British & English Copper Coin collecting

WILLIAM III FARTHINGS

WILLIAM III FARTHINGS

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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

1695 Farthings

 

W3F95.  1695 normal issue  Farthing weighs 6.06 grams & 22mm in size and is chunky in appearance. I have seen many of this date though its an uncommon date and is rare in higher grades. Farthing grades reverse good very fine / obverse nearly extremely fine with weak areas as always.

 

 
 
W3F951. 1695 Double struck legends  Portrait is slightly struck off centre with a large reverse stop. Farthing weighs 4.51 grams & 22.5mm in size, farthing grades reverse fine / obverse fine or better.
 
 
 
W3F952. 1695 William III Farthing No stop reverse & single exergue  Farthing weighs 5.02 grams & 22 mm in size, very rare with no British museum number. Farthing grades fine.
 
 
 

1696 Farthings

 
W3F96.  1696 23 mm 7.5 grams 114 grains   A large coin indeed and 1.2 grams over weight. This is the heaviest farthing recorded for this date and issue that i know of.
An excessively rare piece and possibly unique ?.  Farthing grades not far from as struck with weak areas as often and originally a weakish strike. A wonderful find which grades extremely fine.
 
 
 
W3F961.  1696 Small B in BRITANNIA with single Exergue  Farthing weighs 4.72 grams & 22mm in size. I have seen many standard examples of this date but single exergue examples are quite rare. Farthing grades reverse fine / obverse nearly very fine.
 
 
 
W3F962. 1696 R of BRITANNIA over B & R of TERTIVS over B  Small B in Britannia & double exergue, Farthing weighs 6.05 grams & 22.5 mm in size. Extremely rare coin with just this example seen. Farthing grades reverse nearly fine / obverse fine.
 
 
 
W3F963.  1696 Single Exergue and large B in Britannia  Farthing weighs 5.54 grams & almost 22mm in size. Farthing grades fine with reverse probably better.
 
 
 
W3F964.  1696  Very small B in BRITANNIA & an unusual gap in TERTIVS  TE RTIVS  A nice copper colour farthing and problem free. I have not seen a gap like this in Tertivs before, this legend design is quite rare and very much like the William III halfpenny which also has a noticeable 2.5 mm gap in Tertives.
Theres nearly a 3mm gap at the top ( 2.75mm ) and 2mm gap at the bottom, 2.5mm with the serif taken of the R. Farthing weighs 5.41 grams & 22.25 mm in size. Farthing grades a pleasing good fine and is probably quite a rare die type design.
 
 

 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.

 

 

1697 Farthings

 

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.
 
 
 
W3F977. 1697 Inverted A for V in GVLIELMVS & TERTIVS Extremley rare to find this type of error on pre 1699 farthings. Farthing weighs 4.32 grams & 22 mm in size, farthing grades good fair with some surface issues.
 
 
 
 
 

1698 Farthings

 

 
W3F98.  1698 Date in Exergue B over G in BRITANNIA  Excessively rare in any grade ive not seen better than fine, rarely seen for sale with just four examples seen over the years. Farthing weighs 4.32 grams & almost 22 mm in size, Cooke number 540, farthings grades fine or slightly better in places.
 
 
 
W3F981.  1698 Date in Legend  Normal issue example and very rare, i have not seen any better than nearly very fine. A rare coin in any grade with only 15 or so examples seen. Farthing weighs 5.20 grams & 22.5 mm in size. Cooke number 538 & BMC number 663. Farthing grades good fine with weak and strong areas.
 
 

1699 Farthings

 
W3F99. 1699 Date in legend R over B in BRITANNIA  Quite possibly inverted A in TERTIVS, farthing weighs 4.96 grams & 22.5 mm in size. I have seen around three of these coins, and this example is simply superb. This example could possibly be the same reverse as Cooke number 538 but no doubt a different obverse. Farthing grades reverse bold good fine or better / obverse nearly very fine.
 
 
 
W3F991.  1699 Date in Exergue I in BRITANNIA over Displaced I Farthing weighs 4.68 grams & 22 mm in size. A`s in Britannia have different chisel strokes to there bars. Very weak strike which grades fine and quite likley much better.
 
