Five Guineas: William & Mary (obverse); Crowned Shield of Arms (reverse)

Five Guineas: William & Mary (obverse); Crowned Shield of Arms (reverse)

1691

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Gold

Diameter: 3.6 cm (1 7/16 in.)

Weight: 41.802 g (1.47 oz.)

The Norweb Collection 1969.201

Location

Did you know?

The shield of arms includes Ireland, represented by a harp, and Scotland, represented by a lion.

Description

William of Orange-Nassau, and his wife Mary, daughter of James II, were proclaimed joint monarchs. Thus both their heads appear on their coinage. The only other instance of this in England is in the reign of Philip and Mary, 1554–58. Below them is a small elephant representing Guinea, the origin of the metal. William and Mary were invited to the English throne after James II had been driven from it, mainly because the people feared he was about to re-establish the Church of Rome.

See also
Collection: 
MED - Numismatics
Department: 
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 
Coins
Medium: 
Gold
Credit line: 
The Norweb Collection

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