|Coin||Rose Crown Quarter Guinea 2020|
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 is a modern re-creation of the quarter guinea - a British coin minted only in the years 1718 and 1762, during the reigns of King George I and King George III respectively. It was valued at one-fourth of a guinea, which at that time was worth twenty-one shillings. The quarter guinea therefore was valued at five shillings and threepence (or 63 pence).
The new coin had to be proportionate in size to the other gold denominations, and this resulted in a coin which weighed 2.1 grams and was 16 millimetres in diameter; these characteristics are preserved on this modern coin. It had not been realised at the time that a coin of this size was impracticably small to use, and would prove unpopular. 37,380 coins were minted, but many of them were put aside as keepsakes and many of the rest were lost. When George III came to the throne in 1760, the price of silver had again risen dramatically. Despite the unpopularity of the 1718 quarter guinea it was considered necessary to produce this coin again, to the same size and weight as before, to fill the gap between the low-denomination silver coins and the larger gold coins. Unfortunately it met the same fate as its predecessor and was only produced in 1762.
Despite its minuscule size, the coin took the form of a scaled-down version of the guinea and half guinea, including all the intricate cruciform shields on the reverse and all the king's Hanoverian titles. The coin is a fine example of the mint's work, although a magnifying glass is needed to properly appreciate it.
The obverse of the coin depicts the crowned old bust of Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem crown worn for her Coronation (effigy known as the "Fifth Portrait" worldwide but "Sixth Portrait" in Australia, where the Queen's portrait by Vladimir Gottwald was fifth).
The Queen also wears the Coronation Necklace; originally made for Queen Victoria in 1858, it was also worn at the coronations (as Queen's Consort) of Queen Alexandra in 1902, Queen Mary in 1911 and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen mother) in 1937.
Unlike on British coinage, the effigy is "uncouped" (includes the Queen's shoulders). In small letters on the left, the artist's initials JC (for Jody Clark).
Running continuously around the rim is the monarch's legend, the date of issue and the face value: ELIZABETH II · D · G · REGINA · F · D · ST. HELENA · 20 PENCE ·. Translated from Latin: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith, Saint Helena.
In the field below right, above the Queen's shoulder, E·I·C, abbreviated from the name of the East India Company.
At its centre, the reverse of the coin shows the garnished Shield of the Royal Coat of Arms of King George I, current from 1714 and into the reign of king George III. It reflects the union of the crowns of England and Scotland - represented by the three lions of England and the lion of Scotland in the top left quarter, the King's claim to the throne of France - represented by the fleur-de-lis (three lilies) top right, his capacity of King of Ireland represented by the harp of Ireland in the bottom left quarter, and the merger of the House of Hanover (of which George III was Elector as Georg III. Wilhelm Friedrich) with the British crown, represented by the Coat of Arms of the House of Hanover in the bottom right corner (featuring the white horse of Hanover as the primary element among three other elements marking the monarchs lands in Brunswick and Luneburg, with the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire).
The shield is crowned with St Edward's Crown.
Around the rim, the second part of the King's legend (on the original coin the first part of his legend was on the obverse; however, this coin has Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse). It reads BRITANNIANUM · REX · FIDEI · DEFENSOR · - translated from Latin, "King of the Britains, Defender of the Faith"; around above,divided by the crown, the date of issue 2020 ·.
||BRITANNIANUM · REX · FIDEI · DEFENSOR · 2020 ·
|Edge||Diagonal milling||Edge Inscription||None
Packaging: in sets only.
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