Masterpiece 2021 Una & the Lion 1oz Gold Proof Coin – SOLD OUT



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William Wyon is synonymous with great coin designs of the Victorian era, particularly his portraits of Queen Victoria which charted her journey from a 13-year-old princess to a dignified head of state. His iconic ‘Young Head’ captured the youthful beauty of the new monarch and was so popular with Victoria it graced the coins of her reign and Empire for nearly 50 years.

Wyon went on to produce the portrait used on Penny Black stamps in 1840, and shortly before his death in 1851 he created conjoined portraits of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert for medals issued for the Great Exhibition. Victoria seemingly appreciated his work and is believed to have told Wyon that “you always represent me favourably”.

To celebrate the first anniversary of Queen Victoria’s coronation in 1839, Wyon produced his classic Una & the Lion, now recognised as one of history’s most beautiful coin designs. The East India Company is delighted to make it available to the modern collector once again as this limited-edition 1oz Gold Proof Coin, the latest issue in our Masterpiece Collection.


Una & the Lion: Poetry, Poise and Power

Wyon’s design was inspired by a literary classic; Edmund Spenser’s epic medieval poem, The Faerie Queene.

Una is a young princess on a quest to free her parents who have been imprisoned by a dragon. She is symbolic of innocence and truth, and Wyon used her to personify Queen Victoria. On her journey Una meets a lion, initially fierce but quickly subdued as he is captivated by Una’s beauty and compassion. The Lion becomes her companion, devoted to protecting Una as she continues her quest. He represents the British nation. Together, Una & the Lion embody strength, courage and commitment.

By characterising Queen Victoria as a literary figure, Wyon’s design was initially seen as controversial. But its artistry soon outweighed any concerns over its storytelling, and it has become widely regarded a true classic of coin design. It has been faithfully remastered for this 2021 Masterpiece Collection edition using the human touch of expert hand craftsmanship and the precision of modern minting technology.

Coin Name: Masterpiece 2021 Una & the Lion
Alloy: 0.999Au
Denomination: £5
Weight: 1oz
Issuing Authority: St Helena
Diameter: 32mm
Edge: Milled
Issue Limit: 200
Total Mintage: 200


This tea is sourced from a tea estate certified by The Ethical Tea Partnership.
We are proud to be a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP), a non-commercial alliance of international tea companies who share a vision of a thriving global tea sector that is socially just and environmentally sustainable.

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