Charles II, 1660-1685, Gold Unite
KM-415, S-3301, 8.47 grams, 34mm. Hammered coinage (1660-1662), 1st Issue, Crown mintmark, laureate and draped bust left, no mark of value behind, CAROLVS.II DG.MAG.BRIT.FRAN.ET.HIB REX, reverse: crowned oval garnished shield with C R at sides, stop before FLORENT. Gold Unites with a value of 20 shillings were produced during Charles II's hammered coinage (in the first two years after the 1660 Restoration of the monarchy). This was one of the last of the hammered gold coins. The Unite was replaced by the milled gold Guinea in 1663, this with a value of 20 shillings, subsequently rising to 21 shillings. Here we have a very collectible example of the final hammered gold issue, with a marvelous portrait of the king and a fairly well-defined royal shield on the reverse. Lightly cleaned at one time, numerous squiggly hairlines are visible on each side under close examination. Still, this is a fine example of this rare gold coin.
Henry Slingsby was Master of the Mint in London under Charles II from the 22nd to the 30th year of his reign. Rudding II, 7, mentions under date April 18, 1662 that "agreements were made by Sir Ralph Freeman, knt. master and worker of the mint and Henry Slingsby, esq. his deputy, with Peter Blondeau, (q.v.) about coining His Majesty's monies by the mill and press."