|Coin||Silver Crown 2021 The Three Graces|
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 been issuing commemorative coinage since 1989, initially mostly in the British Crown format.
The United Kingdom pre-decimal Crown denomination was equal to 5 shillings, which was re-denominated as a 25p coin at decimalisation in 1971. For that reason, commemorative crowns were initially denominated as 25 pence - which was written on the Saint Helena coinage, unlike its British counterpart which for a long time had a tradition of not spelling out the face value on the coin. After 1990, the "Crown" was revived as a commemorative £5 (five pounds) coin in the UK. Saint Helena Crowns have the same specifications and face value as the United Kingdom denomination, but are legal tender in the territory only and not in the UK.
This coin is a modern re-issue of the reverse design of The Three Graces pattern crown. Created by the renowned engraver William Wyon early in his decorated career with the Royal Mint, the original coin was a pattern made in 1817 for a Crown denomination produced late in the reign of King George III; it was never circulated but has earned a reputation for its attractive and symbolic reverse. The art world that Wyon was establishing himself in was dominated by neoclassicism. Its proponents were influenced by stories of Ancient Greece and Rome and the simple, symmetrical style they saw in artefacts, engravings and on their Grand Tours of Europe.
The Mint says about this coin:
William Wyon is undoubtedly one of history’s greatest coin designers. Born in England in 1795, his father was an engraver of medals and coins, his uncle a die engraver, and his cousin Thomas was Chief Engraver of The Royal Mint from 1815 until his untimely death in 1817. So it was perhaps inevitable that young William would pursue a career in the coin industry too. As a 22-year-old Assistant Engraver he created his neoclassical masterpiece: The Three Graces. While it never went into production, around 50 test "Pattern Pieces" were produced which became collectors’ items as Wyon’s reputation grew. His "Young Head" portrait of Queen Victoria graced the coins of her reign for nearly 50 years, while his "Una and The Lion" remains a favourite of East India Company Bullion collectors to this day.
William Wyon’s Three Graces is early evidence of a remarkable talent, a Masterpiece now available to the contemporary collector as this delicate, strictly limited edition Pattern piece.
The obverse of the coin depicts the crowned old bust of Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem crown worn for her Coronation (effigy known as the "Fifth Portrait" worldwide but "Sixth Portrait" in Australia, where the Queen's portrait by Vladimir Gottwald was fifth).
The Queen also wears the Coronation Necklace; originally made for Queen Victoria in 1858, it was also worn at the coronations (as Queen's Consort) of Queen Alexandra in 1902, Queen Mary in 1911 and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen mother) in 1937.
Unlike on British coinage, the effigy is "uncouped" (includes the Queen's shoulders) and extends almost to the rim of the coin; consequently, the legend does not run continuously around the rim.
The artist's initials JC (for Jody Clark) are in tiny letters below left.
Around the effigy is the monarch's legend and the date: ELIZABETH II · D · G · REGINA · F · D · ST. HELENA · 5 POUNDS · 2021 ·. Translated from Latin: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith, Saint Helena.
Within a beaded border, the reverse features, from left to right, the female representations of Ireland, England and Scotland. They are identified by the implements at their feet - respectively a harp, a shield bearing the cross of St George and an oversized thistle; additionally, the also carry floral symbols in their crowns: shamrocks, roses and more thistles.
The engravers name W. WYON. is to the left of the harp. Above the harp, the EIC mint mark of the East India Company; the letters are separated by arrows radiating from the centre around which they are situated.
England, (or maybe Britannia), is perhaps the elder sister, standing taller than the other women who look at her with affection. This is an idealised representation of the union between the three nations, formed as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801. Wales is not represented here, but then that would have disrupted the neat parallel with the three charities of Greek mythology.
The design owes much to Antonio Canova's famous statue, The Three Graces - hence the coin's nickname; however, the figures in the statue are naked while those on the coin are fully dressed, in Classical style.
The inscription around above, interrupted by the figures, reads FOEDUS INVIOLABILE (Inviolable League).
In the exergue, a crossed palm frond and a ship's rudder. The palm frond symbolises both victory - reminding of the recent victory at Waterloo - and peace. The ship's rudder is a symbol of the British maritime might.
Packaging: in a bespoke case, with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.
East India Company SKU: FG21GRASP1CP
Issue price: £220.00
Coins featuring The Three Graces include:
- Crown Pattern 1817 The Three Graces (the original issue)
- 5 kg Gold, The Three Graces, United Kingdom 2020
- 3 kg Gold, The Three Graces, United Kingdom 2020
- 2 kg Gold, The Three Graces, United Kingdom 2020
- 1 kg Gold, The Three Graces, United Kingdom 2020
- 10 oz Gold, The Three Graces, United Kingdom 2021
- 5 oz Gold, The Three Graces, United Kingdom 2020
- 5 oz Gold, The Three Graces, Alderney 2020
- 5 oz Gold, The Three Graces, Saint Helena 2021
- 2 oz Gold, The Three Graces, United Kingdom 2020
- 2 oz Gold, The Three Graces, Saint Helena 2021
- Gold Crown, The Three Graces, Saint Helena 2021
- Five Pounds Gold, The Three Graces, Alderney 2020
- 1 oz Gold, The Three Graces, Saint Helena 2021
- Sovereign,The Three Graces, Alderney 2020
- Half Sovereign,The Three Graces, Alderney 2020
- Quarter Sovereign ,The Three Graces, Alderney 2020
- 2 kg Silver, The Three Graces, United Kingdom 2020
- 1 kg Silver, The Three Graces, United Kingdom 2020
- 1 kg Silver, The Three Graces, Alderney 2020
- 1 kg Silver, The Three Graces, Saint Helena 2021
- 10 oz Silver, The Three Graces, United Kingdom 2020
- 5 oz Silver, The Three Graces, United Kingdom 2020
- 5 oz Silver, The Three Graces, Alderney 2020
- 5 oz Silver, The Three Graces, Saint Helena 2021
- 2 oz Silver, The Three Graces, United Kingdom 2020
- 2 oz Silver, The Three Graces, Alderney 2020
- 2 oz Silver, The Three Graces, Saint Helena 2021
- 1 oz Silver, The Three Graces, Saint Helena 2021
- Silver Crown, The Three Graces, Saint Helena 2021
- £5 Wedgwood Jasperware (Ceramic), The Three Graces, Tristan da Cunha 2018