• 1/2 Penny 1838-1860, KM# 726, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Victoria
  • 1/2 Penny 1838-1860, KM# 726, United Kingdom (Great Britain), Victoria
Description

The British pre-decimal halfpenny (½d) coin, usually simply known as a halfpenny, was a unit of currency that equalled half of a penny or 1/480th of a pound sterling. Originally the halfpenny was minted in copper, but after 1860 it was minted in bronze.

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: William Wyon

Obverse

Left-facing uncrowned portrait of Queen Victoria with ribbons in her hair. The portrait (Young Head) is taken from the dies of the Maundy twopence. Date underneath, the first half of royal title around.

VICTORIA DEI GRATIA means Victoria, by the Grace of God.

VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
1838

Reverse

Britannia seated facing right 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. The remainder of royal title around. A small wreath of national plants (shamrock, rose and thistle) underneath.

BRITANNIARUM REGINA FIDEI DEFENSATRIX means The Britains Queen, Defender of the Faith.

Some of the 1850's dated copper halfpennies have either no dots near the shield or 7 incuse dots on and around the shield.

BRITANNIAR: REG: FID: DEF:

Edge

1/2 Penny

1st portrait
KM# 726 Sp# 3949
Characteristics
Material Copper
Weight 9.45 g
Diameter 28 mm
Thickness 2.12 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Mint
Royal Mint

Related coins

2nd portrait

Bronze, 5.7 g, ⌀ 25.4 mm

Bronze, 5.6 g, ⌀ 25.5 mm

Bronze, 5.7 g, ⌀ 25.5 mm