|Coin||One Guinea 2023 The East India Company|
Saint Helena is a small island in the South Atlantic Ocean which is part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. The currency of the island is the Saint Helena pound, fixed at parity with the pound sterling. The island has authorised some private mints to issue coins under its jurisdiction, which come in a variety of sizes. Some of them are non-standard and/or one-off issues in gold, such as this one.
This coin pays tribute to the original "Guinea" coinage of Great Britain.
The introduction of machine-struck coins to Britain in 1663 put an end to the dark art of "clipping", where criminals would shave the edges off coins to collect small fragments of the precious metals, devaluing the currency in the process. Now, gold and silver coins could be minted with a milled edge and edge lettering to deter this illegal behaviour.
Britain’s first machine-struck gold coin was the Guinea, which then played a vital role in the golden age of trade and exploration, travelling the world on The East India Company ships with its reputation for absolute quality and accuracy.
"Guinea" was originally just the coin’s nickname, given because much of the gold used to strike it came from Africa’s Guinea Coast, but the name became so widely used that it was officially adopted in 1720 under the reign of King George I. In later years The East India Company often supplied the gold used to mint these magnificent coins, and during the reign of George II some Guineas bore the EIC mint mark to recognise this.
The obverse of the coin shows the bare (uncrowned) head of King Charles III facing left.
In tiny letters on the neck truncation, the artist's initials: GD (for Glyn Davies).
Around, the monarch's legend: CHARLES III · DEI · GRA · REX · F · D · ST. HELENA · 2023 ·. Translated from Latin, the legend means: Charles the Third, by the Grace of God, King, Defender of the Faith, Saint Helena.
The East India Company Guinea's central motif features the Standing Lion, Rampant Guardant (erect, facing the viewr), representing the Defender of the Crown. Its foot rests upon a globe lying on a rope, denoting the role of the historic Guinea gold coin as the most trusted gold trade coin.
The lion stands on the shield of St George behind which are two cruciform (crossed) sceptres inspired by the very first Guinea issued in the reign of King Charles II.
At the base of the design are tea and cotton leaves in a wreath, showing the importance of these commodities to international trade during the Guinea's lifetime and reflecting its long connection to The East India Company.
Around above, the inscription THE EAST INDIA COMPANY. Divided by the lion and sceptres, the face value ONE GUINEA (equal to £1.05 in modern coinage).
In the lower right field (between the shield, sceptre and wreath), the EIC mint mark of the East India Company; the letters are separated by arrows radiating from the centre around which they are situated.
||THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ONE GUINEA
|Edge||Milled interrupted||Edge Inscription||None
Finish: Proof FDC.
Packaging: in presentation box, with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.
The East India Company SKU: FG23GUIGPONE
Release date: 22 May 2023.
Issue price: £795.00
The coin is in 22 carat gold just like the original guineas. Also, just like on the originals, the face value and denomination are not actually written on the coin; traditionally, a guinea was worth 21 shillings which, at a time when one pound was 20 shillings, meant that it had a face value of £1.05.
Each coin is finished with a bespoke 'compass milling' with four sets of 13 mills totalling 52 to reflect the passing of time separated by compass point single mills denoting navigation.
Saint Helena coins with historic Guinea designs include:
- 42 g Gold Proof, Spade Five Guineas 2023
- 16.8 g Gold Proof, Spade Two Guineas 2023
- 8.4 g Gold Proof, Military Guinea 2020
- 8.4 g Gold Proof, Spade Guinea 2023
- 8.4 g Gold Proof, Standing Lion Guinea 2023
- Sovereign, Gold Proof, Spade Guinea 2020
- 1/4 oz Gold Bullion, Rose Crown Guinea 2018
- 1/4 oz Gold Bullion, Rose Crown Guinea 2020
- 4.2 g Gold Proof, Spade Half Guinea 2020
- 4.2 g Gold Proof, Spade Half Guinea 2023
- 2.1 g Gold Proof, Rose Crown Quarter Guinea 2020
- 2.1 g Gold Proof, Spade Half Guinea 2023
- 1.25 oz Silver Bullion, Rose Crown Guinea 2018
- 1.25 oz Silver Bullion, Rose Crown Guinea 2020
- 1.25 oz Silver Bullion, Rose Crown Guinea 2021
- 1.25 oz Silver Bullion, Standing Lion Guinea 2021
- 1.25 oz Silver Bullion, Rose Crown Guinea 2022
- 1 oz Silver Bullion, Spade Guinea 2018
- 1 oz Silver Bullion, Spade Guinea 2019
- 1/10 oz Silver Bullion, Spade Guinea 2020
- 1/10 oz Silver Bullion, Spade Guinea 2021
- 1/10 oz Silver Bullion, Spade Guinea 2022