• 1 Farthing 1954-1956, KM# 895, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II
  • 1 Farthing 1954-1956, KM# 895, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Elizabeth II
Description

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.

Obverse

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 REGINA FIDEI DEFENSATRIX means Elizabeth the Second, by the grace of God, Queen and Defender of the Faith.

Engraver: Mary Gillick

ELIZABETH·II·DEI·GRATIA·REGINA·F·D:+
M.G.

Reverse

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

1955
HWP
FARTHING

Edge

1 Farthing

1st portrait, without BRITT:OMN
KM# 895 Sp# 4159
Characteristics
Material Bronze
Weight 2.8 g
Diameter 20 mm
Thickness 1.33 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Mint
Royal Mint

Related coins

2nd portrait

Bronze, 2.8 g, ⌀ 20 mm
With IND:IMP

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

Bronze, 2.83 g, ⌀ 20.18 mm