Every week we have someone bring in a Guinea or Half Guinea token and we have to tell them that
they are not real. It started in the 1800’s with a man called Kettle, who made gold looking brass
copies of the King George III Spade Guinea and Half Guinea. The story is that an actress used to throw
these to the audience at the end of her performance. The audience was to respond by throwing real
Gold Guineas back. Is this true or not, we just don’t know.
But over the years a vast number of imitations were made, none of which were meant to pass as
real Gold coins. A number even had advertising on them and were obviously given out as a sort of store
We have nice examples of the Guinea and Half Guinea from Victorian times and well over 100
years old. They have been gilded or even gold plated, but they are not real Gold. Wonderful conversation
pieces and today they are getting more and more difficult to find in any sort of quantity. The
designs may vary slightly.
In 1816 the government made all of the older coins no longer legal tender.
They then issued a whole series of new coins, which were of course legal
tender. This is the first type of Crown or Five Shillings to be issued for King
George III. They are struck in Sterling Silver and were issued only from 1818-
This coin is now proving very hard to get and it has been sometime since
we last had enough to offer them. Dates of our choice, but we offer them here in Very Good condition. A very important coin as it
was the first of the ‘new’ coinage to be struck.
During the reign of King George III there was a great shortage of small change.
The last type of Halfpenny issued for this Monarch were struck in 1806 and
1807. We recently purchased a nice group of the 1806 issue, the first year of issue in
Fine and Very Fine condition.
You have the bust of King George III dressed as a Roman on one side and the
seated figure of Britannia on the other side. These were the last copper George III
halfpennies issued. After the Currency Reform Act of 1816, they didn’t bother to
issue any halfpennies.