O’Brien Coin Guide: GB & Ireland Bronze Farthings (Edward VII)


Background:

Victoria, at that time, was the longest serving British monarch in history, so her son Edward was an old man by the time he succeeded her. Not a lot happened in terms of numismatic innovation during his short reign but it is, perhaps, worth mentioning that James Joyce had a few things to say about farthings :-

  • Ulysses: Chapter 11 – Sirens
  • Sweets to the. Not making much hand of it. Best value in. Characteristic of him. Power. Particular about his drink. Flaw in the glass, fresh Vartry water. Fecking matches from counters to save. Then squander a sovereign in dribs and drabs. And when he’s wanted not a farthing. Screwed refusing to pay his fare. Curious types.
  • Ulysses: Episode 18 – Penelope
  • THING LIKE THAT BEFORE AS ASK TO get his breakfast in bed with a couple of eggs since the City arms hotel when he used to be pretending to be laid up with a sick voice doing his highness to make himself interesting to that old faggot Mrs Riordan that he thought he had a great leg of and she never left us a farthing all …

Edwardian farthings are also a little bit boring insofar as there are no major varieties to collect, although they are somewhat more elusive than later George V and George VI since they were minted in much smaller numbers. A significant premium is paid for the higher grades.

Farthing: Edward VII

  • Alloy: Bronze (95% copper, 4% tin and 1% zinc)
  • Weight: 2.83g
  • Diameter: 22.19mm
  • Edge: Plain
  • Designers
    • Obverse: George De Saulles
    • Reverse: George De Saulles
1902 GB & Ireland bronze farthing (Edward VII)

1902 GB & Ireland bronze farthing (Edward VII)

Obverse:

  • Bare head of King Edward VII facing right, with the surrounding legend:
  • EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA:BRITT:OMN:REX FID:DEF:IND:IMP:
    • Full Latin text: EDWARDVS VII DEI GRATIA BRITANNIARUM OMNIUM REX FIDEI DEFENSOR INDIAE IMPERATOR
    • Translation: Edward the Seventh, by the Grace of God, King of all the Britains, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India.

Reverse:

  • Britannia seated, facing right, wearing a helmet, holding a trident, hand resting on a shield, with the word ‘FARTHING’ around the top, and date below

Edge:

  • Plain

 

Market Values:

1902-1910 GB & Ireland bronze farthing (Edward VII) mintage & market values

1902-1910 GB & Ireland bronze farthing (Edward VII) mintage & market values

 

Other farthing coins in this series:

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