 
 
W3F992. 1699 Date in Exergue  Double dots or spots under kings ear with a very small T in BRITANNIA, farthing weighs 5.09 grams & 22 mm in size.These coins are rare in higher grades. Farthing grades reverse very fine / obverse nearly very fine.
 
 
 
W3F993. 1699 Date in Legend No stop after GVLIELMVS  Unbarred A,s in BRITANNIA, very rare and extremely rare in higher grades. Cooke number 530 & BMC number 585, farthing weighs 4.18 grams & 22.5 mm in size. Farthing grades obverse nearly fine / reverse good fair.
 
 
 
W3F993A.  1699 Date in Legend No stop after GVLIELMVS  Unbarred A,s in BRITANNIA, very rare and extremely rare in higher grades. Cooke number 530 & BMC number 585, Farthing weighs 4.97 grams & 22 mm in size. Farthing grades overall good fair.
 
 
 
W3F993B.  1699 Date in Legend No stop after GVLIELMVS  Unbarred A,s in BRITANNIA, very rare and extremely rare in higher grades. Cooke number 530 & BMC number 585, farthing weighs 4.99 grams & 22 mm in size. Farthing grades obverse fine / reverse good fair.
 
 
 
W3F994. 1699 Date in Exergue R over B in BRITANNIA  extremely rare just one seen on this die. Needs a better example to be sure, farthing weighs 4.51 grams & 21.5 mm in size. Grades poor.
 
 
 
W3F995.  1699 Date in Legend R over B in BRITANNIA  Extremely rare and a super example of this error, i have seen possibly three examples of this farthing. weight is 4.17 grams & 22 mm in size, theres two weak areas on reverse ( top & bottom )  and one on the obverse on Williams hair. Again the A`s in Britannia have different chisel strokes on the bars.
Farthing grades obverse good Very fine / reverse very fine.
 
 
 
W3F996.  1699 Date in Legend Unbarred first A in BRITANNIA & A for V in TERTIVS  Farthing weighs 4.74 grams & 22 mm in size. Extremely rare coin with just one seen with an inverted A in Tertivs, farthing grades almost fine.
 
 
 
W3F997.  1699 Date in legend no stop before date  A clear example with missing stops very clear, farthing weighs 4.04 grams & 22mm in size. Oxford number 282 & Cooke number 527 BMC number 683, i have only seen 5 of these farthings they are extremely rare in any grade. This farthing grades good fair.
 
 
 
WIIIF998   1699 Last A in BRITANNIA un barred & inverted A in GVLIELMVS  The first A in Britannia has a thinness hair line of a bar, farthing weighs 4.58 grams & 22 mm in size. A rare coin and no doubt extremely rare in higher grades, farthing grades about a problem free fair.
 
 
WIIIF999. 1699 Un-barred A`s in BRITANNIA I over V in TERTIVS  with stop on the S. This farthing and Cooke 533 are the only examples i have seen, the die maker must have realized his mistake and just about got the stop in after Tertivs. Farthing weighs 5.42 grams & 22 mm in size and grades Obverse good fine / reverse fine.
 
 
WIIIF9910. 1699 R over B in BRITANNIA Farthing weighs 5.34 grams & 22 mm in size, this example is different to W3F995 and a lesser grade. The year that followed would be an epidemic of  R`s over B`amongst others, i have seen hardly any 1699 date in legend or exergue R over B farthings. Farthing grades fair with the error clear and is on doubt extremely rare.

 

 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.

 
 
 
 
 

1700 Farthings

 
W3F00.  1700 Last A in BRITANNIA  unbarred  R over B in TERTIVS small s in TERTIVS & GVLIELMVS  An absolutely superb example of this R over B in Tertivs, a very rare coin with just two seen of this die type. Theres many variations of this R over B on this date, this one ive seen very few of. Farthing weighs 5.43 grams & 22.5 mm in size, and grades obverse very fine / reverse nearly very fine.
 
 
 
W3F001.  1700 E over I ? & R over B in TERTIVS Large B over small B in Britannia ,small s in TERTIVS & GVLIELMVS   A rare coin indeed, farthing weighs 5.51 grams & 21.5 mm in size. I have seen around ( 8-9 ) thats including the Cooke example 521 which im not entirely sure about the R over E in TERTIVS, it can become very difficult and vastly time consuming to categories this 1700 date as so many look similar. This farthing grades a problem free good fair.
 
