|Coin||Spade Half 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 so-called "spade" half guinea coin issued during the reign of King George III of the United Kingdom.
King George I's half guinea coins were struck between 1715 and 1727 except 1716. The coins weighed 4.2 grams, were 20 millimetres in diameter, with a diagonally milled edge; these characteristics are preserved on this modern coin. First seen on one Guinea gold coins in 1787, this unencumbered motif was the work of Lewis Pingo (1743 - 1830) whose design features a simple crowned shield of the Royal Arms. The reference of a “spade” Guinea is attributed to the shape of the crest - it may also reference the nickname of King George III who was colloquially known in his day as “the Farmer King”. The shield is divided in four quarters, each quadrant includes representation for England and Scotland, France, Ireland and the German possessions of the Hanoverian dynasty. The last Spade Guineas were minted in 1799, with the very last gold one Guinea coins being minted in 1813.
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The Queen also wears the Coronation Necklace; originally made for Queen Victoria in 1858, it was also worn at the coronations (as Queen's Consort) of Queen Alexandra in 1902, Queen Mary in 1911 and Queen Elizabeth (the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 · 50 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 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, and has a narrowing shape which resembles the head of a spade, giving the coin its nickname, the Spade Guinea.
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 below, 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