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.