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Two guinea coins from the time of King George II.

The guinea ([ giˈneːə ]; English Guinea [ ˈgɪni ], abbreviated 1g / 1gn; plural: 3gs / 3gns ) was a British gold coin in circulation from 1663 to 1816 that was the first to be produced by machine. The currency was named after the gold-rich region of Guinea , from which a large part of the gold used for minting came.


Originally their face value was 20 British shillings , or one pound sterling . The gold content was around 8.4 grams, making it a bit lighter than the previous Laurel and Unite coins . The conversion rate to the sterling silver unit fluctuated with the ratio of the price of silver to gold . The value of the guinea rose to 27 shillings. After the great coin reform of 1696 its value was set at 21½ shillings and finally at 21 shillings (£ 1-1s-0d) in 1717. With this value of 1.05 GBP, the guinea is still in use today as a unit of account (see below). The gold coin was minted for the last time in 1814, after which it was replaced by the sovereign , which had already been minted in the 15th and 16th centuries. The sovereign was a little lighter and had a face value of 20 shillings, exactly one pound.

As a unit of account

Since the guinea had an aristocratic nimbus , many high-end goods were and continue to be priced in guinea. In the auction trade (e.g. antiques, works of art and sport horses), accounts are still often settled in guineas. , Is commonly available on the buyer the auction price in guineas (calculated as 1.05 pounds, see above) paid, but the seller paid only the same amount of pounds receives; This represents a premium of auctioneer in the amount of five percent. Until the decimalization of the pound in 1971/1972, used cars were also often offered in guineas, because then the price was (apparently) lower than the pound. For example, at a price of 12,000 guineas, you actually have to pay £ 12,600.


Web links

Commons : Guinea coins  - album with pictures, videos and audio files