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2024 Wyon's Una & the Lion Sovereign Collection

William Wyon beautiful classic design of Una and the Lion is now released on a Sovereign for the very first time.

"Una and the Lion" coin is a masterful blend of art, political narrative, and historical symbolism, making it one of the most prized and esteemed coins in the world of numismatics.

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2024 Wyon's Una & the Lion 1oz Silver Proof Coin

Only 250 Coins Available

£99.00

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2024 Wyon's Una & the Lion Sovereign Gold Proof Coin

Only 25 Coins Available

£695.00

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2024 Wyon's Una & the Lion Piedfort Sovereign Gold Proof 

Only 10 Coins Available

£1,349.00

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2024 Wyon's Una & the Lion Sovereign Platinum Proof Coin

Only 5 Coins Available

£595.00

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2024 Wyon's Una & the Lion Five Sovereign Platinum Proof Coin

Only 3 Coins Available

£2,850.00

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2024 Wyon's Una & the Lion Sovereign Gold Proof Three Coin Set

Only 10 Sets Available

£1,495.00

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2024 Wyon's Una & the Lion Sovereign Gold Proof Five Coin Set

Only 5 Sets Available

£5995.00

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The "Una and the Lion" coin is one of the most celebrated and iconic coins in British numismatic history, renowned both for its artistic design and its rarity. The coin was created by William Wyon, the chief engraver at the Royal Mint, and first issued in 1839. Here’s a detailed look at the design and symbolism of this famous coin:

Design Inspiration

The design of the "Una and the Lion" coin was inspired by Edmund Spenser's epic poem "The Faerie Queene," which was written in 1590. The poem is a complex allegorical work intended to glorify Queen Elizabeth I and the Tudor dynasty, presenting Elizabeth as a virtuous and powerful queen.

Symbolism

Una: In the coin's design, Queen Victoria is portrayed as Una, who is the central figure of "The Faerie Queene". In the poem, Una represents truth, beauty, and unity. By depicting Victoria as Una, Wyon was drawing a parallel between the young queen and the virtuous and poetic figure of Una, suggesting purity and moral integrity.

• The Lion: Accompanying Una is a lion, which represents strength, courage, and the English nation. In the narrative of Spenser's poem, the lion is fiercely loyal and protective of Una, symbolizing the might of the country that protects the virtuous queen. This representation echoes the national sentiment of Britain's strength and its role in safeguarding the virtue embodied by Queen Victoria.

• The Scene: The scene on the coin shows Una leading the lion with a command staff, illustrating guidance and sovereignty. It suggests that Queen Victoria, like Una, is a guiding moral force for her country, leading with grace and wisdom.

Artistic Elements

Composition: The design of the coin is noted for its high level of detail and the dynamic composition of Una and the lion walking together. This depiction not only illustrates the narrative but also showcases Wyon's skill in relief work and his ability to convey texture and depth, from the lion's mane to the folds of Una's dress.

Inscription: Around the edge, the coin reads "DIRIGE DEUS GRESSUS MEOS", the motto of the British Monarch, meaning "GOD, DIRECT MY STEPS". This adds a layer of divine authority to the imagery, reinforcing the idea of the monarch's right to rule. So, the phrase is a request for spiritual guidance, commonly used to signify a person's reliance on divine assistance in navigating through life's challenges and decisions.

Legacy

The "Una and the Lion" coin is not only a piece of numismatic art but also a reflection of Victorian-era ideals and the portrayal of Queen Victoria as a young, virtuous, and powerful monarch. Its rarity and the beauty of its design have made it highly sought after by collectors. The coin continues to be celebrated in modern numismatic releases, with the East India Company and other mints occasionally issuing coins that pay homage to this iconic design.