O’Brien Coin Guide: GB & Northern Ireland Bronze Halfpennies of Elizabeth II


Background:

Unlike the pennies of Elizabeth II, British trade & commerce demanded a constant production of halfpennies from 1953 forward. Production increased from approx. 9 million in 1953 to an average of c. 50 million per year by the 1960s.

In preparation for decimalisation in 1971, 146 million halfpennies were minted in 1967. All of Elizabeth’s halfpennies are readily available, with the exception of the 1957 ‘calm sea’ variety. See Notes below.

Halfpenny: Elizabeth II

GB & Northern Ireland Elizabeth II bronze halfpenny - Type I & II obverse

GB & Northern Ireland Elizabeth II bronze halfpenny – Type I & II obverse

  • Alloy: Bronze (95% copper, 4% tin and 1% zinc)
  • Weight: 5.67 g
  • Diameter: 25 mm
  • Edge: Plain
  • Designers
    • Obverse: Mary Gillick (MG)
    • Reverse: Thomas Humphrey Paget (HP)

Type I Obverse

  • Young laureate bust of Queen Elizabeth II facing right, legend around
  • Legend: + ELIZABETH II DEI GRA: BRITT: OMN: REGINA F:D M·G
  • Full Latin text: ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA BRITANNIARUM OMNIUM REGINA FIDEI DEFENSATRIX
  • Translation: Elizabeth the Second, by the grace of God, Queen of all the Britains, Defender of the Faith
    • Note:
      • This legend was only used in 1953.
      • From 1954, the BRITT OMN part (“of all the Britains”) was removed to reflect the independence of former colonies, i.e. countries were breaking away from the British empire and becoming independent under the auspices of the newly established British Commonwealth.

Type II Obverse

  • Young laureate bust of Queen Elizabeth II facing right, legend around
  • Legend: + ELIZABETH·II·DEI·GRATIA·REGINA·F:D:
  • Translation: Elizabeth the Second by the Grace of God Queen Defender of the Faith

Reverse

  • Three-masted ship (Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hind) sailing left
  • Denomination (Halfpenny) above
  • Date below
  • Designer / engraver’s initials to the right ‘HP’

Mintage & Market Values:

1953-1967 Elizabeth II bronze halfpenny (mintage & market values)

1953-1967 GB & Northern Ireland – Elizabeth II bronze halfpenny (mintage & market values)

GB & Northern Ireland Elizabeth II bronze halfpenny - Calm & Rough Sea Varieties

GB & Northern Ireland Elizabeth II bronze halfpenny – Calm & Rough Sea Varieties

Notes:

From 1953 to 1956, the standard halfpenny was minted with a ‘calm sea’ reverse design, whereas from 1957 onwards, the standard design included a ‘rough sea’ in its design. In 1957, some halfpennies were minted with a ‘calm sea’ and this is considered a variety, and it also attracts a premium price. See 1957 above.

 

Further reading:

Halfpenny (½d)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s