George III (1760-1820) halfpenny, 1775.
Found at Kelso Abbey, this coin shows a design typical of earlier coins from the Tower Mint, with the king wearing armour on the obverse and Britannia holding a spear and olive branch on the reverse.
The inscription is at legend on both sides and reads ' GEORGIVS. III.. REX' on the obverse. This translate as: 'King George III'. The reverse quotes ' BRITAN NIA’, that is 'Britain', with the date below, 1775.
During King George III's reign, halfpennies were minted infrequently. The shortage of small change was giving the country big problems at the time. Allegedly by 1780, only 8% of copper coins in circulation were genuine regal coins. The Royal Mint contracted Matthew Boulton to produce copper coinage in 1797 and the minting of halfpennies was outsourced to Birmingham to combat counterfeiting. It is said the first halfpenny was produced during the reign of Edward I in the 1200's and was then abandoned in 1969 during the change to the decimal coinage.