Obverse. Photo © Museums Victoria
  • 1/2 Quart 1842-1861, KM# 1, Gibraltar, Victoria
  • 1/2 Quart 1842-1861, KM# 1, Gibraltar, Victoria
Description

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. The name Gibraltar is derived from Gebel Tarik (hill of Tarek) so named after Tarik ibn Zeyed who captured the site in AD 711. It has an area of 6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi) and is bordered to the north by Spain. The landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of which is a densely populated city area, home to over 30,000 people, primarily Gibraltarians.

An Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar from Spain in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne. The territory was ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.

After the Anglo-Dutch occupied Gibraltar, the Spanish real continued to circulate in the town. In 1825, the relative values of the various circulating coins were revised and pegged to the British pound. The real de plata was subdivided into 24 quarts, valuing the real de plata at 96 maravedíes compared to 85 in Spain.

In 1842, coins were issued in ½, 1 and 2 quarts denominations. The denominations of the coins are quarts after the Spanish copper coin cuarto. A total of 387,072 quarts worth of coins were issued, allowing soldiers wages to be paid in quarts rather than pence. Other coins continued to circulate, however, until 1872. In that year, the Spanish currency became the sole legal tender in Gibraltar. In 1898, the Spanish–American War made the Spanish peseta drop alarmingly and the pound was introduced as the sole currency of Gibraltar, initially in the form of British coins and banknotes.

Obverse

Left-facing uncrowned portrait of Queen Victoria with ribbons in her hair. The portrait is taken from the dies of the Maundy twopence. Date below.

VICTORIA DEI GRATIA BRITANNIARUM REGINA FIDEI DEFENSATRIX means Victoria, by the Grace of God, of the Britains Queen, Defender of the Faith.

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

VICTORIA D:G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F:D:
1842

Reverse

Coat of arms above value.

The coat of arms of Gibraltar was first granted by a Royal Warrant passed in Toledo on 10 July 1502 by Isabella I of Castile during Gibraltar's Spanish period. The arms consists of an escutcheon and features a three-towered red castle under which hangs a golden key.

The castle has its roots in the heraldry of the Kingdom of Castile, the largest and most important medieval Spanish kingdom, of which Isabella was Queen. The idea of Gibraltar being the key to Spain or the Mediterranean originated well before the Spanish conquest. The followers of Tariq ibn Ziyad, who invaded Spain via Gibraltar in 711, are said to have adopted the symbol of the key when they settled in Granada.

GIBRALTAR
HALF QUART

Edge
Characteristics
Material Copper
Weight -
Diameter 18 mm
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Mint
Royal Mint

Related coins

Silver, 1.167 g, ⌀ 15.494 mm

Silver, 2.32 g, ⌀ 18.034 mm

Copper, 8.8 g, ⌀ 28.25 mm