O’Brien Coin Guide: GB & Ireland Bronze Halfpennies of Edward VII


Background:

Edward VII’s reign was short and, from a numismatic viewpoint, relatively uneventful. He embarked on a goodwill tour (Royal Visit) of Ireland in 1902 and, despite the good press he received, Irish nationalism continued to grow. His bronze halfpennies were a continuation of Victorian designs, although the numbers minted were considerably higher than in the 1890s – the last decade of his mother’s reign.

Bronze Halfpenny: Edward VII

  • Alloy: Bronze (95% copper, 4% tin and 1% zinc)
  • Weight: 5.67 g
  • Diameter: 25 mm
  • Edge: Plain
  • Designers
    • Obverse: George De Saulles (De S)
    • Reverse: Leonard Wyon / George De Saulles

1903 GB & Ireland - Bronze Halfpenny - Edward VII. The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin.

Obverse:

  • Bare head of Edward VII facing right
  • Legend: EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA:BRITT:OMN:REX FID:DEF:IND:IMP:
    • Engraver’s initials (De S) below
  • Full (Latin) text: EDWARDVS V 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
  • Legend: HALF and PENNY in the side fields
  • Date below

Mintage & Market Values:

1902-1910 GB & Ireland bronze halfpenny (Edward VII) mintage & market values. The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin.

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

Notes:

These coins are still quite common and there are no scarce dates. They are mostly found in the lower grades but coins in the highest grade (EF-Unc) command a significant premium, so it is well worth your while to carefully examine them, i.e. a halfpenny toned to almost black may be in an exceptional state of preservation.

The only variety is the 1902 high/low tide variation. The ‘low tide’ is the scarcer variety and is worth a 5 to 10-fold premium over the standard coin.

1902 GB & Ireland bronze halfpenny - high & low tide variety. The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin.

1902 GB & Ireland bronze halfpenny – high & low tide variety

Always check your catalogue for an image of the GB & Ireland ‘high and low tide varieties’ because the horizons differs from coin to coin, e.g. between pennies and halfpennies + between Victorian and Edwardian coins.

Further Reading:

Halfpenny (½d)

Advertisements

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