Elizabeth II Halfpennies

A more interesting series than it is often given credit for.   Microvarieties exist for 1953 and 1954, and the four varieties of 1956 halfpenny range from Very Common to downright Rare.  1957 Calm Sea coins are easy enough in low grade but high grade examples are quite sought after.

1953
1954 1955 1956
1+A 2+A 3+A 3+B
3+C 3+D 4+C 4+D
1953 1+A
1953 2+A 1954 3+A 1954 3+B 1955 1956 3+C 1956 3+D
1956 4+D
Alloy: Cu:95.5%, Sn:3%, Zn:1.5%
1957
1958 1959 1960 1962 1963 1964 1965
Calm sea
Rough sea







1957 Calm sea 1957 Rough sea 1958 1959 1960 1962 1963 1964 1965
Alloy: Cu:95.5%, Sn:3%, Zn:1.5% Alloy: Cu:97%, Sn:0.5%, Zn:2.5%
1966 1967

3+J 4+J
1966 1967 3+J 1967 4+J
Alloy: Cu:97%, Sn:0.5%, Zn:2.5%
Diam: 25mm, Wt: 5.7g


1953

Obverse 1 was originally the scarcer of the two 1953 coins, as it was only found in the plastic sets, and 1.3 million of those were issued, compared to the 8.9 million Obverse 2s.  As circulation took its toll, and as more plastic sets were split, Obverse 1 gradually became commoner in high grade.  It is now quite unusual to find an Uncirculated Obverse 2.  Not Rare, by any means, but unusual.

1953 1+A Obverse 1

Low relief portrait

+ between beads
1953 1+A
1953 2+A Obverse 2

Recut portrait

+ at a bead
1953 2+A


1954

Freeman suggests Reverse B is slightly scarcer.  My own findings indicate that it might be a bit more than slightly.

1954 3+A Reverse A

L of HALF at a bead

smaller teeth
1954 3+A
1954 3+B Reverse B

L of HALF between beads

longer border teeth

1954 3+B


1955

1955
1955


1956

Crossover mule consisting of two obverses and two reverses.  By far the commonest is 3+C - any other combination is worth snapping up in anything vaguely approaching VF. 

I cannot show a picture of a 4+C (F.474), because I have never had one.  That's got to tell you something.  Freeman rates them as R12 (1000-2000 extant), and Sealy's addition to Peck rates them as VR.

The pictures do show Obverse 4 and Reverse C though, so you can see what you are looking for.  If you find one, let me know.  I might buy it from you.

1956 3+C 3+C

D of DEI between beads

I of DEI nearly at a bead

L of HALF between beads

F.471 (C10)
Excessively Common
1956 3+C
1956 3+D 3+D

D of DEI between beads

I of DEI nearly at a bead

L of HALF at a bead

F.473 (R5)
Rare
1956 3+D
1956 4+D 4+D

D of DEI at a bead

I of DEI between beads

L of HALF at a bead

F.475 (R3)
Very Scarce
1956 4+D


1957

Note that halfpennies prior to 1957 are Calm Sea, and those after display the Rough Sea.  The vast majority of 1957s are the later variant.  There are a range of sub-varieties of the Calm Sea coin, which are beyond the scope of this reference.  Groom details them nicely.

1957 Calm sea
1957 Calm sea
1957 Rough sea
1957 Rough sea


1958

There are a host of tiny variations of 1958 halfpenny, also beyond my abilities to distinguish, and thus out of scope.  Freeman details them, Peck touches upon them, but David Groom does them properly.

1958 1958


1959

1959
1959


1960

1960
1960


1962

Note the slight alloy change - from this point the metal mix is 97% copper, 0.5% tin, 2.5% zinc.  The bronze coinage prior to this consisted of 95.5% copper, 3% tin, 1.5% zinc.

1962
1962


1963

1963
1963


1964

1964
1964


1965

1965
1965


1966

1966
1966


1967

The Wide Rim halfpenny is sometimes referred to as the 1968 halfpenny.

1967 3+J 3+J

Narrow rim

I of GRATIA directly at a tooth

E-II HP Obv 3

Commoner
1967 3+J
1967 4+J 4+J

Wider rim

I of GRATIA slightly to the left of a tooth

E-II HP Obv 4

Scarcer
1967 4+J

This photograph is Obverse 3 (left) joined to Obverse 4 (right), in order to show the difference in rim width.

It's ever so slight.  Use the pointing to be really sure.
1967 joined