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Brit Tip #17

Modern halfpenny varieties.

It is well known that there are a myriad of Freeman/Peck varieties for Victorian bronze coinage.  One could spend a lifetime and a life savings collecting it all.

It turns out there are several variations in modern halfpenny coinage as well.  Two will be discussed here.

Sea type on ship reverse halfpennies

The halfpenny reverse was changed from Britannia to the Golden Hind ship in 1937 for Edward VIII coinage that was never released.  The ship was retained for subsequent years until the halfpenny was demonetized.  It turns out there are two major variations to the reverse: the rough sea and calm sea.  1957 issues have both reverses, with the calm sea variety being scarce.

Figure 1.  Calm Sea reverse of
Figure 2.  Rough sea reverse of

Pointings of 1967

There were over 146 million halfpennies minted with the date 1967, but the date simply wasn't changed after that year.  31.6% of the halfpennies with that date were minted in 1968.  There are at least two varieties of that date and are differentiated by pointings (see Tip #8 on farthing pointings for an introduction of the concept).  Both varieties are common as best as I can tell.  The second variety also showed up in the 1970 proof.

Figure 3.  Narrow rim, 1954-1967
I of DEI point to a bead.
Figure 4.  Wider rim, 1967-1970
I of DEI points between two beads.

Posted on CU 4/16/2004