Great Britain 1714 farthing

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Heritage sale 3015, lot 24888
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries
This specimen was lot 24888 in Heritage sale 3015 (Long Beach, September 2011), where it sold for $4,887.50. The catalog description[1] noted,
"Anne Farthing 1714, MS65 BN PCGS, Gem UNC and just a splendid specimen! There is nothing even slightly negative to report about this coin. Its strike is bold, with every detail clear as can be other than the round bun at the rear of the queen's hairdo (but this seems to have been in the die, which was not deeply engraved here), the seated Britannia figure as sharp as possible, immaculate surfaces glowing with brown luster, the entire coin sheathed in the most beautiful blue iridescence imaginable. This has to be one of the very finest known Anne farthings. It is said that Queen Anne herself never saw any of her farthings, the dies for which were prepared late in the reign and most examples were struck posthumously. In the late 18th century, this coin was considered by numismatists to be so rare that most contemporary collectors could never afford one, nor ever saw an example. It was the age of the coffeehouse, where rumors and news were spread, and the public at large was of the opinion that the Anne farthing was a sort of magical rarity worth a fortune, a metallic amulet, according to newspaper accounts of that day. We today are much luckier, especially with the ease of bidding in internet auctions and factual knowledge supplanting rumor, so with much more confidence we can purchase rarities such as this. But not all nice Anne farthings are technically all that choice, and hardly any can compare to the coin on offer here. All said and done, no one can deny that this is a truly great copper!"
All Queen Anne farthings are dated 1714. The next issue, that of George I in 1717, is even rarer.

Recorded mintage: unknown but scarce.

Specification: copper.

Catalog reference: S3625, KM 537.


  • Lobel, Richard, Mark Davidson, Allan Hailstone and Eleni Calligas, Coincraft's Standard Catalogue of English and UK Coins, 1066 to Date, London: Coincraft, 1995.
  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • Skingley, Philip, ed., Standard Catalogue of British Coins: Coins of England & the United Kingdom, 46th edition, London: Spink & Son, 2011.
  • [1]Cristiano Bierrenbach and Warren Tucker, Heritage World Coin Auction 3015, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2011.

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