facing right, with long flowing robes and scaled breastplate, wearing a plumed helmet. In her raised left hand is a trident, and her right hand rests on an oval shield bearing the crosses of the Union Flag.
  • The legend which reads “BRITANNIAR: REG: FID: DEF:” almost encircles the bust.
    • Translation: “Queen of all the Britains, Defender of the Faith”
  • In exergue is a rose, shamrock and thistle with their stems crossed.
1838-1860 Victoria copper farthing mintages & market values

1838-1860 Victoria copper farthing mintages, varieties & market values

Errors & Varieties:

1838 GB & Ireland copper farthing (Victoria) - DEF + full stop variety

1838 farthing – DEF + full stop variety

1839 Victoria copper farthing - 2-prong trident variety

1839 farthing – 2-prong trident variety

1842 GB & Ireland copper farthing (Victoria) - wide date variety

1842 farthing – large 42 in date variety

1850 GB & Ireland copper farthing (Victoria) - 5 over 5 in date variety

1850 farthing – 5 over 5 in date variety

1850 GB & Ireland copper farthing (Victoria) - 5 over 7 in date variety

1850 farthing – 5 over 7 in date variety

1851 GB & Ireland copper farthing (Victoria) - D over sideways D variety

1851 farthing – D over sideways D variety

1851 GB & Ireland copper farthing (Victoria) - Roman I in date variety

1851 farthing – Roman I in date variety

1851 GB & Ireland copper farthing (Victoria) - wide date variety (10 teeth wide)

1851 farthing – wide date variety (10 teeth wide)

1852 GB & Ireland copper farthing (Victoria) - small 2 in date variety

1852 farthing – small 2 in date variety

1853 GB & Ireland copper farthing (Victoria) - raised 3 in date variety

1853 farthing – raised 3 in date variety

 

Other farthing coins in this series

 

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