In 2012, nearly 200 years since it was replaced by the Sovereign, The East India Company issued the Guinea once again. This new Guinea design was crafted to reflect a new era of trade in a series of commemorative and investment coins.
Our design requirements were clear from the start with one single ambition - to return this majestic gold coin to its position as a symbol of trade and trust.
Through careful study of historical designs a new Guinea was created drawing elements from past designs and reflecting the journey of this majestic and trusted gold coin for almost 350 years.
THE GUINEA DESIGN ELEMENTS EXPLAINED
UNIQUE COMPASS MILLING
The introduction of England’s first mass produced machine struck coin, the Guinea, in 1663 revolutionised British coinage.
For centuries, English coins were usually hammered, resulting in irregular shapes and edges. Many coins were subject to ‘clipping’, an illegal practice, punishable by death, which involved filing down or clipping the edge of the coin to remove some of its valuable bullion content.
This inevitably meant that coin values based on bullion at the time, could not necessarily be trusted. King Charles II’s insistence on producing machine milled coins, which he had first seen in France during the English Civil War meant a new and more consistent production allowing a ribbed or milled edge across all coin products.
The new milling made the illegal process of clipping much more difficult and resulted in the Guinea becoming the first trusted gold coin in British history.
Today, The East India Company Guinea, reintroduced in 2012, features a unique milled edge especially created for this majestic gold coin. Comprising of four sets of 13 mills totalling 52 mills around the edge to represent 52 weeks of the year symbolic of the passing of time, separated by four single mills at the compass points (NSEW) to represent travel, this special milling is inspired by the Guinea coins ability to travel the world for centuries as Britain's most trusted gold coin.