Great Britain 1687 half penny

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Goldberg sale 117, lot 2508

This specimen was lot 2508 in Goldberg sale 117 (Los Angeles, September 2020), where it sold for $570. The catalog description[1] noted, "Great Britain. Tin Halfpenny, 1687. James II. Superb portrait of king, but a light metal break or scratch across the face, and some flaking on the reverse. Overall, sharply detailed. Much original color, and very rare thus. PCGS graded About Uncirculated Details (Scratch)." This type of 1685-87 is not rare but very scarce in collectible condition. The alloy, chosen to promote the product of Cornish tin mines, was a disaster as a coin, corroding very rapidly. British authorities demonstrated their inability to learn from their mistake by persisting in the production of tin farthings and halfpennies until 1692.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: tin with a copper plug.

Catalog reference: KM 448, S.3419.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • [1]Goldberg, Ira, Larry Goldberg, John Lavender, Yifu Che, Jason Villareal and Stephen Harvey, Goldberg Sale 117: the Pre-Long Beach Auction, Los Angeles: Goldberg Coins and Collectibles, 2020.
  • 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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