WILLIAM III FARTHINGS
William was the only child of William II, Prince of Orange and Princess Mary (1631-1660), eldest daughter of Charles I of England. He was born at The Hague in Holland on 4 November 1650, a few days after his father’s death. In 1677 he married his cousin Princess Mary at St James’s Palace in London and they returned to live in Holland. Although a Protestant herself, Mary’s father, who succeeded as James II in 1685, was a Roman Catholic and not popular in England because of his religion.
When he had a son the English authorities did not want another Roman Catholic monarch so in 1688 they called on William to come to England and march against James to take the throne and reign jointly with Mary. However, before William reached London James had fled to France. William III and Mary II were crowned as joint monarchs in the Abbey on 11 April 1689.
William III Farthing Coinage
William Farthings all share the same Obverse from beginning to end how ever from 1698 a new type of die was introduced with different arrangement in reverse legends and date position, these are referred as date in legend and date in exergue they are both used on date 1698 & 1699 coins with there date in exergue are in no doubt the rarer.
This entire series of copper coinage including the Halfpenny was minted by contractors and every attempt to save money to make them self’s money was put into place. Faulty blanks which were cast and not rolled, illiterate and foreign workers were employed, along with badly made dies gave us one of the worse coinages in English & British history, but a collectors dream.
William III farthings have many striking flaws and well struck examples are rare and expensive to acquire, as with all these early milled coins buy the best you can afford, but beware ! any high grade or genuinely rare piece will command a high price tag, as this could well be the only example you`d ever see for sale.
. Coins to look out for amongst others are W3F98. 1698 Date in Exergue B over G in BRITANNIA & W3F993. 1699 Date in Legend No stop after GVLIELMVS also W3F008. 1700 RRITANNIA no B in BRITANNIA & W3F973. 1697 Missing V in GVLIELMVS .
Weight and size tolerance are 4.5-6.2 grams & 22-23 mm Rev alignment is down. Any coin out of these tolerances would be considered desirable, significantly out of these tolerances would be extremely desirable.
Its more likely to encounter farthings & halfpennies at the lower end of these tolerances than the higher end.
William III Farthings
W3F965. 1696 Small B & Large T`s in Legends & R over B in TERTIVS Farthings weighs 4.96 grams & 22.5 mm in size. Very erratic letter sizes along with a defective E punch make up this strange farthings legend. Farthing grades fine, with the R over B on a 1696 date makes this farthing quite rare.
WIIIF696 1696 No stop reverse with small E which looks more like an R. Farthing weighs 6.23 grams & 22.5 mm in size, certainly on the heavier side and no doubt it weighed more when struck.
The E in TERTIVS looks more like a small R, looking at the breaks in the letter theirs under metal in the gaps which suggest an R. It would be excellent to see a stronger earlier strike to compare to, Farthing grades fine.
W3F97. 1697 Normal issue Farthing weighs 4.79 grams & 22mm in size, a beautiful toned coin which grades bold good fine.
W3F971. 1697 No stops obverse An extremely rare coin and the first i have seen. Farthing weighs 5.05 grams & 22mm in size, and grades reverse good fair / obverse about fine.
W3F972. 1697 Last A in BRITANNIA over 50% Displaced A Very rare at least, with just this one seen. Farthing weighs 4.78 grams & 21.5mm in size, farthing grades good fair.
W3F973. 1697 Missing V in GVLIELMVS Reads GVLIELMS, excessively rare coin seldom seen for sale in any grade, ive not seen an example better than fine. I have seen around five of these coins and there rarity should never be doubted. Farthing weighs 5.17 grams & 22mm in size and grades fine.
W3F974. 1697 No stop Reverse An extremely rare coin with just this example seen. Farthing weighs 5.81 grams and grades fine.
W3F975. 1697 Off centre mis-strike Farthing weighs 5.16 grams & 22mm in size.
W3F976. 1697 Inverted A for V in GVLIELMVS A super clear Example and extremely rare with just this example seen. Farthing weighs 4.28 grams & about 23mm in size, farthings grades reverse good fine / obverse fine.
WIIIF9911. 1699 Thin flan though worn Farthing weighs 3.72 grams & 21.75 mm in size & 0.5 mm thick. The detail has not worn down to a silhouette yet and the strike is some what blundered. Farthing grades nearly fair.
W3F0019. 1700 R over B in TERTIVS & probably B over R in BRITANNIA Very faint signs of a protruding tail of an R in Britannia, also the B` lower bulge is clearly protruding out wards. R over B`s in Britannia & Tertivs are an epidemic on this date but rarely B over R`s, a clearer example would be needed to confirm 100 %.Farthing weighs 5.08 grams & 21.75 mm in size and grades a strong fair and is the first example i have seen since 1980.
W3F0021 William III Farthing 1700 Un barred A`s in BRITANNIA & R over B in TERTIVS Farthing weighs 4.69 grams & just over 22 mm in size.
Notice the E`s in GVLIELMVS & TERTIVS they appear to look the same or very similar to W3F001 & W3F001A.
The theory of strengthening weakly struck letters on striking dies due to defective letter punches is now more plausible and a reasonable explanation to what was going on. Farthing grades a problem free good fair.
W3F0022 William III Farthing 1700 Un-barred A`s in BRITANNIA Low S with stop on after GVLIELMVS with 2nd distant stop. Farthing weighs 4.94 grams & 22 mm in size.
Obverse and reverse dies were almost certain to have been made at separately due to differences in letter punches, practically all the obverse letters are from broken, worn or damage punches to save making more on this last year, and the worse English coinage ever seen to date.
Its my opinion that the S was forgotten and the stop added after GVLIELMV, once the mistake had been realized the S was added just slightly under the stop to partly conceal it, then the real and finale stop was added.
Farthing grades a good problem free fair and tells yet another story of hood slip coin production.
W3F0023. William III Farthing 1700 Un-barred A`
in BRITANNIA &
L over E in GVLIELMVS. Farthing weighs 5.08 grams & 22 mm in size, this L over E was not easy to see and taking a photo was, well near impossible but i got there.
Notice the different size letters on the obverse, letters in GVLIELMVS are much bigger than the letters in TETIVS excluding
V & S.
My first impression was something look a miss but with a high powered class its possible to see the top of the L s outward serifs if you like just under the top of the E,the pictures help to explain this better.
Farthing grades about fine and is the first example ive noticed
.Extremely rare, probably excessively and almost certainly impossible to spot on later examples of this die.
W3F0025. William III Farthing 1700 R over B in Britannia & Tertivs, all so last A unbarred. Its unbelievable how many types their are of this R over B. Farthing grades a problem free fair with strong legends.
WIIIF0026. William III Farthing 1700 R over B in Britannia & Tertivs also un-barred A`s. Farthing weighs 4.92 grams & 21.75 mm in size, and yet another type to emerge of this complicated farthing coinage. Farthing grades a problem free, obverse good fair / reverse fair.
WIIIF0027. William III Farthing 1700 over 1699 in date. Farthing weighs 5.12 grams & 21.5 mm in size. Quite a find to say the least, the over date is mainly clear on the 7 with the 6 clear to see, there`s also some obliteration on top of the 00 with the later 0 struck side ways creating a block 0.
Extremely rare, and an earlier example showing the entire date fully would be super desirable. Farthing grades an about problem free fine with a nice dark tone.