2020 was an important anniversary. As we celebrate 200 years since the end of King George III reign, some of the original coins of his reign – his legacy – are available to you through our unmatched heritage coin services.
He is the ONLY monarch to produce coins in both Guinea and Sovereign coinages – in fact, Britain went onto the Gold Standard during his reign. Only a few monarchs have had reigns as significant as this in the history of British coinage. Queen Elizabeth II is another – being the only predecimal and decimal monarch.
If the sovereign was the coin of the British Empire, then the guinea was the coin on which that empire was built! These are Britain’s two most important and influential coinages. “This was the age of Nelson and Wellington, of privateers and buccaneers. Of the Africa Company, the East India Company and the South Seas Company.” Guinea’s belong to a time when there was as much expansion in Bristol, Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester as there was in London. Britain was growing, building, conquering and colonising the world – and our coinage made it all possible.
The guinea remains a coin of great prestige. It was Britain’s first truly global coin, being used as far afield as India and the Americas. During its era you were just as likely to see a guinea in Bombay, Bogota or Boston as you were in Birmingham or Bolton.
Its prestige lasted way beyond the end of the coinage itself in 1816: although replaced by the sovereign it continued as a unit of account in auctions and legal matters, as well as in prices for property and works of art into the 20th century. The guinea lives on even today, enshrined in the names of some of the world’s most famous horse races “The Thousand Guineas” for example.
Sovereigns, which we all know are scarce and rare today, outnumber guineas almost 9:1. It’s worth noting that George III’s sovereigns (and half sovereign) are the SMALLEST production of ALL monarchs who have produced circulation coins. Guineas were minted from ‘old gold’ – sovereigns were ‘new gold’. However, the guineas we have today had to have survived the re-coinage when all were called in. These are an integral part of our history – the gold upon which Britain as we know it today, was built.
This set includes:
- The King George III Rose Guinea – so named because the coat of arms resembles a rose. It was minted between 1761-1786. These are guineas that fought the US War of Independence. Most were removed from circulation and melted down over fears of forgeries and sub standard coins coming in.
- The King George III Spade design Half Guinea – so named because the coat of arms resembles a shovel. This is the distinctive design that replaced the Rose series. The design was a reflection of the Industrial Revolution taking place in Britain at that time making this coin a link with one of the greatest eras in our economic history
- The King George III Military design Half Guinea so named because the guineas of 1813 were minted for the Duke of Wellington. Minted 1804-1813. This was the very last design to appear on Britain’s guinea coinage (it appeared on the guinea, and the half guinea).
Comes in a luxury presentation box and a certificate of authenticity.