Behind the Craft - Wyon's Una and the Lion Sovereign

Apr 22 , 2024

In 1839, to mark the beginning of the reign of Queen Victoria, master engraver William Wyon created what is widely recognised as one of the world's most beautiful coins. The majestic gold £5 piece introduced the iconic duo of Una, the beautiful princess, and the lion, her faithful protector to the world of numismatics. Depicting Una as the young queen, guiding her nation represented by the lion, surrounded by the Latin phrase DIRIGE DEUS GRESSUS MEOS (May the Lord direct my steps).

Today Wyon’s original Una & the Lion £5 gold coin fetches some of the highest prices in numismatic auctions across the world. With only 100 coins ever made, only the very select few are lucky enough to acquire one.