Obverse. Photo © NumisCorner.com
  • 1 Farthing 1937-1948, KM# 843, United Kingdom (Great Britain), George VI
  • 1 Farthing 1937-1948, KM# 843, United Kingdom (Great Britain), George VI

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.

George VI (1895–1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death. He was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth.

As the second son of King George V, he was not expected to inherit the throne and spent his early life in the shadow of his elder brother, Edward. George's elder brother ascended the throne as Edward VIII upon the death of their father in 1936. However, later that year Edward revealed his desire to marry divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson. British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin advised Edward that for political and religious reasons he could not marry a divorced woman and remain king. Edward abdicated in order to marry, and George ascended the throne as the third monarch of the House of Windsor.


Bare head of the King George VI facing left.

The legend is an abbreviated translation of “George VI by the Grace of God, King of all the Britains, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India”.

Engraver: Thomas Humphrey Paget



Depicts the Eurasian wren, one of Britain's smallest birds. Date above and value below.

The wrens are mostly small, brownish passerine birds in the mainly New World family Troglodytidae. About 80 species of true wrens in roughly 20 genera are described. Only the Eurasian wren occurs in the Old World, where in Anglophone regions, it is commonly known simply as the "wren", as it is the originator of the name.

The wren features prominently in culture. The Eurasian wren has been long considered "the king of birds" in Europe. Killing one or harassing its nest is associated with bad luck—broken bones, lightning strikes on homes, injury to cattle.

Engraver: Harold Wilson Parker



1 Farthing

KM# 843 Sp# 4116
Material Bronze
Weight 2.9 g
Diameter 20.2 mm
Thickness 1.38 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal

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