Ralph B. writes: I found this coin with the following information on it. The front has a head of a man with, gulielmus iiii dei gratia 1834. The back has a soldier sitting down with a fork in his left hand and supporting a shield with his right hand with britanniar rex fid def. What type of coin is this? Thank you. Ralph
You have a one of three Great Britain minors. The 1834 issues of King William IV show this design on the bronze penny (about US 1/2 dollar size), halfpenny (about quarter size) and farthing (about nickel size). These coins show the bust of William IV on the obverse facing right with the Latin legend around: GULIELMUS IIII DEI GRATIA (William IV by the grace of G-d). The abbreviated legend continues on the reverse: BRITANNIAR. REX. FID. DEF. (King of the Britains, Defender of the Faith).
The female figure of Britannia is seated facing right, her right hand on a shield on which is the cross of Britain and in her left hand a trident (symbol of Neptune, god of the sea).
In exergue (under the ground line) is a rose, flower of Great Britain. William IV had one of the shortest reigns in English History, only seven years, 1830-1837. His niece Victoria, succeeded him, and her reign became the longest in British History (1837 -1901).