 
 W3F001A 1700 E over I ? & R over B in TERTIVS Large B over small B in Britannia small s in TERTIVS & GVLIELMVS A rare coin indeed, farthing weighs 5.28 grams & 21.5 mm in size. I have seen around ( 8-9 ) that's including the Cooke example 521 which im not entirely sure about R over E in TERTIVS, it can become very difficult and vastly time consuming to categories this 1700 date as so many look similar. This farthing grades a problem free fine.
 
 
 
W3F002.  1700 Unbarred A,s in BRITANNIA  A for V in TERTIVS R over B in BRTIANNIA R over B in TERTIVS. Not as clear as the below example, but on a thinner flan. Farthing weighs 3.75 grams & 21 mm in size with a thin flan, again similarities make cataloging hard work and time comsuming.
I have seen only a few of these farthings around 5-7 as my notes can sometimes be conflicting,  Cooke number 512 and a very rare and extremely rare in higher grades.
 
 
 
W3F002A.  1700 Unbarred A`s in BRITANNIA A for V in TERTIVS R over B  in TERTIVS & BRITANNIA  A very rare coin and extremely rare in higher grades. Farthing weighs 5.30 grams & 21.5 mm in size. Again similarities make cataloging hard work and time consuming.
I have seen just a few of these farthings around 5-7 if that, as my notes can sometimes be conflicting with this date variant, along R over B anomaly's. Clear sufaces unlike the above example, Cooke number 512 and a very rare and extremely rare in higher grades.
 
 
 
 
W3F003.  1700 Unbarred A,s in BRITANNIA Scarce coin and quite rare in higher grades, Unbarred A`s is probably the most seen error of this date. Farthing weighs 4.48 grams & 21.5 mm in size, i have seen many these coins. This example grades obverse nearly fine / reverse about fine.
 
 
 
W3F004.  1700 R over B in BRTIANNIA R over B in TERTIVS & Unbarred A in BRITANNIA  Good strong legends with errors very clear. Farthing weighs 5.14 grams & 22 mm in size. Cooke number 508, farthing grades good fine or better.
 
 
 
W3F005.  1700 Small neater letters  A scare coin and quite rare in higher grades, farthing weighs 4.35 grams & almost 22 mm in size. I have seen around 16-20 of these smaller neater legend farthings. Cooke number 519, farthings grades fair.
 
 
W3F006.  1700 ? Date not visible but Unbarred A,s in BRITANNIA R over B in BRITANNIA & probelry TERTIVS Farthing weighs 4.36 grams & 21.5 mm in size and grades reverse fair / obverse good fair.
 
 
 
W3F007.  1700 R over B in TERTIVS & BRITANNIA & Unbarred A`s in BRITANNIA also Inverted A for V in GLLIELMVS Strong legends with errors clear, farthing weighs 5.08 grams & 22 mm in size. A very rare coin with just seen 5 examples seen. Farthing grades reverse good fine / obverse weak center strike other wise nearly fine with strong legends.
 
 
 
W3F008.  1700 RRITANNIA no B in BRITANNIA  I honestly believe this R over B in Britannia & probably Tertivs to be true. A extremely difficult coin to find in any grade. Farthing weighs 5.25 grams & 22 mm in size, this is the sixth example i have seen, but beware ! there is a die which has a broken B which some internet dealers claim is RRITANNIA so please study the above example carefully. Cooke number 503 & BMC number 670.
In my oppinon this R over B ( first R ) in RRITANNIA and R over B in TERTIVS is genuine for this reason, all other examples i have seen lack the detail needed ( please read write up ) but this ones special and the best example i have seen to date. Farthing grades obverse fine / reverse good fine.
 
 
 
W3F009. 1700 Unbarred A,s and R over B  in BRITANNIA R over B in TERTIVS  Farthing weighs 4.79 grams & 22 mm in size and grades obverse good fair / reverse nearly fine.
 
 
 
W3F010.  1700 unbarred A,s and R over B in BRITANNIA  Strong legends and very clear, farthing weighs 5.34 grams & 22 mm in size. Cooke number 501, farthing grades fine with reverse slightly better.
 
