The legacy of the Guinea today
The Guinea is remembered for the part it played in international commerce, of which Great Britain was at the forefront of on nearly every continent during its height of worldwide trade. A symbol of Britain’s rising colonial power, the Guinea was recognised and accepted throughout the world due to its reputation of purity and reliability.
Today, the “Guinea” denomination is still utilised in the world of horse trading and racing with prestigious prizes and stakes being termed in “Guineas” in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia.
2016 marks the 200th anniversary of the end of the Guinea era. This bicentenary issue of five gold proof coins is a celebration of this iconic coin, paying homage to the incredible craftsmanship and designs found on the last circulating Guineas.
The East India Company under the authority of the Government of St. Helena issues this series of coins celebrating the 200th anniversary of the end of the Guinea era. Whilst the designs are inspired by the last Guinea coins to circulate as coinage in Britain, the 2016 interpretation of their designs and the quality of minting, utilising techniques simply not possible 200 years ago, has resulted in a series of Guineas unlike any minted before.
The series features a number of important coin firsts including: – The First Five and Third Guinea coin types to be issued in the reign of Queen Elizabeth II – The first time a special provenance mark has featured under the effigy of Her Majesty The Queen – Angular ‘rope’ milling to the One, Half, Third and Quarter Guinea – “An ornament and a safe guard” edge lettering to the majestic Five Guinea