Traditionally ‘Burns Night Suppers’ are held all over the UK on or around the 25th January to celebrate the life and work of The Bard, Robert Burns. The day is often referred to as Burns Night or Robert Burns Day and falls on the day of his birth; 25th January 1759. 2014 marks the 255th Anniversary of Burns’ birth and the 211th Anniversary of the Burns Night we celebrate today. During his short life, he was prolific in his poetry and writing, and also in his fathering of 14 children with 6 different mothers! While he is well known for his writing, a possibly less well-known and unlikely fact is that he was employed as a Tax Inspector from 1789 until his death in 1796, at only 37 years old. A particularly tragic fact is that his wife gave birth to their last child on the day of his funeral.
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 written in 2013. The UK Guinea £2 will eventually be found in circulation, but for now only commemorative versions are available.
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.
View the 2013 UK Guinea £2 Gold Proof
2013 UK Guinea £2 Silver Proof 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.
View the 2013 UK Guinea £2 Silver Proof
2013 UK Guinea £2 Silver Proof Piedfort
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.
View the 2013 UK Guinea £2 Silver Piedfort Proof
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.