Anne ascended the throne on 8th March 1702 following the death of her unpopular brother-in-law, William of Orange. He had shared the throne with Anne’s sister Mary since 1689, and had inherited it for life following Mary’s death in 1694. He and Mary had no children so Anne was the undisputed heiress to the throne following his death in 1702. In contrast to many Kings and Queens before her, Anne came to the throne peacefully…
The Guinea was first struck in the reign of George III, who was himself an incredibly important historical figure, being the first King to rule over the newly created United Kingdom in 1810. We have written extensively about the history of the Guinea, but a new chapter in the story of this coin is being … Read more
Horse racing is often described as ‘the sport of kings’, but did you know that coin collecting is called ‘the hobby of kings’?
This year marks 200 years of the horse races most commonly and most closely connected to a Royal Mint coin, The 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.
From the Restoration of the monarchy to the Napoleonic Wars, the guinea was the coin that characterised an increasingly wealthy Britain. It was one of the most popular British coins for 150 years, during which Britain became the world’s major colonial power.
Due to Britain’s influence on the international stage, the guinea became known all over the world, occupying the position of universal acceptance that the dollar occupies today. The guinea was, for almost 150 years, the standard gold coin of the British currency. It therefore stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Sovereign as one of the greatest British coins in history.
The guinea was the major coin of the eighteenth century, but during the long war with France the banks began to issue notes in place of coins.
The issuing of bank notes helped Britain to pay for its long war, but it caused inflation and national insecurity and a spate of forgeries took hold. You can view many of the old records of cases brought at the time on The Old Bailey website.
Following the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815 the decision was taken to undertake a ‘great reform of the coinage’. Gold was adopted as the ‘sole Standard Measure of Value’ and bank notes were taken out of use.