British Gold Half Unites
A brief history of the British gold Half Unite, a ten shilling gold coin, from 1642 to 1645.
This is our index page of unites on this website.
Half Unites - Brief History
We have a very short potted history of the Gold Unite on its own page, the history of the Half Unite is even shorter, as it was not issued as early as the Unite. One interesting, but rather academic question which we find ourselves asking is "What is the difference between a Half Unite and a Double Crown?" We must admit that we didn't know the answer, and had to find the time to do some research. Who knows, but another 40 years and we might become experts! Only about ten minutes after we wrote this, we managed to work out the difference.
Most half unites, like unites, have a typical portrait of the King, with a large crowned shield on the reverse.
The legend (inscription) on the reverse appear to be what distinguishes a Unite from any otherwise similar denomination. This reads:
FACIAM EOS IN GENTEM UNAM, which translates from Latin to English as "I will make them one nation".
Of course, this answers the question we posed ourselves only a few minutes ago. We must stop talking to ourselves, except we do seem to learn from it.
Neither of the coin images shown on this page are Half Unites, the top one is a James I Double Crown, the bottom one is a James I Unite, to illustrate the difference in the legends.
The legend on the revese of a gold Double Crown reads:
HENRICUS ROSAS REGNA JACOBUS , which translates as "Henry (united) the roses, James the kingdoms", found on Double Crowns of James I
Don't worry i you found this slightly confusing. The collector from whom we bought the James I Double Crown had it catalogued as a Half Unite. He had had it graded by Rare Coin Investments PLC, about which we will say more later. It is also likely that he bought the coin from them. When we bought it, there were three coins preseented as "A superb set of James the First hammered gold, comprising Unite, 1/2 Unite, 1/4 Unite, practically mint". It was probably this allocation which threw us out initially. The mistake is fairly easy to make, as in the Spink Coins of England catalogue, the double crown is listed directly after the Unite, which it resembles.
Fractional & Multiple Unites
As with most denominations, there were fractions issued; these were the Half Unite, but there was no Quarter Unite. There were also multiple Unites issued; these were Double Unites and Triple Unites.
In the Scottish coinage of James VI of Scotland, there were Units, Half Units, and a Quarter Unit, which all help to add to the confusion.
Half Unites for Sale & Wanted
1642 - 1645
Diameter||27 to 28 mm. *
Weight||5 grams *
Fineness||0.9166 or 0.9790
Actual gold content||0.14 ounces. *
* = Approximately
We will shortly be adding a stock listing of half unites linked to this page.
Coins Wanted - We Buy Half Unites
We make an active market in almost all world coins, gold or otherwise, including British gold half unites and all gold coins, whether listed on this page or not. If you have any of these coins to sell, please contact us, or post them to us for appraisal and offer.
Large Crowned Shield on Reverse of James I Gold Double Crown
HENRICUS ROSAS REGNA JACOBUS
Collectors Gold Coin Index
Large Crowned Shield on Reverse of James I Gold Unite
FACIAM EOS IN GENTEM UNAM