Half Penny

The Half penny (1/2d), pronounced as ha'penny, was successfully introduced under Edward I as part of the new coinage. It was an important and much-needed denomination. Before the issue was introduced traders produced half pennies by cutting penny coins in half, which was obviously impractical in some cases and often inconvenient. The new denomination issued under Edward I allowed trade to increase and facilitated the country’s prosperity.

The hammered coinage of the Half penny usually depicted the king on the obverse and the long cross with three pellets on the reverse. Most halfpennies from hammered reigns tend to be difficult to identify. Most coins are small, often clipped, or in poor condition. Moreover many appear to have blundered legends due to the difficulty in making dies small enough for the denomination.

In 1672 during the reign of Charles II, and due to the need for coins of low denomination, the first milled half pennies came into circulation. The coins depicted Britannia on the reverse, modelled by the Duchess of Richmond, and the king on the obverse. Originally the coin was minted in copper, but after 1860 in the reign of Queen Victoria, the denomination was henceforth minted in bronze.

In 1936 George VI ascended to the throne and during his reign, in 1937, yet another significant change was introduced. This time it was the design that changed. The image of Britannia was no longer to be present in the coin. Instead, the reverse featured a three-masted sailing ship. The ship is said to represent Sir Francis Drake’s ship, the ‘Golden Hind’, and was symbolic of Britain ‘ruling the waves'. Perhaps that might be the reason why it was chosen to replace Britannia on the Half penny.

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Picture of Elizabeth II, Halfpenny (Coronation) 1953 Unc

Elizabeth II, Halfpenny (Coronation) 1953 Unc

One of the most difficult denominations to get, in Uncirculated condition, is the Halfpenny. It was a denomination that was regularly used and thus usually comes in circulated condition. We went through one of our vault rooms and found a box of 1953 Coronation Halfpennies in Uncirculated condition taken from the Mint Set of that year; they came out of a plastic folder. Over the past 65 years, they have mellowed a bit, but they have never seen circulation. Years ago we offered the 1953 Penny and that quickly sold out; we expect the same thing to happen on the Coronation halfpenny.
£7.95
Picture of Elizabeth II, Halfpenny 1958 Brilliant Unc

Elizabeth II, Halfpenny 1958 Brilliant Unc

Bronze Halfpenny dated 1958 in Brilliant Uncirculated condition.
£5.00
Picture of Elizabeth II, Halfpenny 1959 Brilliant Unc

Elizabeth II, Halfpenny 1959 Brilliant Unc

The pre-decimal Halfpenny was known as the Golden Hind Halfpenny, because the reverse depicts Sir Francis Drake’s ship the Golden Hind. We have always liked the halfpenny, partly because of its design and partly because so few collectors have them, that they are in fact difficult to find in the high grades. The coin on offer is the 1959 British Golden Hind Halfpenny in Brilliant Uncirculated condition. They catalogue doesn’t list this as a difficult coin to find in Brilliant Uncirculated, but it is. We have a small group that was put away 60 years ago and they are Brilliant Uncirculated coins.
£3.00
Picture of Elizabeth II, Halfpenny 1960 Brilliant Unc

Elizabeth II, Halfpenny 1960 Brilliant Unc

Bronze Halfpenny dated 1960 in Brilliant Uncirculated condition.
£2.50
Picture of Elizabeth II, Halfpenny 1964 Brilliant Unc

Elizabeth II, Halfpenny 1964 Brilliant Unc

Bronze Halfpenny dated 1964 in Brilliant Uncirculated condition.
£1.50
Picture of Elizabeth II, Halfpenny 1966 Brilliant Unc

Elizabeth II, Halfpenny 1966 Brilliant Unc

Bronze Halfpenny dated 1966 in Brilliant Uncirculated condition.
£2.00
George I, Copper Halfpenny Fine_obv

George I, Copper Halfpenny Fine

When Queen Anne died there were no living relatives to take over the monarchy, so we went to Germany for our new King. George I was from Brunswig-Luneburg-Calenberg-Hanover. He didn’t like living here and didn’t speak English so he spent most of his time in Germany. We have these George I Copper Farthings and Halfpennies available in Fine condition. Dates will be of our choice, just as they come out of the box. These coins are now about 300 years old and not easy to get. Supplies are very limited.
£49.50
George II, Halfpenny (Old Head) VG_obv

George II, Halfpenny (Old Head) VG

Here we offer the scarce King George II Old Head Halfpenny. Remember that during the reign of King George II (1727-1760) the Halfpenny was the largest denomination copper coin issued. The coins are in Very Good condition, which considering they are almost 300 years is not too bad indeed. They are big chunky coins with the young head of the King on one side and an attractive seated Britannia on the other side. Supplies are limited.
£34.50
Picture of George III, Halfpenny, 1806/7 Very Good

