Victoria Fourpence & Groat Coins (1837-1901)
Groat is another name used to describe an old English coin with a value of fourpence, but the name has also been used to describe a wide variety of thick, large coins throughout English and European history, so the title Groat, on its own, cannot be relied upon to find Victorian fourpence pieces.
Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter and on this day in the UK, the Monarch historically distributes specially minted coins. Maundy Groats, when referring to Victorian fourpence pieces, have a crowned 4 on the reverse in a wreath of leaves.
These are the more typical fourpence pieces and the reverse boasts a picture of the seated Brittania, the words Four Pence and the date at the bottom.
Victorian Fourpence Heads
On the front face of a fourpence piece is a bust of the monarch at the time of issue. Victorian Fourpences come in three varieties: an old head, a Jubilee head and a young head. Coins depicting a young Queen Victoria were minted from 1838 to 1887, the Jubilee head was produced between 1888 and 1892 and the old head from 1893 to 1901. This is a quick and basic first reference to the age of a coin if the date is not clear in the image shown.
As with any coin, the value of the Victorian Fourpence is determined by the age and the overall condition. Wear and tear will result in scratches and damage to the faces of the coin and these will depreciate the value. Some coins have special commemorative features that increase their worth, but the fourpence piece, with the exception of the few variations already described, remained consistent in appearance throughout the Victorian era. Proof coins (early samples of a coin issue used for checking dies) are significantly higher in value and were issued in 1838, 1839 and 1853.