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British Coins

What former British coin was worth 21 shillings?


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March 27, 2013 3:55PM

A Guinea.

The coin is a denomination of the old redundant predecimal British currency system and dates back to the time of Charles II.

It had something of a variable value initially, but settled down to the value of £1/1/0d or, One Pound Sterling and one Shilling or, 21 Shillings.

They were first minted in 1663 and last minted in 1813 when they were effectively replaced by the Sovereign (One Pound).

The coin was made from gold and was amongst the first machine produced English coins. The name came from the fact the gold used to manufacture them was mined in Guinea, West Africa.

During their time in the English currency, Guineas were produced in 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 1, 2 and 5 Guinea denominations.

The British decimal equivalent value of the Guinea is £1.05 (One Pound and five pence).

Some auction houses still use Guineas to price very valuable items such as racehorses, antique furniture and original "old master" paintings.

From a coin collectors perspective, a Guinea coin or its variants, depending on the year, condition and method of minting, could be worth anything from about a hundred to many thousands of Pounds GBP.

Please note that since the Guinea is part of a redundant or obsolete currency, it no longer has an "exchange rate" with other currencies.