Great Britain (1660-62) unite Fr-276
This specimen was lot 30134 in Heritage sale 3029 (New York, January 2014), where it sold for $9,400. The catalog description noted, "The Last British Hammered Gold Coin Charles II hammered gold Unite ND (1660-62), XF45 NGC. 2nd Issue with mark of value "XX" (20 Shillings) behind the portrait, Crown mm. Obvious doubling of strike is seen on the king's face. This piece is somewhat lustrous with pleasing fields and bold legends; the reverse design is sharp in all details with much of the outer beaded border in evidence. Reddish gold toning adds to the eye-appeal. All in all, this is a desirable example of the short-lived, hammer-method coinage struck for only two years, after which the mill machinery began turning out a kind of English money seen before only in a few experiments. The very end of the hammered coinage era may be seen right on this very coin." 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-3304, North-2754 (rare), Fr-276: KM-416.
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- Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Stuart Levine and Bruce Lorich, Heritage World and Ancient Coins Auction 3029, featuring Selections from the Eric P. Newman Collection, Part III, 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.