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GM28122

Charles II 1681 Half-Guinea Elephant & Castle, extremely rare

Regular price £4,750
Regular price Sale price £4,750

Charles II (1660-85),gold Half-Guinea, 1681, elephant and castle below second 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 4.01g (Schneider -; EGC 304; MCE 110; S.3349).Toned with some scuffs and digs, once cleaned, good fine to almost very fine and an extremely rare date for this African gold issue.

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 gold output at the mint for the calendar year of 1681 totalled £299,119 shared between the four gold denominations. The Africa gold used with elephant and castle mark would have been a proportion of this output. This coin would appear to be a "sleeping rarity" in that the reference books do not list this date combination as anything other than rare, but a search of over 20 years of coin archives does not bring up any other coin sold than this very piece.

The elephant and castle provenance mark is indicative of being issued by the "Royal African Company of England" as it had been so reconstructed by the Duke of York from 1672. The "R.A.C." was quite a success trading with Africa and the New World through the 1670s and 1680s. For further reading see the new publication by Graham Birch "The Metal in Britain's Coins" Chapter Three - The Royal African Company and the Golden Guineas p.33-57.

Provenance:

Ex Brian Reeds (ex Seaby phase), Buckinghamshire, purchased September 1997.

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