Uncovering the Fascinating History of Great Britain’s Farthing: How to Identify, Value, and Collect [Expert Guide]

Uncovering the Fascinating History of Great Britain’s Farthing: How to Identify, Value, and Collect [Expert Guide]

What is Great Britain Farthing?

Great Britain farthing is a small copper coin that was in circulation from 1860 to 1956. It has the lowest denomination among all British coins and is known for its distinctive design.

  • The size of this coin was originally around one-quarter of an inch (20mm) in diameter but decreased over time due to inflation.
  • The image on the obverse side features Queen Victoria up until 1901, followed by Edward VII, George V, and George VI on later editions.
  • The reverse side displays a wren bird standing on a twig with the words “farthing” or “one farthing” inscribed below it.

If you ever come across this historic currency, remember that its value may not be worth much today but it carries significant cultural and historical relevance for Great Britain.

Step-by-Step Guide to Identifying and Valuing Great Britain Farthings

As a collector or enthusiast of coins, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of coming across a rare and valuable piece that you can add to your collection. One such type of coin that has gained popularity among collectors over the years is the Great Britain farthing.

If you’re new to collecting these historic little coins, however, identifying them and determining their value can be somewhat challenging. That’s why we’ve put together this step-by-step guide to help you navigate through all the nuances of Great Britain farthings so you can confidently identify and evaluate these fascinating pieces.

Step 1: Understanding Farthings

Before we dive into how to tell if a particular farthing is from Great Britain, it helps to have some basic knowledge about what exactly farthings are. Simply put, they were small copper coins that were in circulation primarily throughout England during the 17th-20th centuries (although other countries also produced similar coins).

The word “farthing” actually comes from an Old English term meaning “a fourth part”, which refers to its original value compared with larger denominations such as pennies. A single pound was originally divided into four quarters (i.e., four farthings per penny), hence why they were called “farthings”.

Step 2: Identifying British Farthings

Now let’s focus on how to determine whether a particular farthing originated from Great Britain specifically:

Obverse – The front side of any coin is known as the obverse. In terms of British farthings specifically, this side will typically feature an image of Queen Victoria or King George V (depending on when it was minted) facing left or right with their name stamped above.

Reverse – This is where things get interesting! The back side (reverse) design can vary widely depending on when and where it was minted.

· Britannia seated holding Trident
· Figure standing holding scales & sword
· Wren building
· Crowned rose with thistle at top

The design of the reverse side can help determine when and where it was produced. Don’t hesitate to do some research online or in numismatic reference books!

Step 3: Determining Value

Once you’ve identified a British farthing, it’s time to figure out how much it’s worth. Like any other collectible item, value can vary widely depending on its rarity and condition.

As a rule of thumb, older coins tend to be more valuable than newer ones because they’re rarer (due to natural wear and tear or melting down). Additionally, certain years might have fewer surviving examples due to lower mintages which add significant scarcity as well.

Condition is also crucial here – coins that are bright red and shiny with hardly any scratches will generally fetch higher prices compared to a coin showing lots of signs of circulation use such as heavy pitting or surface corrosiong .

Ultimately the best way to evaluate a collection is by getting expert opinion from an appraisal service specializing in rare coins like Great Britain Farthings!


British farthings may seem obscure among all the different types business strikes circulating over centuries past but these tiny pieces of history offer collectors insight into life in Great Britain throughout times long gone enough. With this simple guide above you should now feel confident identifying what makes up truly great specimens- those which belong exclusively within your collection due their individual age coupled with intricate details showcasing artistry beyond our time’s expertise!

Common FAQ About Collecting Great Britain Farthings: Everything You Need to Know

If you are interested in collecting coins, then Great Britain farthings might just be the perfect start for your collection. These small copper coins were minted from 1860 to 1956 and have a fascinating history attached to them. In this blog post, we’re going to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about collecting Great Britain farthings.

1. What is a Farthing?
A farthing is a small copper coin that was minted in England between 1860 and 1956. The word ‘farthing’ comes from an old English term meaning “a fourth part,” which refers to its value being one-fourth of a penny.

2. How much should I expect to spend on a Great Britain Farthing?
The price of these coins largely depends on their rarity, condition, age or history they carry with them but generally speaking, they can range anywhere from less than £1 up to over £4000 per piece.

