GB & Ireland copper halfpennies (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. Like his brother (George IV), William only issued halfpennies for 3 dates. Unlike his brother, William’s halfpennies have relatively low mintages and are quite difficult to find – especially in the higher grades.
William IV became king in 1830 at age 62 after the death of his brother (George IV), who had no surviving ‘legitimate’ heirs. Dubbed ‘the sailor king’ for his naval service in his younger years, William had not expected to be King. William did not marry, due primarily to the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, which forbade decendants of George II from marriage without consent from the monarch, or privy council.
- William did have a ‘de facto’ relationship producing many children, none of which were considered legitimate, so had no claim on the throne.
- Victoria thus became queen.
William IV Copper Halfpenny:
- Bare head of King William IV facing right.
- Legend: ‘GULIELMUS IIII DEI GRATIA’, date below.
- Translation: William the Fourth, by the Grace of God
- Britannia seated facing right, holding a trident, hand resting on a shield.
- Legend: ‘BRITANNIAR: REX FID: DEF:’, with a rose, thistle, and shamrock below.
- Full legend in Latin: BRITANNIARUM REX FIDEI DEFENSOR
- Translation: King of all the Britains, Defender of the Faith
- Weight = 9.34 g
- Diameter = 28 mm
- Edge = Plain
- Designer = William Wyon
Mintage & Market Values:
- Copper Halfpennies
- Bronze Halfpennies
- O’Brien Coin Guide: GB & Ireland Bronze Halfpennies of Victoria (due soon)
- O’Brien Coin Guide: GB & Ireland Bronze Halfpennies of Edward VII
- O’Brien Coin Guide: GB & Ireland Bronze Halfpennies of George V
- O’Brien Coin Guide: GB & Northern Ireland Bronze Halfpennies of George VI
- O’Brien Coin Guide: GB & Northern Ireland Bronze Halfpennies of Elizabeth II