The Guinea

1813 George III Gold 'Military' Guinea Obverse. Image: M J Hughes Coins
1813 George III Gold 'Military' Guinea Obverse. Image: M J Hughes Coins
1813 George III Gold ‘Military’ Guinea Obverse. Image: M J Hughes Coins

The Guinea is a famous British gold coin minted between 1663 and 1814. The coin was originally created as a one pound coin (20 shillings) but is better known as being worth One Pound and One Shilling (21 shillings).

After the English Civil War, King Charles II introduced new coinage. A gold coin, approximately a quarter of an ounce, was issued and for the first time it was not hammered. Made by machine using gold from the Guinea Coast of West Africa the coin probably became the most important coin of the realm.

1813 George III Gold 'Military' Guinea Reverse. Image: M J Hughes Coins
1813 George III Gold ‘Military’ Guinea Reverse. Image: M J Hughes Coins

Originally 20 shillings, the coin actually fluctuated with the gold price, at times being as high as 30 shillings. In 1717 the Guinea became fixed at 21 shillings (in today’s money that is £1.05). Other coins of the family were also minted, such as half-guinea, two-guinea and five-guinea.

In the Great Recoinage of 1816 the Guinea was replaced by the Pound and the Sovereign became the gold coin in use. Long after the Guinea was retired the name continued to be used, especially for prestige purchases intended for the more wealthy. Even now racehorses are still sold in Guineas (the auctioneer traditionally taking the 5p as commission).

Guineas are 25mm in diameter, weigh about 8.38g and are 22 carat gold (91.6%). Prior to 1717 they weighed slightly less (around 8.3g) and were made of 91.34% gold.


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The King George III Gold Guinea Spade Type 1789.
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EXT RARE GEORGE II 1732 E.I.C 22 CT GOLD PLATED ONE GUINEA COIN IN EF
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10 OGDENS GUINEA GOLD CARDS: HISTORICAL FIGURES
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10 OGDENS GUINEA GOLD CARDS ACTRESSES (UNNUMBERED)
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NICE RARE GEORGE II 1751 22 CT GOLD PLATED ONE GUINEA COIN IN UNC
£3.69
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George III Third Guinea Gold Coin Pendant 1800's
£7.72 (1 Bid)
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King George 3 Gold 'Rose' Guinea 1785
£261.00 (4 Bids)
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Ogdens Guinea Gold - Chinese Celebrities circa 1900 - Emperor etc
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SAUDI ARABIA GOLD GUINEA 7.99 g. 0.2354 oz 0.917 gold
$379.50
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George III Third Guinea Gold Coin Pendant 1800's
$9.99 (1 Bid)
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Great Britain 1695 William III Gold Guinea NGC AU-53 UNDERGRADED!!
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BRITAIN 1829 ROYAL MINT GOLD MEDAL-BY WYON-8 GUINEAS WEIGHT-CHOICE W/ CASE-RRRR
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Great Britain 1786 George III gold Guinea NGC MS-63 TOP GRADE!!
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Great Britain 1745 George II gold Guinea PCGS XF Details
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AUSTRALIA 2010 DISCOVER AUSTRALIA FRILLED NECK LIZARD 1/20 OZ .9999 GOLD PROOF
$59.02 (12 Bids)
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1701 England Gold 1/2 Guinea NGC Graded XF45. Lot#2112 Worth $4200.00 @ XF40
$3,500.00 (0 Bids)
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