George III, Halfpenny, 1806/7 Very Good

The coinage of King George III is rather strange, it is broken up into two sections, before the Currency Reform Act and after the Currency Reform Act. This Act was passed because of the shortage of coins, which the King because of his illness refused to allow to be made. So what did they do, after the Currency Reform Act of 1816 they struck Silver coins but did not bother to strike copper coins…! So the last design of King George III Halfpennies was issued in 1806 and 1807. It has the King’s bust with lauriate wreath on one side and a seated Britannia on the other side. These are the last George III Halfpences ever to be struck and they were struck in copper. In Very Good condition, which means that they have seen considerable wear
£19.95
George IV_Halfpenny_1827_obv

George IV, Halfpenny 1827

Obverse: Laureate head facing left, Reverse: Britannia seated with shield and trident. About Uncirculated but a few small edge nicks.
£195.00
1827 Halfpenny_obv

George IV, Halfpenny 1827 Unc

Obverse with attractive blue tone, reverse with lots of lustre. Uncirculated.
£225.00
1937_halfpenny_obv

George VI, Halfpenny 1937 Unc/Brilliant Unc

We believe the bronze coins of King George VI are much underappreciated. The farthings are easy to get, but try and get nice Pennies and Halfpennies. Here we are offering a George VI Halfpenny from 1937 in between uncirculated & brilliant uncirculated condition.
£18.00
Halfpenny 1937-48 BU_obv

George VI, Halfpenny 1937-48 BU

1937 saw a big change in the design of the halfpennies with the reverse depicting Britannia redesigned to display Sir Francis Drake’s ship “The Golden Hind”. As with the farthings, the titles in the legends were changed in 1949. Here we present the 1937-48 Halfpenny in Brilliant Uncirculated concition. Dates will be of our choice.
£16.00
1937-48 Halfpenny_obv

George VI, Halfpenny 1937-48 Unc

1937 saw a big change in the design of the halfpennies with the reverse depicting Britannia redesigned to display Sir Francis Drake’s ship “The Golden Hind”. As with the farthings, the titles in the legends were changed in 1949. Here we present the 1937-48 Halfpenny in Uncirculated concition. Dates will be of our choice.
£10.00
1938_halfpenny_obv

George VI, Halfpenny 1938 Unc/Brilliant Unc

We believe the bronze coins of King George VI are much underappreciated. The farthings are easy to get, but try and get nice Pennies and Halfpennies. Here we are offering a George VI Halfpenny from 1938 in between uncirculated & brilliant uncirculated condition.
£15.00
1942_halfpenny_obv

George VI, Halfpenny 1942 Brilliant Unc

Bronze Halfpenny dated 1942 in Brilliant Uncirculated condition.
£16.00
1942_halfpenny_obv

George VI, Halfpenny 1942 Unc/Brilliant Unc

Bronze halfpenny featuring King George VI from 1942; condition somewhere between uncirculated and brilliant uncirculated.
£12.00
Picture of George VI, Halfpenny 1943 Unc

George VI, Halfpenny 1943 Unc

Bronze Halfpenny dated 1943 in Uncirculated condition.
£10.00
Picture of George VI, Halfpenny 1944 Brilliant Unc

George VI, Halfpenny 1944 Brilliant Unc

Bronze Halfpenny dated 1944 in Brilliant Uncirculated condition.
£16.00
1944_halfpenny_rev

George VI, Halfpenny 1944 Unc/Brilliant Unc

Bronze Halfpenny dated 1944 in between Uncirculated & Brilliant Uncirculated condition.
£12.00
1949 Halfpenny Brilliant Unc_obv

George VI, Halfpenny 1949 Brilliant Unc

Bronze Halfpenny dated 1949 in Brilliant Uncirculated condition.
£30.00
Halfpenny 1949-52 BU_rev

George VI, Halfpenny 1949-52 BU

1937 saw a big change in the design of the halfpennies with the reverse depicting Britannia redesigned to display Sir Francis Drake’s ship “The Golden Hind”. As with the farthings, the titles in the legends were changed in 1949. Here we present the 1949-52 Halfpenny in Brilliant Uncirculated condition. Dates will be of our choice.
£10.00
1949-52_Halfpenny_Obv

George VI, Halfpenny 1949-52 Unc

1937 saw a big change in the design of the halfpennies with the reverse depicting Britannia redesigned to display Sir Francis Drake’s ship “The Golden Hind”. As with the farthings, the titles in the legends were changed in 1949. Here we present the 1949-52 Halfpenny in Uncirculated concition. Dates will be of our choice.
£7.00
Picture of George VI, Halfpenny 1952 Brilliant Unc

George VI, Halfpenny 1952 Brilliant Unc

Bronze Halfpenny dated 1952 in Brilliant Uncirculated condition. The last halfpenny of George VI's reign.
£12.00

Shove Ha'penny

The pre-decimal Ha’ penny was also used to play Shove Ha’penny, a once very popular pub game in the UK. Read our blog post about the Shove Ha’penny game to learn more about this traditional game played with 10 coins and a board.

Don’t miss out on Half Penny Coins for Sale

We have available for sale pre-decimal Half pennies, as well as decimal half pennies. Visit the Decimal Half pence sub-category under the category of decimal coins to purchase decimal half pennies.

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