26 October, 2016

The rarest British coin ever made has been found by a labourer from Hertfordshire and the 300 year old Queen Anne Vigo five guinea coin could be worth up to £250,000.

The coin was made by the Royal Mint in 1703 with 7.5lbs of gold, which was seized from Spanish treasure ships after the Battle of Vigo and is one of only 20 ever minted. The whereabouts of less than 15 of the coins are known and the last to be sold fetched a staggering £300,000 in 2012.


The 35 year old man had been given the five guinea coin by his grandfather to play with as a child and it was only upon giving a chest of ‘pirate treasure’ to his own son that he rediscovered the coin and decided to take it to be valued.

Coin specialist, Gregory Tong of Boningtons auctioneers, instantly recognised it’s value and the coin is only the sixth example of its type to be offered for sale in the last 50 years.

The coin was the first British coin ever to feature the name of the battle it was won in and has already attracted worldwide interest with collectors flying in to inspect the coin before it reaches the auction room on the 16th November.

Interesting, the coin was produced to detract attention from the British’s failed attempt to capture the Spanish port of Cadiz and instead highlight the treasure that they seized on their return journey to the British Isles. Upon its return to Britain, it was sent to the Royal Mint where the master was none other than, Sir Isaac Newton.

If you’re interested in coins and want to start or build your own collection, here at William George & Co. we often hold auctions featuring rare and antique coins and we are currently featuring a very rare Charles 11 Guinea from 1664. 

Find it and many more here.