Proof 1/2 Quarts, Issued by Gibraltar
Minted by Royal Mint, London
The date of production of this coin is given as 1841 (Pridmore) and 1861 (Hocking) but could be as late as 1878 if prepared for display by the Australian Branch Mints at the 1879 and 1880 International Exhibitions.
Young head of the Queen facing left wearing ornamented band in her hair; around, VICTORIA D: G: BRITANNIAR: REGINA F: D:
Castle of three towers; key in exergue below centre tower; around above, GIBRALTAR; around in exergue, HALF QUART
The name Gibraltar is derived from Gebel Tarik (hill of Tarek) so named after Tarik ibn Zeyed who captured the site in AD 711. The denominations of the coins are quarts after the Spanish copper coin cuarto which was current in Gibraltar at about 4 to the British penny.
The undated 1/2 quart was not struck for circulation, it's obverse die is either that of a Maundy groat, Hocking who classifies it as a pattern and associates it with the 1861 pattern 1 and 2 quarts, or a 1/2 farthing, Pridmore who associates it with the 1841 proof 1 and 2 quart pieces.
However it could also be a mule piece struck for Exhibitions only. The Melbourne Museum holds a half farthing proof of 1868 with die weaknesses in the lettering almost exactly the same as on this 1/2 quart which was supplied from London to be exhibitied by the Sydney Mint at the 1879-80 International Exhibition and another supplied to Melbourne Mint for the 1880 International Exhibition. The Museum's 1879 Maundy penny also displays similar weaknesses and it too was supplied for 1880 International Exhibition by the Royal Mint, London.
This coin was exhibited at the 1879-80 Sydney International Exhibitions by the Sydney Mint. When that mint was closed in 1926 it was sold to Dr. William Howat who donated it (with the other Sydney Mint coins he obtained) to the National Gallery of Victoria soon after returning to Melbourne.
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Dr William Howat, 15 Mar 1976
Type of item
18 mm (Outside Diameter), 2.41 g (Weight)
KM#1 Pridmore 9 Hocking 3038-9
[Book] Bruce, Colin R. 2006. Standard Catalogue of World Coins 1801 - 1900.
[Book] Pridmore, Fred. 1960. The Coins of the British Commonwealth of Nations Part 1, European Territories., 63 Pages
[Book] Hocking, William J. 1906. Catalogue of the Coins, Tokens, Medals, Dies and Seals in the Museum of the Royal Mint., 246-247 Pages