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Obverse of 1772 George III Half Penny
Obverse of 1772 George III Halfpenny

Reverse of 1772 George III Half Penny
Reverse of 1772 George III Halfpenny

1772 George III Halfpenny
The copper half penny was introduced during the Reign of Charles II (1660-1684) to supply demand for legal-tender small change. In spite of this, the Royal Mint was often reluctant to strike these coins because they were difficult to strike profitably.
By the time George III came to the throne in 1760, the Royal Mint's equipment was becoming decrepit and they become even more reluctant to mint low-value coins with their outdated and ill-used machinery. Between 1775 and 1799, no regal half-pennies were minted at all, despite an increasing need for coinage to pay workers wages due the industrial revolution taking place at the time. In the face of government indifference and Royal Mint incompetance, merchants and other 'entrepreneurs' resorted to supplying the need for small change with forgeries and unofficial tokens, which by the 1790s, outnumbered the regal issues then in circulation by a considerable margin.

The Half-Penny of 1799 was not struck by the Royal Mint, but under contract by Matthew Boulton at the Soho Mint in Birmingham. Further issues were produced in 1806 and 1807, but it was not until 1825, under the reign of George IV, that half-pennies issued by the Royal Mint started to be issued again on a reasonably regular basis, using minting equipment that had been purchased from Boulton's Soho Manufactory.

Draped and laureate bust of George III facing left.

The reverse features Britannia, seated left, holding a branch and spear, with a beehive to the left, her left arm rests on a Union Flag decorated shield.
The legend reads:-

Availability and Prices
DateGradeAvailablePrice £Price $
1772GEF  Yes£395£$Ask

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