 
 
W3F011.  1700 unbarred A,s and R over B in BRITANNIA  Samller neater lettering with errors very clear, farthing weighs 5.12 grams & 22.5 mm in size. Farthing grades reverse good fine / obverse fine.
 
 
 
W3F012.  1700 unbarred A,s and R over B in BRITANNIA  R over I or E  in TERTIVS  An extremely rare coin in any grade, i have seen around five examples none better than good fine. Farthing weighs 5.09 grams & 22 mm in size and grades really good fair.
 
 
 
W3F013.   1700 unbarred A,s and R over B in BRITANNIA  Farrhing weighs 4.68 grams & 22 mm in size, farthing grades poor.
 
 
 
 
W3F014.  1700 No stop After TERTIVS Double dot under kings ear  A good example regardless of attempted piercing, farthing weighs 4.77 grams & 22 mm in size. Farthing grades good fine.
 
 
 
 
W3F015. 1700 Unbarred A`s in Britannia R over B in Britannia & Tertivs this reverse is the same as W3F009 but has a different obverse  Farthing weighs 4.40 grams & 21.5 mm in size. No doubt a metal detecting find by the green patina, farthing grades almost fine.
 
 
 
 
W3F016. 1700 Unbarred A`s in Britannia R over B in Britannia & Tertivs this farthing is the same as  W3F009 and shares its reverse with W3F015 as above. Certainly a very busy reverse die, farthing weighs 4.37 grams & 22 mm in size and grades good fair.
 
 
 
 
 
 W3F0017. 1700 R over B in TERTIVS & BRITANNIA & Unbarred A`s in BRITANNIA also Inverted A for V in GVLIELMVS Farthing weighs 5.08 grams & 22 mm in size with an inverted reverse. This example is the same as W3F007 and a very rare coin with just seen 5 examples seen to date. Farthing has a dark bottle green tone which is no doubt a detecting find, farthing grades a problem free fair with weak areas and is very rare.
 
 
 
 
 W3F0018.  1700 William III Farthing Unbarred A`s & R over B in Britannia Farthing weighs 4.57 grams & 22 mm in size, small 17 or large 00 with possibly an inverted A for V in GVLIELMVS which is more likely to be a die flaw but this would be the only smaller V on this coin. The I in Tertivs is also higher than normal. Apart from the obverse scratch farthing grades a problem free fine.
 
 
 
 
 

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.
 
  
 
 
 
 W3F0020  William III Farthing 1700 R over B in TERTIVS & unbarred A`s in BRITANNIA  Farthing weighs 4.71 grams & just over 22 mm in size, it really does seem endless the amount of variations these R over B 1700 farthings. This example grades a problem free good fair.
 
 
 
 

 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 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`s 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.

 

W3F0024.  William III Farthing 1700  E over I  &  R over B  in TERTIVS Large B over small B in Britannia along with small  `s` in TERTIVS & GVLIELMVS  A rare coin indeed, farthing weighs 5.00 grams & practically 22 mm in size. I have seen around ( 8-9 ) that's including the Cooke example 521 which im not entirely sure about R over E in TERTIVS as to me it looks like R over B.
It can become very difficult and vastly time consuming to categories this 1700 date as many look so similar. This example has not yet developed the die flaw on the right hand side of the T so its probably an earlier strike before the T was re-struck which may have caused damage to the die at bit later on in its life.
When this farthing is held at a slight angle its easy to see the under letter which is an E in TERTIVS as the middle horizontal stick can be seen clearly attached to it with a second letter on top an I. The letter I does have its horizontal top much reduced or even missing, but so do the two other I`s on this obverse being the I in GVLIELMVS & TERTIVS both have there horizontal tops missing or much reduced.
And lastly its almost certain the the E in GVLIELMVS is also under an I as well, the only difference between the two E`s is the first E in GVLIELMVS has its top and bottom horizontal sticks joining up with the middle which can be seen sometimes on 1694 Farthings & Halfpennies which inexperience dealers try to pass for a B thus reading GVLIBLMVS BT TBRTIVS.
Its a funny old world, but with enough clear examples at various stages of die wear eventually its sometimes possible to get to the truth that lies beneath. This farthing grades a problem free fine.

 

 

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.