The obverse of the coin features the crowned bust of Queen Victoria facing left and wearing a widows's veil in mourning for her husband Prince Albert - her last official effigy (by Sir Thomas Brock), known also as the Veiled Head or Old Head.
The veil of a widow falls over the back of her crown; she wears a pearl necklace and a pendant; on the left lapel of the mantle, exhibited full-face, is the ribbon and Star of the Garter, part of the outer edge of which is covered by the veil.
In the field below the bust in small letters are the artist's initials T.B..
Around, the monarch's legend: VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·. Translated from Latin: Victoria, by the Grace of God, of the Britains Queen, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India.
The reverse of the coin shows, within a beaded border, the figure of Britannia - the female personification of Great Britain - seated facing right, wearing a crested Corinthian helmet pushed back to reveal her face and a flowing dress, resting her right hand on a shield bearing the combined crosses of the Union Flag, and holding a trident in her left hand.
In the background, sea waves.
Around left and right, the value and denomination ONE PENNY.
In exergue, the date 1896.