The government has decided to store the coin piece complying with a consultation, regardless of the suggestion from a inspection that six in 10 of UK 1p and 2p coins are only offered once prior to being placed in a seasoned or discarded.

You are watching: How much is a farthing worth today

One discussion for the tap the money of the 1p piece, increased in the federal government consultation ~ above the subject, is the its value has been falling, an interpretation that it's coming to be less helpful compared through the price of producing and distributing it.

This led the Reality check team to wonder if it is in reality the least beneficial British coin there has ever before been.

And that consequently led united state to Queen Anne, who pertained to the brothers throne in 1702 pursuing greater political integration between England and also Scotland. 5 years later, short article 16 the the plot of Union claimed that because that the first time every of great Britain would have actually the same money - so that seems like a an excellent starting point for british coins.


At the time there were 240 pence to the lb - that was adjusted in 1971 as soon as the currency went decimal, through 100 pence to the pound, together it is today.

If you put the value into the bank of England's inflation calculator, it turns out that a 4 minutes 1 of a penny in 1707 to be worth about 25p in 2018 money.

Comparisons of values over such a long duration are somewhat challenging to do, through considerable transforms in the sorts of things people were purchase then and also now, however the difference is large enough to be able to say through confidence the you can buy more with a farthing in the early 18th Century than you can with a penny today.

The farthing to be the the smallest coin until 1960, except for a 27 year period in the mid-19th Century under Queen Victoria, as soon as there to be a half farthing.



After the farthing was withdrawn in 1960, the halfpenny was the lowest denomination coin until its demise in the run-up to decimalisation.

The pre-decimal penny was the lowest value coin because that a couple of years till 1971, once the decimal halfpenny take it over.

The halfpenny was lastly withdrawn in 1984 under Margaret Thatcher's government, when it was worth 1.6p in 2018 money, 60% much more than a penny piece is today.

Image source, royal Mint

So we have the right to conclude that since at the very least 1707, Britain has not had actually a coin worth much less than the current 1p piece.

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Nonetheless, the government chose to save the 1p and also 2p coins, note their historical and social importance, pertains to that prices might go up if prices to be rounded as much as the nearest 5p and "a variety of responses from the seaside amusement industry", which didn't want to lose the "2p push machine".