The British currency has come a long way since it was first developed in 60-80AD. From simple pieces of metal hammered flat by hand to the ‘indestructible’ banknotes of today, the technique of making the currency has improved vastly in the last few centuries.
In this mini-series of four articles, we will look at coins from 900AD up to the 2022 Platinum Jubilee edition coins. This time, we will focus on the George III Gold Third Guinea.
This coin was made in the Georgian era during the reign of George III – otherwise known as the Regency period due to George IV ruling as Prince Regent for the last few years of George III’s reign.
George III is known for his eccentric ways and was branded as being ‘mad’ or ‘crazy’. He had 15(!) children with his wife, Charlotte, and ruled for 60 years.
His ‘madness’ came about after two significant periods of ill health; however, historians believe that he may have suffered from a hereditary disease called porphyria that caused symptoms of ‘madness’.
He was also the last ‘King of America’ after the American colonies broke away and claimed independence from Britain.
The third guinea was produced exclusively for George III by the Royal Mint and was only made between 1797-1813. They are the last coins with George III on as his son took over in 1811. It was known as a seven-shilling piece at the time.
It was produced by the Royal Mint, is made of gold, and has a crown with the date of production and a Latin inscription on the front, and a portrait of George III and his name engraved on the back.
The coin was worth 1/3 of a guinea, or seven shillings (35p in today’s currency, or £15.43 with inflation). Nowadays, the coin is worth around £200-£400 depending on the quality and the year it was made.
The final part of this mini-series will be about the newly minted 2022 set of coins produced especially for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
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