3.What makes GB Farthings so special
Farthings are popular collector’s items because they offer not only economic value but also historical significance as well as artistic appeal through their designs and intricate details.
Historically significant due their connection with society at the time along with advancements in technology (printing presses), which allowed larger numbers of coins production whilst still retaining high levels craftsmanship.

4.How do I know if my GB Farthing is genuine?

It can sometimes be difficult even for experienced collectors who handle thousands of different pieces every year distinguish discrepancies.
That said it’s important always look out detailed characteristics such die alignment & centring , clarity/sharpness , ‘double stamping’ effects (where letters amalgamate) , edge types – plain/milled etc.- all factors help significantly determine whether it is indeed authentic material you’re looking at

5.What are the rarer versions among GB Farthings ?
Certain years within cycle such as those released during durring majority reigns monarchial reigns such as Victoria or George V. Additionally, there are rare farthings that were minted specifically for commemorative purposes like those of Edward VII’s coronation in year 1902. In present day a farthing coin with an ‘H’ on the reverse indicates that it was produced at the Heaton Mint foundry between 1863-1894 which is considered to be both historically unique yet less common than its royal incarnations.

In conclusion, collecting Great Britain Farthings is not only fascinating but also offers a glimpse into British history and culture through some of its oldest coins . Most importantly , expanding one’s knowledge and maintaining keen eyes can prove useful combined with thoroughly researching pieces prior to making purchases.. With this comprehensive guide hopefully you’re well equipped enough confidently embark upon your journey as professional collector fashioning bespoke collection all your own!

Top 5 Interesting Facts About Great Britain Farthings That You Might Not Know

Great Britain’s Farthings are some of the smallest and most overlooked coins in British history, but they are fascinating nonetheless. These tiny copper coins were first introduced in 1672 during the reign of Charles II, as a response to the shortage of small denomination currency available at that time. Over the years, these little coins have become an intriguing part of Great Britain’s monetary legacy. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at five interesting facts about Great Britain’s Farthings!

1) Great variety

One remarkable fact about Great Britain’s farthing is its impressive assortment throughout history. The coin initially depicted King Charles’ portrait on one side and Britannia seated on a globe with her signature trident and shield on another side- symbolizing their colonial heritage surrounding trade routes.

Later versions would feature monarchs such as George III horse-galloping, Victoria facing left or right wearing a wreath coronet design – It would follow suit until it has gone through numerous iterations leading up to its discontinuation altogether by decimalization back in 1960 within all other pre-decimal denominations.

2) There Was Never A Queen On A Farthing Coin.

While queens like Queen Elizabeth I, Mary II, Anne became ruling monarchs over England for a period; sadly none had making individual appearances ever-minted upon any farthing due to the customarily reserved attitude towards women during those periods when displaying them alongside power figures so staunchly upheld that female politicians or businesswomen were unheard-of historically.

3) Ugly Duckling Syndrome: Yes For Coins Too!

As rich cultures associate more significant items with being valuable than smaller ones often get sidelined; this unfortunately includes our beloved ‘farthing’ which saw commonly exchanged hands only between lower-income citizens long after becoming practically obsolete until eventually disappearing along repurposing landmines from WWII.

4) Echoes Of The Past!

It provides us here today with evocative and unique insights into British society of yesteryears, as it survived eras from the English Civil War to WWII. If coins could talk! We’d undoubtedly get riveting descriptions of the various social classes that were often separated by only a few pence.

5) The Farthing Metaphor

Lastly, did you know ‘farthing’ is a metaphor for items or topics which are incredibly out-dated or tiny in importance compared with other headline-grabbing news significant to society today? It was brought up so many times in media circles that it became an almost universal recognisable reference point- now deeply engrained into modern-day lexicon throughout all vast swathes of literature. In conclusion while our farthings may be no longer legal tender nor perhaps important outside numismatic discussions beyond those; they continue serving as living history book pages permanently recording famed past public figures alongside their societal context over hundreds of years within Great Britain’s rich cultural heritage – so long live evermore those forgotten yet intriguing pennies we spurned 61 years ago!

Understanding the History of Great Britain Farthings: A Comprehensive Overview

A farthing was a small coin that was used as legal tender for transactions in Great Britain. Though the coin has quite an interesting history, it remained integral to the British economy and culture up until 1960 when production officially ceased.

Initially minted during King George I’s reign in 1714, Farthings were created to alleviate shortages of copper coins available for exchange. The smallest denomination made by the Royal Mint at this time had been halfpennies, which many people found too cumbersome to carry around daily. This prompted his majesty’s government -particularly Sir Isaac Newton-who oversaw The Royal Mint- to create smaller denominations adding new halfpenny and quarter penny options for the English populace.

Farthings continued circulation through long histories of monarchs with some releases modified due to technicalities such as inflation or war
During World War II metal rationing dictated that no more farthings could be produced using traditional materials like copper nickel alloy so a cheaper alternative of zinc coated steel round blank with bronze edging were implemented into production from1949 onwards.

The last batch came out on June 30th1987and though no longer legally recognised it remains an important part of Great Britain’s past financial landscape

Today these coins are ardently collected bty numismatists and hobbyists alike who treasure them not just for their monetary value but also their historical significance

So why should you care about farthings? For one thing they’re an insight into centuries-old methods economic development and policies surrounding currency creation.Whatismore collecting these can be considered a great way pass down memories heritage and family stories among generations)

If you ever get your hands on one (or several..),take a closer look! You’d be amazed what tales humble little coins like these have tucked away under there tiny frames! From James VI &1 Head busts engraved on Scottish issues,to Queen Victoria’s young visage adorning others.. they carry a story. For instance, it is said that the smallest portrait minted on British coin by tradition still belongs to Edward VII aged 4 as depicted in lil ’farthings’ featuring his face issued around January 19th1851
You will very often find them perfectly preserved but occasionally you might come across one with old rust or green spots which makes for an even more exciting discovery

In conclusion understanding farthings means delving into not just economics and numismatics but also history and culture of Great Britain. Farthing Shillings, Crowns.. coins are constantly used to tell stories- from personal accounts through time periods – about people and their life experiences During those times.Quiet though they may seem They Can Speak Volumes !

Rare and Unique Variations of the Great Britain Farthing: The Gems of a Collection

As a currency, the Great Britain Farthing has a rich and fascinating history dating back to the 13th century. With such heritage comes an array of rare and unique variations that have made their way into collections of numismatists over the years. These variations are not only coveted for their historical significance but also for their undeniable charm.

The ‘Great Britain Farthing’ was first introduced in 1860 as a means to even out prices during times when copper prices fluctuated drastically. This small copper coin had a nominal value of one-fourth of a penny – making it Britain’s smallest denomination at the time. Though farthings were not initially popular among members of high society due to its low purchasing power, it soon became adored by collectors due to its intricate designs and historical significance.

Collectors often seek out various rare versions of this classic British coin, including those with errors or irregularities in their strikes or composition – these irregularities increase both rarity & uniqueness of each unit.

One variation is known as the ‘Bronzed Proof’. In 1868, around nine coins were struck using original bronze blanks instead — rather than just making use regular white metal surface coins used on mass production– thus creating something entirely different from official batches that year—the result is true proof sets which shines brighter and richer against sunlight than most other variances within this category found today!

Another highly desirable version is called ‘Pattern Issues.’ Patterns refer primarily to trials utilizing different types metal compositions intended for use before settling into routine production; these trial runs mostly experimental and incredibly limited – finding one would truly make any collection stand-out!

Other interesting variations include off-centre striking where erred alignment results in partial design-appearing smaller coins: some show cracks through areas while error-struck area can be deemed higher-relief—making them perfect additions alongside more pristine examples thanks again largely boosted demand amongst enthusiasts seeking top-tier rarities like these long-sought varieties.

Moreover, there’s a variation known as ‘Enamelled Farthings’. During the early 20th century and Pre-World War (1), some collectors were enamored with personalized or customized pieces that displayed patriotic messages & imagery potted against their own-handmade colorful enamel finishes – thus colloquially nicknamed amongst collections of rarity snobs due to their customization & unique colours for each piece rather than mainstream insignias imprinted by official channels across mass-production batches over years gone-by.

The above-described vary rare Great Britain Farthing Variations–are historically fascinating and aesthetically pleasing. Their uniqueness, scarcity, charm, makes these coinage classics not only valuable investments but cherished objects in any numismatic collection!

Collecting Great Britain Farthings for Beginners: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Success

Collecting coins can be an engaging and rewarding hobby, as it opens doors to the history, artistry, and culture of different nations. Among the many types of coins that you can collect from all around the world, British farthings stand out as unique and fascinating artifacts.

A farthing is a small coin with a value equal to one-quarter of a penny or 1/960th of a pound sterling. Farthing production began in Great Britain in the reign of Edward I (1272-1307) but was discontinued after 1960 when decimalization took place. Nevertheless, this humble coin holds great significance for collectors due to its long history, intricate designs, scarcity factors and overall charm.

If you’re new to collecting British farthings here are some tips for getting started on your set-building journey:

1. Research

Before diving into farthing collection research about different monarchs who were featured on these coins along with their complete series descriptions. Study references books; look into online forums dedicated specifically to UK numismatics topics: which will help increase your knowledge base about mintmarks and other identifiers helpful in identifying individual issues. You should know what’s essential before starting your search so that you don’t waste your time or hard earned money.

2. Decide Your Goal

Having clear goals is important whether we talk about any business activity or leisure activities like coin collections also need proper planning with defined objectives set up beforehand makes them worthwhile – Do not forget that every collector has own preferences when building the perfect collection-and remember there’s no right way/Wrong approach while setting up yours.

3. Develop A Budget And Pay Attention To Price Trends

Collectors must be aware of pricing trends because they play an integral role when investing money for our passion – limited budget may restrict achieving specific final goal instead Start by deciding upon an approximate budget range based per preference i.e., type/metal/country etc). Keep track pricings over time, better to start with mid-grade or lower-end grades helps collectors stay within that budget range while still achieving their collection.

4. Connect With Other Collectors

There’s no need to feel alone in this hobby- another great way of learning more about coin collecting as a whole and farthings specifically by meeting others who share similar interests build your Great Britain Farthing network-with the advent of social media platforms like Facebook Groups, Reddit communities create connections across country borders for added knowledge while helping facilitate trades/swaps/sales if desired!

5. Keep Your Collection Safe

Coins’ condition is essential because any damage could negatively affect its value when it comes time to sell or trade them. Keeping coins stored securely from environmental factors such as moisture, light sources (direct sunlight), fire hazards are vital which may adversely impact-investing in quality storage containers keeps items safe and ensures optimal preservation for years to come.

6. Participate In Auctions

Farthing auctions provide golden opportunities for collectors looking to complete parts of their collections-deals can be found on rare/scarce pieces at reasonable prices -thus allowing a chance to acquire high-quality items significantly cheaper than buying through reputable dealers/events compared instead find some good auction sites where online bids happen transparently enhancing chances of obtaining unique pieces quickly without too much trouble.


Collecting British farthings stands out among other hobbies due primarily attributed its long historical significance, intricate designs coupled with rarity factors make-upers appealing numismatic experience – Collecting risks aside-it can turn into one lifelong passion once understood rudiments; building goals based upon personal preferences along investing cautiously makes excellent strategy towards running successful British farthing collection!

Table with useful data:

Year Composition Diameter (mm) Weight (g) Design
1860 Bronze 20.2 2.8 Britannia seated with trident and shield
1883 Bronze 20.2 2.8 Britannia seated with trident and shield
1918 Bronze 20.2 2.8 Brittania seated with shield and olive branch
1936 Bronze 20.2 2.8 Wren perched on a twig

Information from an Expert: The Great Britain Farthing holds a rich history and is considered one of the iconic coins in British currency. It was first minted in 1279 during the reign of Edward I, and went through several design changes before production ceased in 1956. The coin’s value decreased over time due to inflation, yet it remains highly sought by collectors worldwide. As an expert on numismatics, I can attest that a Britannia farthing from the early 20th century or earlier would make for a valuable addition to any collection.

Historical fact:

During the reign of Queen Victoria in Great Britain, the farthing coin, worth one-quarter of a penny, featured a depiction of Britannia holding a trident and shield on its obverse side.

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Uncovering the Fascinating History of Great Britain’s Farthing: How to Identify, Value, and Collect [Expert Guide]
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