The British farthing (¼d) coin, from "fourthing", was a unit of currency of one quarter of a penny. It was minted in bronze, and replaced the earlier copper farthings. It was used during the reign of six monarchs: Victoria, Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, George VI and Elizabeth II, ceasing to be legal tender in 1960. It featured two different designs on its reverse during its one hundred years in circulation: from 1860 until 1936, the image of Britannia; and from 1937 onwards, the image of a wren.

Victoria (1819–1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she adopted the additional title of Empress of India. She inherited the throne at the age of 18, after her father's three elder brothers had all died, leaving no surviving legitimate children. Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in 1840. Their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, tying them together and earning her the sobriquet "the grandmother of Europe". Her reign of 63 years and seven months is known as the Victorian era and was longer than that of any of her predecessors. It was a period of industrial, cultural, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire.

Engraver: Leonard Charles Wyon


Older mantled bust of HM Queen Victoria facing left (the ‘Bun Head’ or 'Young Head' portrait), with thicker neck, wearing bodice, on her head a wreath of leaves and berries, tied behind the neck with a crimped riband with two ends. The hair is parted and carried over the ear to be formed into a plaited bun behind. The mantle is embroidered with part of a rose, thistle, and shamrock. Drapery lower on bust so brooch on previous types is missing. On the edge of the shoulder the word HONI SO or S, with part of the Star of the Garter. Legend around, broken by the head between G and BRITT.

VICTORIA DEI GRATIA BRITT REGINA FIDEI DEFENSATRIX means Victoria, by the grace of God, Queen of Britain and Defender of the Faith.



Britannia seated facing right on a rock wearing a helmet and breastplate with flowing dress; she holds a trident and rests her right hand on a shield which bears the combined crosses of the Union Flag; at right a ship sailing away; at left, a lighthouse.

Mintmark (if present) below date.



1 Farthing

2nd portrait
KM# 753 Sp# 3958/9
Material Bronze
Weight 2.8 g
Diameter 20 mm
Thickness 1.3 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Alt # Sp# 3958, Sp# 3959
Heaton Mint, Birmingham (H)

Related coins


Bronze, 2.9 g, ⌀ 20.2 mm
Without IND:IMP

Bronze, 2.83 g, ⌀ 20.18 mm
1st portrait, with BRITT:OMN

Bronze, 2.75 g, ⌀ 20 mm