Masterpiece 2021 Una & the Lion 2oz Gold Proof Coin


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William Wyon’s reputation as a great coin designer is linked to the reign of Queen Victoria, who first sat for Wyon as a young 13-year-old princess. When she was crowned Queen in 1838 Wyon created his famous ‘Young Head’ portrait which was so well liked by Victoria that it graced the coins of her reign and Empire for nearly 50 years.

To celebrate the first anniversary of Victoria’s coronation, William Wyon created one of the most iconic coins of the Victorian era: his Una & the Lion. Una, the courageous heroine princess from Edmund Spenser’s medieval epic The Faerie Queene, is used here to personify the young Queen Victoria, all elegance and grace compared to the barely suppressed power and energy of the lion at her side.

The lion personifies the British nation under the guiding hand of its new Queen, on the threshold of a period of unprecedented scientific, political, social and industrial advancements which saw the British Empire grow to become the greatest the world had ever seen.



Una and the Lion: Poetry, Poise and Power

William Wyon’s Una & the Lion was initially seen as quite controversial, as at the time there were no examples of current British monarchs being used in allegorical or narrative settings in coin design. But as Una & the Lion was designed for a celebratory £5 Proof coin, rather than a general circulation coin, Wyon’s creativity was given free reign and soon proved to be a resounding success.

It also quickly became coveted by collectors, widely regarded as one of history’s most beautiful coin designs but with no more than a few hundred ever produced by The Royal Mint. Full of beauty and grace while capturing the ambition of what was to become a powerful global Empire, it is a Masterpiece now made available to the modern collector through a combination of the ancient hand craftsmanship and modern minting expertise of The East India Company.

This limited-edition Gold Proof 2oz Masterpiece Collection edition features a faithful remaster of Wyon’s classic Una & the Lion, delivered in a luxury presentation case with an informative booklet and certificate of authenticity.

Coin Name: Masterpiece 2021 Una & the Lion 2oz Gold Proof Coin
Alloy: 0.999Au
Denomination: £5
Weight: 2oz
Issuing Authority: St Helena
Diameter: 45mm
Edge: Milled
Issue Limit: 125
Total Mintage: 125


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