The gold guinea was undoubtedly the major British coin of the eighteenth century, and it brought the end to handmade coinage in Britain. It was born in 1663, the aftermath of the English Civil War when the republican issues were replaced with a more impressive coinage bearing the portrait of the newly restored King Charles II. The ‘Guinea’ takes its name from the African country of Guinea where the gold used to make the coins was sourced. Originally the value of the Guinea was twenty shillings, but due to fluctuations in the value of gold and silver, this value changed, at a time to as high as thirty shillings. From 1717 until 1816 its value was fixed at twenty-one shillings. In the great recoinage of 1816, the guinea was replaced by the pound as the major unit of currency, and in coinage by the sovereign. However, to this day guineas are still used to sell horses.
Very Fine Condition