Great Britain (1660-62) unite Fr-275

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Heritage sale 3030, lot 24105
Great Britain c1660 unite rev H3030-24105.jpg

This specimen was lot 24105 in Heritage sale 3030 (New York, January 2014), where it sold for $8,225. The catalog description[1] noted, "Charles II hammered gold Unite ND, of 20 Shillings, struck 1660-62, 1st Issue without mark of value, Crown mm, AU Details 'Repaired' NGC, an exceptional example struck on a full broad flan with an excellent portrait, fairly sharp crowned oval shield on reverse, much of the obverse raised rim showing, the rim on reverse displaying full beading and extra wide, in the fields some indistinct tooling and signs of being lightly cleaned -- any yet, better than most of the pieces we can trace coming to market in recent years. Despite its faults, this coin, some 352 years old, offers plenty of eye-appeal as the first gold coinage of the Restoration." Oliver Cromwell's death in 1659 left a leadership vacuum which was quickly filled by inviting prince Charles back from exile to become Charles II. The first series of gold coins of his regime reverted to the old practice of not dating them and come in denominations of unite, double crown and crown (Fr-279). When milled coinage was introduced in 1663, these denominations were retired in favor of the guinea, its fractions and multiples. The guinea would be the basis for all gold issues until the reform of 1817 and took its name from the source of the original gold, the Gulf of Guinea in west Africa.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 9 g, .917 fine gold.

Catalog reference: S-3301, North-2753 (rare), Fr-275: KM-415.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 7th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2003.
  • [1]Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Warren Tucker and David Michaels, Heritage World and Ancient Coins Auction 3030, featuring the RLM Collection, the Isaac Rudman Collection, the Hans Cook Collection and the Collection of Donald E. Bently, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2013.
  • Lobel, Richard, Mark Davidson, Allan Hailstone and Eleni Calligas, Coincraft's Standard Catalogue of English and UK Coins, 1066 to Date, London: Coincraft, 1995.
  • Skingley, Philip, ed., Standard Catalogue of British Coins: Coins of England & the United Kingdom, 46th edition, London: Spink & Son, 2011.

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