Masterpiece 2021 Three Graces 2oz Gold Proof Coin


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William Wyon is now recognised as one of the great coin designers of the Victorian age. His ‘Young Head’ portrait graced the coins of Queen Victoria’s reign for nearly 50 years while his Una and The Lion remains a favourite of East India Bullion collectors to this day.

Having joined The Royal Mint as Assistant Engraver he found himself in the shadow of the great Benedetto Pistrucci, but when the British Government announced a competition to find designs for the Great Recoinage of 1816 Wyon saw his opportunity to improve his prospects. He decided to enter the competition with his neoclassical masterpiece: The Three Graces.

While it did not win the competition, the few test pieces produced at the time quickly became collectors’ items as Wyon’s reputation grew. The East India Company is delighted to make The Three Graces available to collectors once again as the first issue in our Masterpiece Collection, Wyon’s design captured in stunning detail on this impressive 2oz Gold Proof Coin which is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.


The Three Graces: Joy. Beauty. Youth.

When designing his Three Graces, William Wyon reflected an early 19th Century rebirth of interest in Ancient Greece and the Classics by using Aglaea, Euphrosyne and Thalia to represent England, Scotland and Ireland. The 1801 Act of Union had seen the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland combine to form the United Kingdom, and William cast the mythical sisters as the three proud nations, decorating them with recognisable national symbols.

He added thistles, roses and shamrocks to their hair, while at their feet you can see a shield bearing the flag of St George, an oversized thistle, and a harp. The Three Graces became more than daughters of Mighty Zeus, ancient goddesses known to personify joy, beauty and youth. Wyon gave them a contemporary relevance, evidence of his talent for storytelling that continued to influence his work throughout his life, notably in his beautiful Una and The Lion.

Coin Name: Masterpiece 2021 Three Graces 2oz Gold Proof
Alloy: 0.999Au
Denomination: £5
Weight: 2oz
Issuing Authority: St Helena
Diameter: 45mm
Edge: Milled
Issue Limit: 250
Total Mintage: 250


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