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DM11809

William III 1701 "Fine work" Two-Guineas AU58

William III (1694-1702), gold Two Guineas, 1701, fine work style with ornamental sceptres on reverse, laureate head right, abbreviated Latin legend and toothed border surrounding, GVLIELMVS. III. DEI. GRA., some stops weak, rev. crowned cruciform shields, ornamental sceptres in angles, Lion of Nassau at centre, date either side of top crown, abbreviated Latin legend and toothed border surrounding, .MAG BR.FRA. ET.HIB. REX., edge milled, weight 16.72g (Schneider 482; MCE 173; S.3457). Toned with some very light surface marks, has been graded and slabbed by NGC as AU58 which at time of writing is the second finest graded at that service.

NGC Certification 4862558-004.

The gold output was very high in 1701 at £1,190,019 worth of gold coins produced across the four denominations of that year. Sir Isaac Newton was by now the Master Worker of the Mint since 1699 and had applied his mind to the problem of circulating foreign gold coin in the UK which was prevalent at this time with French Louis d'Or and Spanish Pistoles both circulating in commerce at 17/6d each when compared to a freshly minted Guinea at 21/6d. Newton tested the worn foreign coin and typically found it to be worth 17/1d and emphasised to the Treasury secretary that such coin was merely bullion and not official coin of the realm. A resulting Proclamation of 5th February 1701 brought the value of the foreign coin down to 17 Shillings, with the consequence that many were sent to the Mint for converting to current coin, and some £1,400,000 worth accounted for more or less the whole coinage of 1701 and 1702 like the Two Guinea piece herewith.

Provenance:
Ex U.B.S. Switzerland, Auction 67, 5th September 2006, lot 2983.
Ex St James Auction 10, 6th November 2008, lot 799.
Ex Michael Gietzelt Collection, Dix Noonan and Webb, Auction 151, 14th November 2018, lot 59.

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