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The Last Circulating British Halfpenny Of 1967

 
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 Posted 01/03/2021  5:59 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add CCFPress to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
PCGS - The farthing, pennies, sixpence. Pre-decimal British coinage will always have a place in numismatic lore. And while the last coins of the traditional British monetary system were demonetized over the late 20th century and officially replaced in 1971 with a decimal-based system contingent on a pound divided by 100 pence, many older Britons and a good deal of numismatists can still readily recite the British monetary conversion chart of yesteryear by heart: four farthings to a penny, 12 pence to a shilling, 20 shillings to a pound.


1967 British Halfpenny PCGS MS64RD


Yet, for a period of more than a decade in modern history, the farthing was not Great Britain's smallest denomination. Rather, it was the halfpenny, or so was the case when the last farthing rolled off the presses at The Royal Mint in 1956, to be demonetized New Year's Day in 1961. This left the halfpenny, a coin often linguistically slurred to "ha'penny," to be the nation's smallest-denomination coin in production until 1967 as the pre-decimal era neared its close in Great Britain.

The 1967 Great Britain Halfpenny marks the end of a long line of halfpennies, which stretch back to 1672. Over its centuries in circulation, the halfpenny evolved from a copper coin to bronze - a seemingly minor though significant difference, to both chemists and numismatists. Surely obverse designs came and went as old British monarchs faded away, but one of the most visible and lasting changes came to the coin in 1937, when the long-running reverse motif of a seated Britannia designed by Leonard Charles Wyon in 1717 was replaced.

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54671 Posts
 Posted 01/03/2021  8:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great link, very interesting.
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Australia
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 Posted 01/13/2021  5:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Mr T to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
No mention of the two obverse varieties though.
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United Kingdom
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 Posted 01/13/2021  5:18 pm  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
No mention of the two obverse varieties though.

No. The slightly scarcer broad rim variety is supposed to have been minted at Llantrisant.
I should hope that mint state specimens should cost less than $50! You can still pick them up for next to nothing in the UK, and there are lots of sealed mint bags still lying around. Because of their low face value, many of the halfpennies in circulation in 1969 were hoarded by collectors or saved as souvenirs by members of the public.
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Australia
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 Posted 01/16/2021  03:51 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Mr T to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
No. The slightly scarcer broad rim variety is supposed to have been minted at Llantrisant.


Oh interesting - where did you see that? I don't think I've seen a mintage break-down for the two mints between 1965 and 1975 but I just assumed all the old stuff was produced in London.
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 Posted 01/16/2021  04:10 am  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
where did you see that?

Many years ago in a now defunct British coin magazine, 'Coin Monthly'.
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New Zealand
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 Posted 01/16/2021  04:30 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have a book from 1971 (1985 edition, but very little new material) called "Coins" by John Porteous which mentions that Llantrisant started in 1965 and all coining had been transferred there by 1968 mostly for decimal coins, but at the same time, 1967 dated Predecimal currency of the UK was known to have been minted through to late 1969 as need dictated.

All the coins were still dated 1967, 1968 and 1969 dated coins were the new 5p, 10p and in 1969 the 50p. This would explain the huge mintages of 1967 dated coins (659 million pennies!).

So 1969 minted Llantrisant halfpennies are very possible.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
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 Posted 01/16/2021  05:41 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very attractive design and especially so MS++ with full luster. My experience is that they didn't really circulate much, due to low face value, and the introduction of a decimalised Pound in 1970.

My Coin Yearbook for 2011 indicates a mintage of 146,491,200 Halfpennies with the ship design, and so are now very common in higher grades. The Halfpennies minted in 1969 would have carried the 1967 date.


@ Princetane:- Agrees with my experience when I was living in the U.K. in 1970-71.
1970 dated coins from Llanstrisant for 5 New Pence (shilling module), and 10 New Pence (Florin module) introduced into circulation in 1968, so the population would be familiar with the new designs. These coins remained in circulation until 1992.
10 Pence Maclouf dated 1985-1991 minted in tiny numbers, the uncirculated examples issued into circulation as scarce as the proofs for the same years.
That will be something for you to hunt down! - similar sort of thing as the 1985 Australian Maclouf 20 Cents and the 1997 10 Cents - no demand by the public for them at the time, for new supplies of these denominations.
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 Posted 01/16/2021  8:14 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Mr T to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Many years ago in a now defunct British coin magazine, 'Coin Monthly'.


Do you remember which issue? I only have one Coin Monthly but I doubt it's the one.
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Australia
547 Posts
 Posted 01/17/2021  10:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add David Graham to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:

many older Britons and a good deal of numismatists can still readily recite the British monetary conversion chart of yesteryear by heart: four farthings to a penny, 12 pence to a shilling, 20 shillings to a pound.

And Australians although we never had a farthing that I know of. As a metal detectorist and a coin collector I have on more than one occasion pondered why we had no Farthing. Considering we used British currency until 1911 it's odd that I have never dug a UK Farthing. Can any members shed light on why the Aus Pound coinage never had a farthing?
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8096 Posts
 Posted 01/18/2021  09:15 am  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Do you remember which issue?

Sorry. No idea.
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Australia
18123 Posts
 Posted 01/18/2021  6:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Why the Australian Pound never had a farthing?
- I can't remember the reference now (probably the Australian Coin Review), but
the Australian Government decided the the Farthing buying power was too small.

I DO remember however, that a show bag at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in the mid 1950's was priced with a farthing quoted in the price. A British Wren Farthing was given in change.
The Show bags were sold in the Hordern Pavilion.
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United States
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 Posted 01/21/2021  9:02 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Carrigna to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I remember reading somewhere the reason there were no farthings because the shopkeepers did issue tokens in that denomination as to make up for the lack of 1/4 d coins.

I think it is very interesting that Australia and New Zealand have no farthings. New Zealand used British coinage much longer than Australia.

Also, there is another possible answer which is that the prices might be higher in both countries than in the UK and Ireland as well as in South Africa?

Thank both of you for this interesting post which addressed my curiosity about this particular denomination being lacked in these countries.

Did Fiji have this coin?

Keep up interesting discussion and hopefully, someone would be able to answer for us!
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8096 Posts
 Posted 01/21/2021  11:39 pm  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
When I first visited New Zealand as a kid in 1973 I visited several elderly relatives and got talking about coins. My great-aunt told me that British farthings had been used in NZ, and she gave me some pre-decimal NZ coins that she had lying in a drawer. Among the NZ pennies, halfpennies, threepenny bits and halfcrowns was a British George V farthing.
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New Zealand
2203 Posts
 Posted 01/22/2021  11:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
NumisRob, I have worked out that farthings were used until we got our own Coppers in late 1939.

1940 dated Pennies and Halfpennies entered circulation in Nov/Dec 1939 and rapidly superseded other coppers in use (Mostly British, but Australian and even some South African coins as well!).

I talked to my partner born in 1941 and he handled coins as far back as the late 1940s and never remembers seeing farthings, but he remembers plenty of "Britannia" pennies as he called them. Speaking to other people of a similar vintage at my club - none remember farthings but all remember Britannias and collecting these was fun for children, especially as worn Victorian bun heads could and did show up.

However talking to some one born in 1931, he did recall farthings when he was very young around 1937/38 and they were all British (Only South Africa was making them too), and some people who remember their parents also remember farthings in the 1920s and 1930s but not 1940s.

My guess is that in 1940 an attempt was made to sweep away the farthing here and coupled with the war and shipping issues, that meant only essential coins got through (Which is strange as the coins were minted for us throughout the war years - 1939, 1941, 1942 and 1944 were lean years, but the others especially 1943 were big years).
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
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