Imitation 'spade guinea'
Late 19th or early 20th century
Real spade guineas and half guineas were struck in gold in the reign of George III between 1787-1800 and came to be so called by reason of the resemblance of the shield on the reverse to a spade. This is an example of one of the many imitations struck in brass mostly during the 19th century in Birmingham for use as counters in games and for advertisement. The perforation suggests that it subsequently had an ornamental purpose: many were used to decorate the chains of pocket watches.