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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1794 gold half Guinea George III, not scrap
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1790 GEORGE III GOLD FULL GUINEA COIN - GREAT CONDITION - GEORGE 3 GUINEA COIN
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1790 GREAT BRITAIN KING GEORGE III GOLD HALF SPADE GUINEA
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Gold Coin (22ct) 1791 George III Guinea Mounted in Gold Pendant
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1791 GEORGE III 22ct GOLD FULL SPADE GUINEA COIN 8.3 grams
£300.00 (0 Bids)
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1793 King George III Gold Guinea coin
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1769 KING GEORGE III GOLD HALF GUINEA
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gold guinea forgery 1700s
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AH1370 (1950) Saudi Guinea Gold MS66 NGC. Exceptionally nice and high grade.
$499.99
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1797 Great Britain Guinea of George III - NGC XF45 - KM#609, Certified .917 Gold
$600.00 (0 Bids)
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1950 Gold Saudi Arabia Guinea Trade Coins (b452.59)
$899.99
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1975 GOLD FRANKLIN MINT PROOF 100 KINA PAPUA NEW GUINEA GOLD COIN IN MINT Holder
$389.95
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2013 St. Helena 1.05 Pounds Guinea Proof Gold Coin - East India Company - Lion
$500.00
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1774 1/2 GUINEA GOLD GREAT BRITAIN VF30 ANACS
$1,500.00
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1975 GOLD 9.57 GRAMS GEM PROOF 100 KINA PAPUA NEW GUINEA COIN IN CACHET
$61.00 (3 Bids)
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Great Britain: George I gold 1/4 Guinea 1718 AU55 NGC. KM555, S-3638.
$728.88
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