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So what was the mintage for the 1813 "Military Guinea?"

BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,364 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited October 13, 2023 10:09AM in World & Ancient Coins Forum

I just added this 1813 Military Guinea to my collection. It is in an NGC AU-58 holder. I have had a hard time getting a good picture of the obverse.

I have been researching the mintage of this piece. Many dealers claim that 80,000 were struck. The British Mint says the number was 360,000. Maurice Bull is more precise at 361,473, His number is based upon the amount of gold the Royal Mint reported that they handled divided by the weight for each gold guinea. Obviously that is quite a disagreement.

These coins were made for Wellington’s army during his 1813 Pyrenees campaign. It is often said they were used to pay the soldiers. It was also said the local people would not accept the Spanish Milled Dollars the British had in large numbers. They would only accept gold. Therefore these guineas, which was the first coinage of the denomination since 1799, were struck for that purpose. It is a one year type coin, and since they were used for military purposes, they are called "military guineas." They were not made to circulate in England, and it is claimed that only a limited number were used there.

In 1817, the British introduced their reform coinage. The guinea, which was worth 21 shillings was replaced by the sovereign which had a value of 20 shillings. The sovereign has retained the same weight down to the present day.

Here is an example of the first year of the sovereign, dated 1817.

Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?

Comments

  • 1960NYGiants1960NYGiants Posts: 3,440 ✭✭✭✭

    The mint reports the # of good coins struck. They would remove most of the miss struck and off weight pieces. So, 360,000 may be the closer count.

    Gene

    Life member #369 of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association
    Member of Canadian Association of Token Collectors

    Collector of:
    Canadian coins and pre-confederation tokens
    Darkside proof/mint sets dated 1960
    My Ebay
  • ExbritExbrit Posts: 1,232 ✭✭✭✭
    edited October 13, 2023 2:54PM

    Very nice coin! The 1813 was struck at the newly opened Royal Mint at Tower hill. It was produced using Matthew Boulton’s steam powered press.

    How do you like Bull’s book?

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,364 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Exbrit said:
    Very nice coin! The 1813 was struck at the newly opened Royal Mint at Tower hill. It was produced using Matthew Boulton’s steam powered press.

    How do you like Bull’s book?

    The book is interesting, but I have like 20 pieces and could never afford to collect British gold coins like that in bulk. History is more my thing than die varieties although it’s interesting to do the attributions. I intend to buy future such books as they become available.

    Bull says this coin is fairly common although you would never guess it by the prices. The London from whom I bought this piece had 11 of them in stock! :o When I received this one, I thought that it might have been messed with. But as I spent more time with it, I decided that it is very much of a P-L. I will never learn how the TPGs assign that designation. TPG grading can be very much of a mystery.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • ExbritExbrit Posts: 1,232 ✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones said:

    @Exbrit said:
    Very nice coin! The 1813 was struck at the newly opened Royal Mint at Tower hill. It was produced using Matthew Boulton’s steam powered press.

    How do you like Bull’s book?

    The book is interesting, but I have like 20 pieces and could never afford to collect British gold coins like that in bulk. History is more my thing than die varieties although it’s interesting to do the attributions. I intend to buy future such books as they become available.

    Bull says this coin is fairly common although you would never guess it by the prices. The London from whom I bought this piece had 11 of them in stock! :o When I received this one, I thought that it might have been messed with. But as I spent more time with it, I decided that it is very much of a P-L. I will never learn how the TPGs assign that designation. TPG grading can be very much of a mystery.

    I might pick up Bull’s book. Do you have Farey’s a guide book on Guineas? Guineas are expensive. Bull’s Volume two 1816-1971 should be released in November now. I haven’t seen volume one, but I’m more interested in sovereigns rather than guineas at this point. I hope it will have information that is not covered in the Marsh/Hill sovereign books.

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,364 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 14, 2023 4:25AM

    I plan to buy the second volume when it is released.

    I found the Bull gold and silver books at the Wizard coin supply booth at Summer FUN.

    Guineas are expensive, but if you can tolerate VF grade coins, they are a bit more affordable. I will post a few of them later. The half guineas are also more affordable.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,364 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It seems like the mintage was about 360,000, which is a lot given the price. Of course the next question is, "How many have survived?" Since they were originally used in Spain and France, a lot of them may have been melted.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,850 ✭✭✭✭✭

    How much were British soldiers paid at that time. A gold Guinea worth 21 Shillings seems like something Officers but not enlisted men would have received.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,364 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @291fifth said:
    How much were British soldiers paid at that time. A gold Guinea worth 21 Shillings seems like something Officers but not enlisted men would have received.

    Given that the Guinea was worth 27 shillings in British paper money at the time, I am surprised that this gold coin was not meant for more for officers and supply procurement.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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