From Marteau


Half Guinea, George I., 1719.


English gold coin first issued under Charles II. February 6th 1663 (1662 Old Style) replacing the old hammered Unite Laurel Pound. The new milled coin containing 8.42 g African gold (hence the name guinea) was initially designed to match the pound sterling or 20 shillings. The debasement of the England's silver coinage made the guinea rise against the shilling till it finally matched 30 shillings in 1694. The coin reform of 1698 settled the parity at 21 shillings 6 pence. In 1717 this evaluation was redefined. From December 1717 to 1813, when the guinea went out of production, it matched 21 schillings. In 1816, after the Napoleonic wars, the sovereign (weighing 7.99 g and worth £1) replaced the guinea as the regular British gold coin, the term became a unit of account to price luxury goods.

See Money (Great Britain).

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