Antique Victorian Advertising ‘Spade Guinea’ Jeton Token, Gaming Counter: based on a 1790 George III Guinea Coin.
When I first found this Antique Victorian Advertising Spade Guinea Jeton Token in my jewellery box I thought this looked like a real George III 1790 Gold Guinea. On closer inspection I realised that it wasn’t fine enough to be the real thing, which is made of gold and worth over £1000!
After quite a lot of research, I found that these tokens were called ‘Spade Gunieas’ and made of brass or bronze. They were reproduced in the 19th Century as a counter for use in a card or board game.
The tokens tended to bear the makers name and name of the manufacturer, and sometimes an advertising logo. To ensure that they didn’t break the Victorian counterfeit laws, the token had a bust of King George III on the obverse and the spade shield on the reverse.
The guineas range between 24-27mm diameter and the half guineas 20-22mm. This particular token has an approximate diameter of 25mm.
It is inscribed on the obverse with: –
Georgivs III Dei Gratia
and on the reverse with:-
This indicates that the token was made by the Bancroft Bros. of 170 Hockley Hill, Birmingham.
It is in reasonable vintage condition and a would make a nice starter piece for a coin collection. There is a mark on the obverse, which I haven’t tried to polish out.