1776 Great Britain Guinea, KM-604, NGC AU55. This British guinea is dated 1776, the year America declared its independence. The coin shows some luster in protected areas and has an above average strike with full details on George’s hair. Sufficient separation in the lines of his hair and the elements of the shield warrant the grade. The surfaces are clean, with no distractions worthy of individual mention.
Silver and gold coins from Europe and South America circulated and were accepted for commerce in America during the Colonial and the Confederation eras. They were used both domestically and for foreign trade. Certainly this coin and ones like it could have circulated during the Revolutionary War period.
Coined gold and silver were thought of as commodities and therefore were able to serve as mediums of exchange without governmental intervention. Until 1857, when the United States government outlawed the use of foreign coins, the federal government allowed the free use of silver and gold of various denominations from all countries. They were valued by their weight and fineness according to the demands of the market.
The coin shows the fourth laureate profile bust of King George facing right. The inscription GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA, which means George III, by the grace of God, is separated by dots and surrounds the portrait. The reverse shows the crowned quartered shield of arms. The reverse legend is M B F ET H REX F D B ET L D S R I A T ET E, which means King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg, Arch-Treasurer and Elector.
The guinea is a coin that was minted in England from 1663 to 1813. The name originated from the Guinea region of West Africa, where a good deal of the gold used to make the coins came from. It was the first machine made gold coin and was originally worth one English Pound Sterling, which is equal to twenty shillings. However, because the price of gold continued to rise sometimes as high as thirty shillings, the guinea’s value was fixed at twenty-one shillings from 1717 to 1816. After that, with the gold standard adopted, guinea stopped being used as a monetary term and became colloquial.
George III was the third British ruler from the House of Hanover. He was born in Britain and spoke English, unlike his father and grandfather. During his reign Great Britain became the dominant European power in North America and India by defeating France in the Seven Years War until the American Revolution, which cost its American colonies. King George suffered from a mental illness that was recurrent. In 1810 his son, also named George, ruled as Prince Regent. George III is remembered as a tyrant, from the American point-of-view and the King who lost America from the British view point. In Britain he also is the monarch who is blamed for the failure of imperialism.