1813 Guinea – ‘Military’ Guinea


The 1813 George III Gold 'Military' Guinea

80,000 coins were specially minted by the British government to pay the army for fighting in the Napoleonic Wars (namely Wellington's army in the Pyrenees), hence the term 'Military'. They were also used to pay local people who would only accept gold as a payment.

Reverse designed by Lewis Pingo.

Obverse is the sixth head of George III also designed by Lewis Pingo.

1813 was the last year the Guinea was minted. In the Great Recoinage of 1816, the Guinea was replaced by the Sovereign as the one pound coin.

These are rare coins and in VF prices start about £2,500-£3,000.

Images by permission of M J Hughes Coins.


Mintage: 80,000 (may include coins in sets)
Minted at The Royal Mint.
Remember 1813 ?
Monarch was George III. Prime Minister was Lord Liverpool (Tory). "Uncle Sam" was first used to refer to U.S. (in the Troy Post of New York). Americans under General Pike capture Toronto. British invade Plattsburgh, New York. Napoleonic Wars as Prussia declares war on France. Battle at Leipzig (Napoleon vs Prussia, Austria and Russia). Peninsular War, Battle of Vitoria when British, Spanish, and Portuguese forces under Wellington defeats a French force under Joseph Bonaparte. The British government removed the British East India Company’s monopoly of trade with India. Last striking of Guinea coins, to pay Wellington's army in the Pyrenees. Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is published anonymously in London. 1813 can be written as MDCCCXIII.
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:
1813  George  III  military guinea  #21
1813 George III military guinea #21
£ 2,100.00
KING GEORGE III 200TH ANNIVERSARY PRESTIGE HERITAGE GOLD GUINEA SET 1761 - 1813
KING GEORGE III 200TH ANNIVERSARY PRESTIGE HERITAGE GOLD GUINEA SET 1761 - 1813
£ 2,400.00
GEORGE III 1813 MILITARY GUINEA HM GOLD ON SILVER PROOF - mint error EIDEI - coa
GEORGE III 1813 MILITARY GUINEA HM GOLD ON SILVER PROOF - mint error EIDEI - coa
£ 55.95
GREAT BRITAIN. George III 1813 AV Half-Guinea. PCGS MS64 SCBC-3737: ESC-859
GREAT BRITAIN. George III 1813 AV Half-Guinea. PCGS MS64 SCBC-3737: ESC-859
£ 3,162.02
BOSTON BANK Lincolnshire Provincial Banknote One Guinea 1813 Outing 225a
BOSTON BANK Lincolnshire Provincial Banknote One Guinea 1813 Outing 225a
£ 185.00
GREAT BRITAIN. George III 1813 AV "Military" Guinea. PCGS MS64 S-373 Ex. Terner
GREAT BRITAIN. George III 1813 AV "Military" Guinea. PCGS MS64 S-373 Ex. Terner
£ 25,552.71
1813 Guinea KING GEORGE III 6th portrait
1813 Guinea KING GEORGE III 6th portrait
£ 19.20
GEORGE III 1813 MILITARY GUINEA HM GOLD ON SILVER PROOF - mint error EIDEI coa
GEORGE III 1813 MILITARY GUINEA HM GOLD ON SILVER PROOF - mint error EIDEI coa
£ 62.95

List of items on: