To celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Golden Guinea, the Royal Mint released a commemorative £2 in 2013. The combination of guinea and £2 coins makes it a must have for any coin collector as well as for anyone with an interest in history or British memorabilia.
History of the coin
The £2 entered circulation in 1998. It is the largest coin in circulation and is also two colours. Before 1998 it was only released as a commemorative coin and was not circulated. These coins were one colour.
The first £2 in 1986 was minted to commemorate the Commonwealth Games in Scotland, and the circulating coin is still used for commemorative designs.
About the Golden Guinea
The Guinea was minted between 1663 and 1814, and was the first gold coin which was machine struck.
It was worth one pound, or twenty shillings, but because it was made of gold, its value varied. At its highest, it was worth thirty shillings. From 1717 to 1816 the value was set at twenty one shillings.
Although the Guinea is no longer minted, it is still used as a form of currency in some professions, such as horse racing and its current value is £1.05.
The Guinea was named after the country as this is where most of the gold used originated.
How many Anniversary of the Golden Guinea £2 coins were made?
To commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Golden Guinea, 2,990,000 £2 coins were made.
Design and Designer
The design is based on one of the original golden guinea designs. It shows a shield with the arms of George III. The inscription around the perimeter reads ‘Anniversary of the Golden Guinea 2013.’
- Obverse design:
Iain Rank-Broadley’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
- Designer: Anthony Smith ARBS
Anthony Smith is a sculptor. Born in Glasgow, he spent his early years in the Middle East before returning to study Natural Sciences at Cambridge.
He began sculpting full time as soon as he graduated. Among his early commissions are a bust of Carl Linnaeus, a bust of Ian Fleming and a life sized statue of Charles Darwin. His interest in Darwin’s work led to him presenting a documentary about Darwin, in which he reconstructed his journey on the Beagle on a Dutch tall ship.
His work can be seen around the country, including Christ’s College in Cambridge, the National Botanic Garden of Wales and the Natural History Museum.
The Anniversary of the Golden Guinea £2 is his only coin for the Royal Mint to date.
The Anniversary of the Golden Guinea
- Brilliant uncirculated coins are available
- 1,640 Silver Proof coins were produced
- Silver Proof Piedfort coins were produced
- Gold Proof coins were produced.