Guinea

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Guinea

A gold coin issued in the United Kingdom between 1663 and 1816. From 1717 on, its value was fixed by law at 21 shillings, or just over one British pound. After it was withdrawn from circulation, "guinea" remained a slang term for 21 shillings. After decimalization, the term was still used in horse racing and the sale of rams to mean 1.05 pounds.
References in classic literature ?
If he could only be kept so occupied with the lozenges as not to see the guineas before David could manage to cover them
Was ever a promising young man wishing to lay the foundation of his fortune by appropriating his mother's guineas obstructed by such a day-mare as this?
This procedure was not objectionable to Jacob; on the contrary, the guineas clinked so pleasantly as they fell, that he wished for a repetition of the sound, and seizing the box, began to rattle it very gleefully.
Jacob turned his head on one side, looked first at his brother and then at the hole, like a reflective monkey, and, finally, laid the box of guineas in the hole with much decision.
The guineas would have lain safely in the earth while the theft was discovered, and David, with the calm of conscious innocence, would have lingered at home, reluctant to say good-bye to his dear mother while she was in grief about her guineas; till at length, on the eve of his departure, he would have disinterred them in the strictest privacy, and carried them on his own person without inconvenience.
It was clear to David now that he had only one alternative before him: he must either renounce the guineas, by quietly putting them back in his mother's drawer (a course not unattended with difficulty); or he must leave more than a suspicion behind him, by departing early the next morning without giving notice, and with the guineas in his pocket.
Oh, why, in general, was the world so constituted that a man could not take his mother's guineas comfortably?
David raised the lids and shook his head, while Jacob put his finger in and took out a guinea to taste whether the metamorphosis into lozenges was complete and satisfactory.
How the guineas shone as they came pouring out of the dark leather mouths
Betwixt-and-Between," he added, "this bottle of yours is dry; and it's hard if I'm to pay sixty guineas and be grudged a dram upon the back of it.
He took many occasions to express his sense of my tenderness and concern for him; and when he grew quite well, he made me a present of fifty guineas for my care and, as he called it, for hazarding my life to save his.
By this means, and including what he had given me as above, I had at the end of my lying in about two hundred guineas by me, including also what was left of my own.