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17th Century farthings

These two17th century farthings were sent in by Mike Ruczynski, who said that he and his brother had accumulated over 100 examples in various states of decay.  Being small and made of copper they rarely turn up in good condition.

Farthing of Charles I

Coin number one bears the name of Charles I and is an example of the Maltravers type with inner circles on both sides.

farthing of charles i

On the obverse is a crown and crossed sceptres and a legend reading CARLOVS D G MAG BRIT. On the reverse is a crowned harp and the legend on this side reads FRAN ET HB REX.

Farthing of James I  

Coin number two bears the name of James I and is an example of the Lennox type with no inner circles.

farthing of james i

On the obverse the legend reads IACO D G MAG BRI.

There are several varieties of the above two coins, some of which are differentiated by the mint marks. Unfortunately, I can’t see the marks clearly enough to identify them on both coins.

Farthing production

Licences to make copper farthings were issued by James I and Charles I. This was a profitable exercise for both the king and the licence holders. The former made money through the sale of licences and the latter made even more, as the amount of copper in each farthing was far less than their face value. Needless to say, they were detested by the general public. Production eventually ceased in 1644 and this soon led to the issue of a huge range of tokens.    


The two farthings sent in by Mike would grade Fine, which means they are way above average for detecting finds. However, my highest price range on each coin would be £8-10.

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