Saint Helena is a small island in the South Atlantic Ocean which is part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. The currency of the island is the Saint Helena pound, fixed at parity with the pound sterling. The island has authorised some private mints to issue coins under its jurisdiction, which come in a variety of sizes - including in the popular gold ounce (1 oz gold) format, denominated as £100.
The 2023 Goddess Eos design is the second edition in a new coin series telling the stories of the Goddesses of Ancient Greek and Norse mythology.
The Mint says about it:
Eos featured in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, described in sun-drenched phrases such as "rosy-fingered", "early-rising" and "saffron-robed", a graceful and beautiful Goddess who ushered in each new day wearing a pink gown lavishly embroidered with flowers. She has also been depicted in sculpture works wearing a tiara upon her head with large, white-feathered wings at her back.
The glowing warmth Eos, Goddess of Dawn, brought to each new day influenced her passionate nature, including a liaison with Ares, lover of Aphrodite, the Goddess of love and desire. Aphrodite punished Eos with the curse of perpetual desire, which caused Eos to continually fall in love with mortal men, many of whom she would kidnap much like the male gods would take mortal women.
Eos then had an affair with the Trojan Prince Tithonus, who she loved so greatly that she asked Zeus to grant him the gift of immortality so they could always be together. Zeus agreed, but unfortunately Eos forgot to also request the gift of eternal youth, so Tithonus eventually became old and infirm. Eos asked Zeus for help again, but he was unable to take back the gift of immortality or make Tithonus young again. Unable to save Tithonus or reverse his ageing, Eos eventually took pity on her withering lover and turned him into a cicada; to this day, in certain parts of the world, cicadas can be heard heralding the dawn of each new day.
The obverse of the coin shows the bare (uncrowned) head of King Charles III facing left.
In tiny letters on the neck truncation, the artist's initials: GD (for Glyn Davies).
Around, the monarch's legend followed by the face value and date of issue: CHARLES III · D · G · REX · F · D · ST. HELENA · 5 POUNDS · 2023 ·. Translated from Latin, the legend means: Charles the Third, by the Grace of God, King, Defender of the Faith, Saint Helena.