We sell a wide range of gold Guineas; a classic British coin that has become a favourite with collectors, and at 22 carat purity they are very valuable coins in metal alone. These quarter ounce gold coins are considered a rarity and carry a sizeable collectors value due to their age, having been produced between 1663 and 1814.
The Guinea coin is a British gold currency coin that was minted for several centuries before being replaced by the pound. It weighs roughly one quarter of a troy ounce, and is struck from 22 carat gold. This was the traditional purity used for circulating currency as 24 carat would be too soft for day to day commerce. The size and purity makes the Guinea coin very similar to the gold Sovereigns produced by The Royal Mint to this day.
These coins played a huge role in British history prior to the industrial revolution and expansion of the British Empire. As well as the full coin, half, quarter and even third Guineas were produced.
The name 'Guinea' comes from West Africa, where the gold was sourced during British colonialism to produce these coins. The Gold Coast (now modern day Ghana), as well as neighbouring nations Togo and Guinea itself, were all sources of gold for the production of these coins.
The size of a Guinea varies quite a lot per coin, despite the fact that Guineas were the first machine-struck coin. Some gold Guineas are as small as 16mm in diameter, while other later ones are around 24 to 25mm. The official valuation of the time varied too, but generally a Guinea was worth 21 shillings (1717 to 1816).
Many monarchs featured on Guineas over the years, including Charles II, James II, Mary II & William of Orange, William III of Orange on his own after Mary’s death, Queen Anne, George I, George II, and finally George III. After 151 years the Guinea was phased out during the Great Recoinage in 1817 in favour of gold Sovereigns the new Pound coin.