On 13th January, a rare gold 5-guinea coin issued in 1703 during the reign of Queen Anne, graded PCGS MS 62 was sold for a record price of $1,080,000, crossing its estimated value by 80,000 at Baldwin’s of St. James’s auction in New York City. The coin was struck from gold captured at Vigo Bay. They are found in three varieties. The offered coin was the rarest of all as only a limited number of this variety were struck.
After Queen Anne was enthroned, there was a war for power in 1702 between England and the Dutch Republic on one side, and the Bourbon Spanish on the other. England won a violent naval battle was fought on 23rd October 1702 at Vigo Bay within one and a half days, even though the opposition had used innovative defence tactics and heavy ammunition. The Anglo-Dutch warships destroyed and looted several Spanish ships. However, many of these Spanish Ships were already unloaded before the attack. 4,500 pounds of silver ornaments and “plate” of Spanish and French officers along with just 7 pounds, 8 ounces of gold were captured. The Royal Mint struck a few large 5-guinea, guinea and half-guinea coins using this gold. A special hallmark VIGO was inscribed to commemorate this glorious victory.
Image Courtesy: Baldwin’s of St. James’s