Great Britain 1720 guinea

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Goldberg sale 59, lot 3105
photo courtesy Ira & Larry Goldberg
This specimen was lot 3105 in Goldberg sale 59 (Beverly Hills, June 2010), where it sold for $12,650. The catalog description[1] noted,
"Great Britain. Guinea, 1720. George I, 1714-1727. Fourth Laureate Head, right. Reverse: Crowned cruciform arms, with alternating scepters at angles, Garter star at center. A delightful specimen, boldly struck, perfectly centered and highly lustrous. Exceptional eye appeal. NGC graded MS-62. At first glance, given the numerical designation, this may not appear to be such a fabulous guinea, but it is. The cataloguer obtained this coin at the cited Spink auction, for its former owner (Dr Terner), having looked for years for a quality example of the date. In his 30+ years of handling top English gold, the cataloguer of this section has never seen this coin's equal. Thus, in this case, '62' is a gem of a coin! Ex Douglas-Morris sale, lot 24. Ex Spink sale #91, lot 78. Ex Dr Jacob Y. Terner Collection. Ex Millennia, Lot 365."
The guinea of 21 shillings was the standard British gold coin during the eighteenth century and was issued in large numbers. Most were exported to pay soldiers and provide "subsidies" for friendly rulers. This type, struck 1714-27, is among five minted during the reign of George I, the first of the Hanoverians. This writer does not know how common guineas are relative to half guineas, but one can safely say they are scarce in high grade. Guineas were superseded by sovereigns during the reform of 1817.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 8.3 g, .917 fine gold, .24 troy oz, 25-26 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: S-3631; Fr-327; KM 546.1.


  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • [1]Ira & Larry Goldberg, Goldberg sale 59: the pre-Long Beach Sale, Beverly Hills, 2010.

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