Great Britain 1690 farthing

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Heritage sale 3029, lot 30637
Great Britain 1690 farthing rev H3029-30637.jpg

This specimen was lot 30637 in Heritage sale 3029 (New York, January 2014), where it sold for $1,116.25. The catalog description[1] noted, "William & Mary tin Farthing 1690, AU58 NGC. Copper plug at center, as made. Porous tin with deterioration around the plug on obverse, very little wear, the reverse retaining much of its original appearance, brighter than the obverse, with Britannia well defined and the date clear. The Royal Mint's tentative experiment with tin, and then tin with an added plug of copper, proved fatal. The humidity of London and much of the country caused a rapid spoiling of the metals. Within five years of the first issues, copper replaced tin as the metal used for planchets. Almost all known examples of the tin coinage are in wretched states, with only a small number being fairly well preserved. In fact, most have long since perished. Rare." Tin farthings were attempted under Charles II 1684-87 and again with this issue of 1689-92. Tin half pennies were a similar failure. Subsequent issues were copper, a much more stable metal.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: tin with copper plug.

Catalog reference: S-3451, KM 466.1.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • [1]Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Stuart Levine and Bruce Lorich, Heritage World and Ancient Coins Auction 3029, featuring Selections from the Eric P. Newman Collection, Part III, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2013.
  • Lobel, Richard, Mark Davidson, Allan Hailstone and Eleni Calligas, Coincraft's Standard Catalogue of English and UK Coins, 1066 to Date, London: Coincraft, 1995.
  • Skingley, Philip, ed., Standard Catalogue of British Coins: Coins of England & the United Kingdom, 46th edition, London: Spink & Son, 2011.

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