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HM30409

Charles II 1680 Guinea Elephant & Castle VF35

Regular price £9,500
Regular price Sale price £9,500

Charles II (1660-85), gold Guinea, 1680, elephant and castle below fourth laureate head right, Latin legend and toothed border surrounding, CAROLVS. II. DEI. GRATIA, rev. crowned cruciform shields, sceptres in angles, four interlinked Cs at centre, date either side of top crown, Latin legend and toothed border surrounding, .MAG. BR. FRA. ET. HIB REX., weight 8.13g (Schneider -; Bull EGC 274 R; Farey 0215 ER; MCE 85; S.3345). Toned, some wear and surface marks, has been slabbed and graded by NGC as VF35 and extremely rare date for this issue.

NGC Certification 2130742-048 - the one grade step lesser example of only two that are straight graded by NGC.

The Latin legends translate as on the obverse "Charles the second by the Grace of God," and abbreviated on the reverse as "King of Great Britain, France and Ireland."

We note the calendar year gold output for 1680 amounted to £572,046 worth.

Half-Guineas, the second smallest output of this reign after 1663. Thomas Snelling's "View of the Gold Coin and Coinage of England" issued in 1763 reproduces a table taken from the Gazetteer and London Daily Advertiser of 23rd January 1755 which list an Account of the Number of Guineas Coined Out of Gold Imported by The Royal African Company, where the initial year of 1680 shows and output of only 17,147 Guineas.

Such coins with the elephant and castle provenance mark below the bust were issued by the Royal African Company of England which was the subsequent reincarnation of the Royal African Company originally launched by Prince Rupert in 1660 to bring back gold and trade goods from Africa. The Company did well and became a tad over-confident on the African coast, in being too aggressive in attempted takeovers of Dutch assets. The monetary costs of his confrontations also caused havoc with the Company's finances, somehow soldiering on with some further coin issues, through to 1671 when it eventually became insolvent. The Company was soon relaunched again from 1672 as the Royal African Company of England, however trading voyages were delayed by the third Anglo-Dutch War and did not get underway till late in 1673. Prosperous times returned in the period, when this Two Guinea piece would have been issued and 1676, 1677 and 1678 are years in which all four denominations of gold were struck with the company provenance mark. For further reading see the relatively new publication "The Metal in Britain's Coins" by Graham Birch, chapter 3.

Provenance:

Ex Spink Coin Auction 55, 8th October 1986, lot 228 sold for £330 hammer.

Ex Seaby Coin and Medal Bulletin, December 1986, item GG416 offered

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