Medieval English Hammered Farthings: Henry VIII - Intro.

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This online guide is designed to help

  • Metal Detector enthusiasts
  • Museum Curators
  • Coin Dealers & Collectors
accurately identify and classify their English Hammered Farthings.


Henry VII accumulated an enormous wealth and it took Henry VIII many years to squander it. Only when his resources were nearly depleted did Henry VIII seek easy solutions to guarding English coinage against competitive foreign currencies - the debasement of his coinage. Gold was reduced to 0.83 fineness and silver eventually to 0.33 fineness. One major design change was the introduction of the portcullis/rose farthing as a means of differentiating between the farthing and the diminitive half-penny. The Hammered Silver Farthings of Henry VIII are all extremely rare.

Did you know?

The Tudors loved puns. The Portcullis was introduced on Tudor coins because a portcullis is a two-door (i.e. a second door).

Coins of this reign were minted in two places, which can be identified by the "Catherine Wheel" mintmark on the reverse of each coin:

To find out more about the farthing types for each mint, click on the mint name above.

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