Celebrating the 350th Anniversary of the Guinea

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Specifications

Issued 2013
Diameter 28.4mm
Weight 12g
Composition Outer: nickel-brass 76% copper, 4% nickel, 20% zinc
Composition Inner: Cupro-nickel 75% copper, 25% nickel
Obverse Ian Rank-Broadley
Reverse Anthony Smith
Edge Milled
Inscription What is a guinea? 'Tis a splendid thing
Mintage 2,990,000
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Design details:


Over 200 years have passed since the guinea was last struck, but the romance of the coin endures. Steeped in mystique, from its fabled one pound and one shilling value to its association with the gentleman, gentility and good taste, the guinea was the principal gold coin of Britain for centuries. In 2013, for the first time ever, we celebrated one coin with another: the 2013 'Anniversary of the Golden Guinea' £2 coin.

The inscription ‘Anniversary of the Golden Guinea’ surrounds the reverse design of this £2 coin by sculptor Anthony Smith, who has recreated one of the most famous guinea designs: a shield with the arms of King George III, known as the Spade Guinea. It was nicknamed for the shape of its shield that so resembled the humble garden tool – the Spade Guinea would become hugely popular, rumoured to be sought after by the country set and often reproduced in brass even a hundred years later. The edge of the coin is finished with a tribute from contemporary writer, Stephen Kemble, ‘What is a guinea? ‘Tis a splendid thing.’
 

text source and credit the Royal Mint