British Coins, Anne, guinea, 1703, VIGO, dr. bust l., rev. crowned cruciform shields, sceptres in angles (S.3563), certified and graded by PCGS as About Uncirculated 50, a handsome example of this classic war-booty rarity, retaining some lustre and displaying even wear but no damage, as well as only light abrasions, the queen’s portrait especially appealing, well balanced and centred, the reverse sharply and evenly struck and, again, well centred; in all, a fine example, and extremely rare
The British capture of Spanish gold at Vigo Bay resulted in the celebratory issue of coins commemorating the victorious action, almost all of which were silver coins. A tiny amount of gold was among the booty; it is evident that over the centuries quite a few of the issued coins struck in gold bearing the VIGO hallmark were lost to melting before their rarity was appreciated. Fewest struck and rarest of these is the 5 guineas, but the other two denominations bearing the hallmark, the guinea and its half, are both elusive.