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Brit Tip #8

Check your 1953 farthings for “pointings.”

And you thought that there were just two varieties of 1953 farthings: the for-circulation piece and the proof.

Well, there are actually six varieties. Six??

We’ll come to what they are later. First, some definitions:

Obverse 1: Cross points to a bead. Poorly defined features (Figure 1).
Obverse 2: Cross points between two beads. Features better defined (Figure 2).
Reverse A: “F” of “FARTHING” points between two beads. This reverse is from George VI dies. (Figure 3).
Reverse B: “F” of “FARTHING” points to a bead. (Figure 4).

The varieties are, in order from most common to rarest:
2 + B
1 + A
Proof 2 + B
1 + B
2 + A
Proof 2 + A

The 2 + A combinations are designated “extremely rare.” They exist and have been sold in the past on ebay.

The easy way to remember how to find the rare ones is as follows: if both features (the cross and the “F”) point to a bead or both point between beads, you’re a winner! If not, try again!

I have searched through hundreds of 1953 farthings over the years and have come up with four “1 + B” combinations and no “2 + A” examples.

Figure 1:  1953 Farthing Obverse 1

Figure 2:  1953 Farthing Obverse 2

Figure 3:  1953 Farthing Reverse A

Figure 4:  1953 Farthing Reverse B

Posted on CU 8/7/2003