Great Britain 1885 farthing

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from Stack's Bowers 2016 ANA sale, lot 22509
Gr Britain SB816-22509r.jpg

This specimen was lot 22509 in Stack's Bowers ANA sale (Anaheim, CA, August 2016), where it sold for $1,175. The catalog description[1] noted, "GREAT BRITAIN. Farthing, 1885. NGC PROOF-65 RB. EXTREMELY RARE. Freeman estimates 2 to 5 pieces known. Without surprise, the only piece seen at NGC or PCGS. Wonderfully preserved with generous amounts of remaining red. Glossy fields and exquisitely rendered devices and legends. An irresistible offering that collectors of British bronze will find most tantalizing." This "bun head" type superseded the "young head" farthing in 1860 and was struck I large numbers. The weight was slightly reduced in 1874 and struck in this form until the "old head" was introduced in 1895. The "jubilee head", which appeared on the silver 1887-92, was not used on the bronze coinage. The date is common and would not normally warrant the price realized here; the variety must be rare.

Recorded mintage: 5,442,000.

Specification: 2.5 g, bronze, 20 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: S-3958; KM-753; Freeman-556 (Dies 7+F, R19); Peck-1912 (ER).


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • Bressett, Kenneth E., A Guide Book of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, 2nd Ed., Racine, WI: Whitman Publishing, 1962.
  • 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.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, The August 2016 Anaheim ANA Auction: Ancient Coins, World Coins & Paper Money, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2016.

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