1911-1926 GB & Ireland, George V, Obverse Type 1, bronze penny

O’Brien Coin Guide: GB & Ireland Bronze Pennies of George V

Background: Nobody thinks about British George V bronze pennies without thinking about the famous 1933 penny rarity. It is, perhaps, the most well-known British penny and many schoolboy collectors started the hobby by checking their pocket change for a 1933. Since these pennies circulated in Ireland right up until 1971, many Irish collectors also hoped…

1937-51 GB & Northern Ireland bronze penny (George VI)

O’Brien Coin Guide: GB & Northern Ireland Bronze Pennies of George VI

Background: George VI’s reign included the economically disastrous Word War II which culminated in his overseeing the dismantling of the British Empire to the point where it had to be transformed into a weaker / less cohesive British Commonwealth. The biggest loss was the independence and breakup of India into three nation states – India,…

1943 GB & Ireland bronze farthing (George VI)

O’Brien Coin Guide: GB & Northern Ireland Bronze Farthings (George VI)

Background: Edward VIII advised the Royal Mint that he wanted a modern coinage to reflect a modern Britain but, after his abdication, it was his younger brother (George VI) who inherited his new designs – the first of which was the farthing. A European Wren replaced Britannia on the reverse. This bird motif was similar…

1956 GB & Ireland bronze farthing (Elizabeth II)

O’Brien Coin Guide: GB & Northern Ireland Bronze Farthings (Elizabeth II)

Background: By the 1950s, the farthing had pretty much lost its spending power and there were calls for its withdrawal. An average of 20 million farthings per year were produced during the reign of George VI but inflation made these coins virtually obsolete during Elizabeth’s early reign. The Royal Mint stopped producing them in 1956…