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2019 Una And The Lion Two Ounce Gold Proof

Una and the Lion from the Royal Mint

'The Great Engravers collection from the Royal Mint celebrates prominent artists from the Royal Mint archives. “Una and the Lion” is the first in the series celebrating William Wyon, RA, one of the greatest engravers to ever work on British coinage.'

In 2019 the Royal Mint launched The Great Engravers, a collection honouring prominent artists from the mint’s past. The first in the series is ‘Una and the Lion’, a coin of stunning artistry and intricate detail celebrating its engraver William Wyon, RA (1795-1851). For this edition, the coin was reverse engineered using dies remastered from the original with modern minting techniques. Struck in gold and silver and finished to the finest Proof standard, it both commemorates and breathes new life into the original coin. (Photo: The Royal Mint, 2019)

Master engraver William Wyon

Wyon is revered by academics and collectors around the world as one of the finest engravers ever to have designed British coins. He is best-known for his many coin and medal portraits of Queen Victoria, who first sat for him at the age of 13 as a young princess. Her ‘Young Head’ portrait, approved for coinage in 1838, established him as one of the most highly regarded medallists in the Neoclassical style. This portrait is used on the obverse side of the commemorative five pound coin ‘Una and the Lion’ issued in 1839, celebrating young Victoria’s coronation at the age of 18 in 1837.

The coin, encompassing a combination of Wyon’s artistry and the queen whose reign coincided with the height of the British Empire, has been a favourite of collectors for generations. Earlier this year, a NGC65 grade 1839 five pound coin was sold for more than £620,000 at a Japanese auction.

Una and the Lion, 1860, by William Bell Scott

Una and the Lion, 1860, by William Bell Scott

The story and its symbolism

The design of Una and the Lion derives from the English poem, The Faerie Queen, written by Edmund Spenser and first published in 1590. The allegorical work features many characters including female warriors, knights and dragons while highlighting various morals to promote ‘virtuous and gentle discipline.’ In the poem, Lady Una, a symbol of truth and the new Church of England, embarks on a mission to save her parents from a vicious dragon. Along the way she befriends a wild lion whom she disarms with her beauty and innocence to become her protector.

In Wyon’s work, Una represents Queen Victoria, the young ruler and head of the Church, calmly leading a strong nation symbolised by the lion. The Latin legend, ‘Dieige Deus Gressus Meos’ reads as a prayer for the sovereign: ‘May the Lord direct my steps.’

Minting the coin

In 1810, a new mint opened at Tower Hill on the River Thames. A reflection of Britain’s industrial expertise, the new facility was equipped with steam-powered technology that allowed for sophisticated coin production. Wyon recreated his magnificent design onto the tiny die entirely by hand, an astonishing accomplishment for the period.

In reproducing his masterpiece for the 2019 release, an enlarged version of the pattern was used to create a 300mm diameter plastic mould, the Royal Mint craftsmen then refined its intricate details to remove historical blemishes. The new mould was saved digitally before a new die was cut and struck after meticulous hand-polishing.

The renewed coin is a modern masterpiece imbued with history: advanced machinery has brought the modern coin’s finish to new heights while carefully preserving Wyon’s deft touch. On the obverse side is a portrait bust of Queen Elizabeth II to a design by Jody Clark.

The Royal Mint collection

The 2019 edition issued a £5,000 gold proof 5kg coin with a diameter of 175mm, measuring the largest coin ever produced by the Royal Mint at the time. This was followed by a £2,000 gold proof 2kg coin, a £1,000 gold proof 1kg coin, a £500 gold proof 5oz coin, a £200 gold proof 2oz coin, and a £5 silver proof 2oz coin. Only one of the 5kg was produced and sold to an undisclosed buyer.

The limited mintage has resulted in resale prices immediately tripling after launch, giving an indication that it is likely to emulate the cult-like following and impressive valuations of its 1839 predecessor.

Also part of this collection, the Commonwealth Mint produced an Alderney (Channel Islands) issue of £100 silver 1kg proof and £5 gold proof coins — both with a limited mintage of 400, the same as the original 1839 Una. Additionally, the Commonwealth Mint issued a three-coin set of full, half-ounce and quarter-ounce gold sovereigns, and Hattons of London produced an Alderney £20 gold proof coin with a mintage of 63, and a £50 gold proof coin with a mintage of 20.



 2019 Una and the Lion two-ounce gold proof £200 coin, limited mintage of 225 coins, portrait bust of Elizabeth II facing right by Jody Clark on obverse

2019年ウナとライオン2オンス金貨額面£200、表側はジョディ・クラーク氏デザインのエリザベス二世女王肖像画 (Photo: The Royal Mint, 2019)






Una and the Lion, 1860, by William Bell Scott








019年のエディションでは当時のロイヤルミント史上最大のサイズである 直径175mm、£5000ポンド額面の5kg金プルーフが発行されました。さらに£2000ポンドの2kg金プルーフコイン、£1000ポンドの1kg金プルーフコイン、£500の5オンス金プルーフコイン、£200の2オンス金プルーフコインと£5ポンドの2オンス銀プルーフコインが発行されています。5kg金プルーフコインは1枚だけ作られ、未公表のバイヤーに購入されました。

限られた発行枚数であったことから発行直後の転売価格が3倍に高騰し、今後も 1839年のオリジナルのような圧倒的な人気と高額な価値評価を得ていく可能性を既に示唆しています。本コレクションにはコモンウェルス・ミントのオルダニー島ラインもあり、£100ポンド銀の1kgプルーフ、£5ポンド金のプルーフをそれぞれ1839年のオリジナルと同じ400枚発行しており、金の1オンス、1/2オンス、1/4オンスから成る3つのコインセットも発行しています。また、ハットンズ・オブ・ロンドンからは、オルダニー島£20ポンド金プルーフ(63枚)、£50ポンド金プルーフ(20枚)が発行されています。