Obverse. Photo © NumisCorner.com
  • 1 Farthing 1953, KM# 881, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II
  • 1 Farthing 1953, KM# 881, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II

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.

There are 4 varieties (1+A) (2+B) (1+B) (2+A):

Obv 1: Cross points to a bead.
Obv 2: Cross points to a space.
Rev A: F and 12 points to a space.
Rev B: F and 1 point to a bead.

2+B is common; 1+A is scarcer; 1+B is rare; 2+A is extremely rare


First portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II (laureate bust) facing right, wearing a wreath. It was introduced in 1953, one year after the Queen acceded to the throne. It captures the grace and youth of the 26-year-old new Queen. Her hair is restrained by a laureate crown which is tied with ribbons at the back of her head. The Queen's shoulders are bare and the truncation follows the curve of the coin. The engravers initials M.G. are incuse, generally faint, and are located on the raised edge found at the base of the bust.

ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA BRITANNIARUM OMNIUM REGINA FIDEI DEFENSATRIX means Elizabeth the Second, by the grace of God, Queen of all the Britains, Defender of the Faith.

Engraver: Mary Gillick



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

1st portrait, with BRITT:OMN
KM# 881 Sp# 4156
Material Bronze
Weight 2.75 g
Diameter 20 mm
Thickness 1.37 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal

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