Coins of England and Great Britain

('Coins of the UK')

by Tony Clayton

Three Farthings

The Halfpenny <<-- : -->> The Penny

Values of Three Farthings
No pictures available

Amazingly, coins worth three-quarters of a penny were issued, but only back in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I between 1561 and 1582.

They are still uncommon, but not as rare as once thought due to discovery by metal detectors.

They are about 14mm diameter, and have an obverse legend of E.D.G.ROSA SINE SPINA, which stands for 'Elizabeth by the Grace of God a Rose without a Thorn'.

At the time coins of 6d, 3d, three halfpence and three farthings were minted, each half of the previous denomination. The latter three coins were distinguished from the groat, half-groat and penny by the presence of a rose behind the Queen's head. The three-farthings is rather a thin coin, and Shakespeare in King John (I,i,143) quotes: face so thin,
That in mine ear I durst not stick a rose,
Lest men should say, "Look, where three-farthings goes!"

The reverse shows the Royal Arms over a cross with the date above, and the legend CIVITAS LONDON. Known mintmarks, preceding the legend, are pheon, coronet, ermine, acorn, eglantine, plain cross, long cross and sword.

An extremely rare milled issue was made in 1563 with mintmark star. According to Coincraft's catalogue only three specimens are known to exist.


See my Main Coins Index page for acknowledgements


The Halfpenny <<-- : -->> The Penny
Main History Index.
Values of Three Farthings.
Values Index.
Pictures Index.
No pictures of three-farthing coins are available.

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Coins of the UK - Three Farthings
Copyright reserved by the author, Tony Clayton
v25 4th March 2015
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