Imitation 'spade guinea' or 'spade half-guinea'
Late 19th or early 20th century
Found at Kingsgate Street, Winchester, Hampshire
Real spade guineas and half-guineas were struck in gold in the reign of George III between 1787 and 1800 and were so called because of the resemblance of the shield on the reverse to a spade. A great many imitations were struck in brass mostly during the 19th century in Birmingham for use as counters for games. They sometimes bear dates that do not fall within the period of George III (1760-1820), the date 1701, as on this example, being fairly frequent. The legend on the obverse reads GEORGIVS III DEI GRATIA (George III by the grace of God).