The East India Company has launched an exclusive Bicentenary Guinea and Sovereign Collection combining the two most iconic gold coins in British history and commemorating the moment of their transition during 1816–1817. These numismatic items represent the origins of the modern pound coin still used in the British economy and further afield. The unusual quarter-ounce Proof collection, struck in 22-karat gold, includes modern releases of the beautiful 2016 spade guinea (struck on the day) and the Royal Mint’s Pistrucci-designed, 2017-dated Sovereign.
The bicentenaries of the last guinea and the introduction of the sovereign are brought together in a very special set of coins. The guinea is minted once more in its original specifications and denominated exactly as it would be had the coin survived into decimalisation: £1.05. The reverse features at its centre the most famous “spade” guinea motif as used on the last circulating guinea, which was issued between 1787 and 1799 during the reign of King George III. The second coin is the latest, 2017-dated sovereign, minted by the Royal Mint and including the very same design depicted 200 years ago, rendered exactly as Pictrucci had envisaged his work to appear on both gold sovereigns and silver crown coins. Also included in the contemporary strike is the original “garter” emblem that surrounds Pistrucci’s famous motif, appearing for the first time since 1820. Part of the sovereign’s enduring charm and popularity is built on this iconic design, and Benedetto Pistrucci’s neo-classical interpretation of St George and the Dragon is known all over the world.
The obverse of the guinea coin includes the classic portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II that was designed by acclaimed sculptor Raphael Maklouf and used on British coinage from 1985 to 1997; this portrait is currently used on the coins of St. Helena. The sovereign coin includes the effigy of Elizabeth II that was designed by Royal Mint graphic artist Jody Clark and used on current British coinage exclusively since 2015.
The Guinea coins are issued by the Treasury of the Government of St. Helena and were struck on the 22nd June 2016, exactly 200 years to the day since the 1816 Great Re-coinage Act and. Only 300 pieces include the “CC” mark; 100 of these pieces are included in the two-coin set. This two-coin Bicentenary Guinea and Sovereign Collection is expected to sell out very quickly, with only 100 sets available worldwide. The 2017 full sovereign has now sold out at the Royal Mint but is now available in this uniquely limited-edition, two-coin Proof set.
|Guinea, £1.05 (2016)||.9167 gold||8.4 g||24 mm||Proof||2,016*|
|Sovereign (2017)||.9167 gold||7.98 g||22.05 mm||Proof||13,050|
|* A total of three hundred 2016-dated guineas feature the special privy mark “CC” to denote they were struck on the 22nd June, and 100 of these pieces are available in the two-coin set. The 300 specially marked “CC” coins are included in the total mintage of 2,016 pieces in total.|
The two gold Proof-quality coins are presented in the East India Company luxury presentation box, accompanied by a numbered scroll of authenticity certifying the two coins and issued with a colourful and informative booklet. The set is available for purchase exclusively at the East India Company outlets. For more information, please visit their website. ❑