O’Brien Coin Guide: GB & Ireland Copper Pennies of Victoria


Introduction:

GB & Ireland copper pennies (1825-60) are very sought after by collectors. They are often found in attic clearances and car boot sales in Ireland. The comparatively soft metal results in few coins surviving in higher grades. Many varieties exist and the main ones have been listed below.

Victorian Copper Pennies:

Victoria became Queen in 1837 after the death of her uncle (William IV), who had ten children by his long-time mistress Dorothea Jordan (an Anglo-Irish actress and courtesan) but no legitimate heirs.

1841 GB & Ireland Copper Penny (Victoria) - no colon after REG

  • Obverse:
    • Bare head of young Queen Victoria facing left, with ribbons in her hair.
    • Legend: ‘VICTORIA DEI GRATIA’, date below.
      • Translation: Victoria by the grace of God
  • Reverse:
    • Britannia seated facing right, holding a trident, hand resting on a shield.
    • Legend: ‘BRITANNIAR: REG FID: DEF:’, with a rose, thistle, and shamrock below.
      • Full Latin text: BRITANNIARUM REGINA FIDEI DEFENSOR
      • Translation: Queen of all the Britains, Defender of the Faith

Specifications:

  • Weight = 18.7 g
  • Diameter = 34 mm
  • Designer = William Wyon

Mintage & Market Values:

1839-1849 Victoria Copper Penny - Mintage & Market Values. (The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin)

1839-1849 Victoria Copper Penny – Mintage & Market Values

Varieties (1839-1849):

1841 & 1843 GB & Ireland Copper Penny (Victoria) - REG: & no colon variety. (The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin)

1841 & 1843 GB & Ireland Copper Penny (Victoria) – REG: & no colon variety

1847 GB & Ireland Copper Penny (Victoria) - closed colon & space before colon varieties

1846 & 1847 GB & Ireland Copper Penny (Victoria) – DEF: & space before colon varieties

1848 GB & Ireland Copper Penny (Victoria) - 8 over 6 & 8 over 7 varieties. (The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin)

1851-1860 Victoria Copper Penny - Mintage & Market Values. (The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin)

1851-1860 Victoria Copper Penny – Mintage & Market Values

Varieties (1851-1860):

1851-1857 GB & Ireland Copper Penny - DEF: spacing & trident varieties. (The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin)

1851-1857 Copper Penny – DEF: spacing & trident varieties.

1848 GB & Ireland Copper Penny (Victoria) - "8 over 6" and "8 over 7" date varieties. (The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin)

1848 GB & Ireland Copper Penny (Victoria) – “8 over 6” and “8 over 7” date varieties

1858 G & Ireland copper penny - 8 over 3 date variety. (The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin)

1858 G & Ireland copper penny – “8 over 3” date variety

1858 G & Ireland copper penny - "8 over 7" date variety. (The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin)

1858 G & Ireland copper penny – “8 over 7” date variety.

 


Notes:

  • All of the 1860 young head copper pennies are 1860/59 over-dates
    • They were not issued for circulation
    • They are now RARE

 


Further Reading:

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