The second part of our series on the life of Queen Anne looks into the events during the early years of her reign. If you missed part one you can read it here.
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 striking of 2013 UK Guinea £2 precious metal coins has begun, and they are available to pre-order now from The Royal Mint website.
2013 UK Guinea £2 Gold Proof
In 1663 a new gold pound coin was struck. Alongside Charles II’s portrait, the coin often bore a small elephant mark: the mark of the Africa Company. This inspired the coin’s name – the guinea, after the Guinea Coast that supplied gold to The Royal Mint. Minted in 22 carat gold, the same used to strike the 2013 £2 coin.
Sculptor Anthony Smith has reinvented one of the most recognised guineas: the spade-guinea. Struck for just 13 years from 1827, the coin bore a crowned shield with the Royal Arms of George III that was said to resemble a spade.
The guinea is a firm favourite with collectors, who will be excited to add this piece of its history to their collections. Particularly coveted will be this double thickness Piedfort £2 coin, struck in sterling silver and rimmed with fine gold as a most impressive tribute to one of the world’s most famous coins.
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. Continue reading →