Can you still buy things with Guineas ?

The last Guinea was issued in 1813 and was no longer used as circulating currency from that date.  So, in 1816, when the “Great Recoinage” took place in Britain, the Guinea was replaced by the Pound and the Sovereign.

So in 2018, the answer to that question should be a resounding NO you can’t pay for things with money that was made extinct 200 years ago!  Right …. ?   BUT,

the answer is in fact, YES you can still buy things in Guineas.

No, I haven’t lost the plot, or bought a time travel machine !  There IS still one industry where the price of goods being offered for sale is quoted in Guineas, even though bags of these beautiful coins are not handed over at the checkout when it comes to settle the bill!



The sale of horses (and some livestock) is still often undertaken in Guineas at auction.

If you are lucky enough to have pots of money and be in the market to buy a racehorse at auction, for example Tattersalls in Newmarket, you will find that the bidding is conducted in Guineas.  In this case, each Guinea is worth ‘£1 + 1 shilling’ or £1.05.

But make sure you have a few million of them in your pocket, because the top Racehorse Auction Houses sell the very best of the best at their auctions from the top breeding studs.

You may also find yourself bidding against some members of the Saudi Royal Family as well!

If you can’t afford a racehorse, you can enjoy the “1,000 Guineas” and the “2,000 Guineas” horse races.  These names refer to the biggest races of the flat racing season in Britain, Ireland and Australia.

Many of these prestigious races are over 200 years old when the Guinea was still in use!


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