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1877 British Penny Varieties

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In 1874 the portrait of Queen Victoria used on British bronze coins was updated to show a more aged queen - the design updates saw a number of iterations to the obverse and reverse dies, especially on the pennies. By the end of 1875 the designs had become reasonably settled, though small design variations continued until 1877 before settling for a few years.

In 1877 the penny was struck with two different reverse dies - the rare narrow date and the common wide date. Freeman reported that the narrow date die had previosuly been used in 1874 and 1875 though it is in fact a distinct die.

1877 British penny die pairings
Freeman Die PairingGouby Die PairingNotesReference
8+HL+jaNarrow date - rareFreeman 90
8+JL+kWide date - commonFreeman 91

In his survey of 461 1877-dated pennies, Freeman found 1 narrow date coin and 460 wide date coins (p37, Freeman, The Victorian Bronze Penny (1860 - 1901), 1966).