1797 Half-Guinea – Spade – George III


1797 Half-Guinea - Spade Reverse - George III

The Reverse, designed by Lewis Pingo (1743-1830), shows the Spade design. This design was used between 1787 and 1800 inclusive.

The inscription is grandiose and highlights a country at the height of power: 'M·B·F·ET·H·REX·F·D·B·ET·L·D·S·R·I·A·T·ET·E' meaning "King of Great Britain, France and Ireland; Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg, High Treasurer and Elector of the Holy Roman Empire". Date below.

Main specifications:
  • Alloy: 22 Carat Gold
  • Weight: 4.18 g
  • Diameter: 20.00mm
  • Alignment: ^^
The Obverse shows the fifth head portrait of King George III, also designed by Lewis Pingo.

In Fine condition prices start about £200 going up to over £700 in EF. Always buy from reputable dealers, there are plenty of 'replicas' around.

Images used by permission of The Royal Mint


Mintage: Not known
Minted at The Royal Mint.
Remember 1797 ?
Monarch is King George III. Prime Minister is William Pitt the Younger (Tory). US President is George Washington (no political party); on 4th March it is John Adams (F-Massachusetts). The copper "Cartwheel" twopence coins pressed, for the only time, at Boulton and Watt's Soho Mint, Birmingham. Bank of England notes are inconvertible to gold, it is the 'Restrictive Period'. The Bank issues the first one-pound and two-pound notes (the £1 remains in issue until 11 March 1988). Horatio Nelson is Knighted.
George III (1760-1820)
Born on 4 June 1738 to Frederick, Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha in the house of Hanover, George III reigned for over 59 years.

George had 15 children - nine sons and six daughters. In the latter part of his life George suffered from a mental illness and his son George became Prince Regent from 1811-1820 and ruled on his behalf. On George III's death, the Prince Regent became George IV.

Note the latin spelling of George on his coins: Georgivs.
General Description: Guineas

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.

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.

The design of gold guinea changed dramatically over the years, from depictions of crowned cruciform shields to the ‘Spade’ shaped crowned shields of arms.

In the Great Recoinage of 1816 the Guinea was replaced by the Pound and the Sovereign became the gold coin in use. The last guinea was issued during the reign of King George III in 1813. That particular coin is known as a ‘Military’ guinea, as it was specially struck to pay British troops at the time of the Napoleonic Wars.

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.

Millions of gold guineas were minted and widely circulated, so often turn up in fine to very fine condition. As with all coin types, some years are much rarer than others, such as the 1761 guinea (as it was the first guinea minted during the reign of King George III).

Which Mint: The Royal Mint
The Royal Mint is the designated place for the UK to mint coins. It dates back well over 1000 years and is a Government-owned company. 

Formed in the reign of Alfred the Great about the year 886, during the period 1279-1812 it was generally referred to as The Tower Mint as it was housed at the Tower of London. The Master of The Royal Mint has included famous figures such as Sir Isaac Newton.

Since 2010 it has operated as Royal Mint Ltd, a company owned by HM Treasury, under an exclusive contract to supply all coinage for the UK although it also produces medals and coins for other countries. It is currently located at Llantrisant, Wales.

There is also an on-line shop at The Royal Mint Shop.
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
The United Kingdom (UK) is the Union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is often refered to as Great Britain (GBR). It has a long, rich history.

The orignal coinage was Pounds, Shillings and Pence but since decimalisation on 15 February 1971, it is £1 = 100p, that is One Pound = 100 pence. The coinage of the UK is also a long history, the Royal Mint being established as long ago as 886AD when coins were hammered. Today there is perhaps 30 billion coins in circulation, and many (numismatic) collectors coins and sets are issued frequently in gold, silver and other metals.
If you don't see a coin in the list below try the Guineas page on eBay UK

List of items on:

UK On eBay UK:
1804 Half Guinea - George III 3rd - Some Scratches But A Lovely Example
1804 Half Guinea - George III 3rd - Some Scratches But A Lovely Example
£ 295.00
1802 George III GOLD Half Guinea, Extremely Fine Quality —revised—
1802 George III GOLD Half Guinea, Extremely Fine Quality —revised—
£ 950.00
1794 Half Guinea - George III 3rd - Ex Mount But With Great Detail As Pictured
1794 Half Guinea - George III 3rd - Ex Mount But With Great Detail As Pictured
£ 395.00
GEORGE III SPADE HALF GUINEA BRASS TOKEN - Nice Grade - FREE POSTAGE
GEORGE III SPADE HALF GUINEA BRASS TOKEN - Nice Grade - FREE POSTAGE
£ 4.49
1769 GEORGE III GOLD HALF GUINEA COIN IN VERY FINE CONDITION
1769 GEORGE III GOLD HALF GUINEA COIN IN VERY FINE CONDITION
£ 650.00
For a George III Gold Guinea & Half Guinea coin weight .
For a George III Gold Guinea & Half Guinea coin weight .
£ 62.00
George III gaming tokens half guinea spade Good Old Days 1788 [22104]
George III gaming tokens half guinea spade Good Old Days 1788 [22104]
£ 6.97
3 George III 1788 jeton Half Guinea Tokens.In Memory Of The Good Old days c19c
3 George III 1788 jeton Half Guinea Tokens.In Memory Of The Good Old days c19c
£ 29.99

List of items on: