5 Guinea of William III 1699
The British Five Guinea coin was a machine-struck currency produced from 1668–1753. It was a gold coin 37 millimeters in diameter and weighing between 41 and 42 grams. Although the coin is now known as the "five guinea" piece, during the 17th and 18th centuries it was also known as a five pound piece, as during the reign of Charles II a guinea was worth twenty shillings — until its value was fixed at twenty-one shillings by a Royal Proclamation in 1717 the value fluctuated rather in the way that bullion coins do today.
This denomination shows the year of striking on the reverse; but also the edge inscription DECUS ET TUTAMEN ANNO REGNI — An ornament and a safeguard, in the year of the reign... — is followed by the regnal year of the monarch, in Latin words. In the case of Charles II, the regnal year is calculated from the execution of Charles I, so 1668 is ANNO REGNI VICESIMO, the twentieth year of the reign. The edge inscription was put on the coin before the other two sides were struck — in the early years the blanks were cut out from a strip of gold which had been produced by horse power, then the blanks were sent to have the edge inscriptions impressed by a secret process devised by one Pierre Blondeau, a former engineer from the Paris mint who jealously guarded his methods. The blanks were then returned to the mint to have the obverse and reverse struck in a hand-operated press. Samuel Pepys gives a long and detailed description of the rolling, cutting, and striking of the blanks in his diary entry for 19 May 1663.
Many of the coins produced up to 1699 have an elephant and castle beneath the monarch's head, indicating that the gold was provided by the Africa Company. Coins of 1703 (Queen Anne ANNO REGNI SECVNDO) have the word VIGO under the Queen's head, indicating that the gold was captured from Spanish galleons in the Battle of Vigo Bay in October 1702, but very few of these coins now remain in existence and they are extremely valuable (up to Â£50,000).
The five guinea coin was produced in each year of Charles II's reign from 1668 to 1684; before 1670 the weight limits were 41-42 grams, afterward 41.0–41.8 grams. The obverse and reverse of this coin were designed by John Prettier (1631–c.1700). The obverse showed a fine right-facing bust of the king wearing a laurel wreath, surrounded by the legend CAROLVS II DEI GRATIA, while the reverse showed four crowned cruciform shields bearing the arms of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, between which were four sceptres, and in the centre were four interlinked "C"s, surrounded by the inscription MAG BR FRA ET HIB REX date.>> LOTS MORE CLICK HERE
5 Guinea of Charles II,1668
with elephant and castle mintmark
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History of the Five Guinea Gold Coin