Silver Five Ounces 2021 Masterpiece - Una and the Lion, Coin from Saint Helena - detailed information

Silver Five Ounces 2021 Masterpiece - Una and the Lion, Coin from Saint Helena
CoinSilver Five Ounces 2021 Masterpiece - Una and the Lion

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 large silver five ounces (5 oz silver) format, denominated as £5.

This coin is a modern re-interpretation of one of the world’s most beautiful coins, the iconic Una and the Lion Five Pound piece by William Wyon, issued in 1839 for inclusion in the first specimen coin sets of Queen Victoria's reign.

The obverse of the original showed the young portrait of Queen Victoria, also by Royal Mint engraver William Wyon (1795 - 1851). The reverse draws its theme from Edmund Spenser’s epic poem entitled the Faerie Queene, first published in 1590 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, and depicts the Queen as Una guiding the British lion. There is a powerful contrast between the restrained energy conveyed by the lion and the peace and grace of the standing figure of Una. The design is an unusual one for a British coin, being too medallic - but then, it was never intended for circulation.

The Mint says about this coin:
William Wyon framed his Una and the Lion with the Latin phrase "DIRIGE DEUS GRESSUS MEOS" which translates as “May the Lord direct my steps” in reference to Queen Victoria’s role as head of the Church of England.

In further clues to her true identity, Una carries various symbols of monarchy, such as an orb and sceptre. Beside her is a mighty lion, the British Empire’s energy and power seemingly under Una’s control as she guides it forwards with her sceptre. It is a stunning example of visual storytelling, and while it is now held in the highest regard by enthusiasts, it did initially cause some controversy. Sitting British monarchs were traditionally depicted on their coins in classic positions or poses, for example on a throne or as a portrait. Never before had a current monarch been shown in a narrative setting like this, so it was a bold move by Wyon which paid off when its beauty held sway over any concerns about its concept. It now takes its rightful place in The East India Company’s Masterpiece Collection.

MintEast India Company (modern) Mint MarkEIC Total Mintage300
Obverse
Saint Helena / Silver Five Ounces 2021 Masterpiece - Una and the Lion - obverse photo

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). In small letters on the left, the artist's initials JC (for Jody Clark).

Running continuously around the rim is the monarch's legend, the date of issue and the face value: ELIZABETH II · D · G · REGINA · F · D · ST. HELENA · 5 POUNDS ·. Translated from Latin: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith, Saint Helena.

Obverse Inscription ELIZABETH II · D · G · REGINA · F · D · ST. HELENA · 5 POUNDS ·
Reverse
Saint Helena / Silver Five Ounces 2021 Masterpiece - Una and the Lion - reverse photo

The reverse shows the figure of Queen Victoria standing, robed and crowned, holding and orb in her left hand and directing a lion to left, with a sceptre extended in her right hand.

Around, the inscription DIRIGE DEUS GRESSUS MEOS. (translated from Latin: May the Lord direct my steps).

In exergue, the date of issue in Latin numerals: MMXXI (2021).

Below that, the EIC mint mark of the East India Company; the letters are separated by arrows radiating from the centre around which they are situated.

Reverse Inscription DIRIGE DEUS GRESSUS MEOS. MMXXI
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

Finish: proof.
Packaging: in presentation box with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.
East India Company SKU: FG21UNMSP5OZ
Issue price: £495.00

See also

The Una and the Lion design has been issued, re-issued and re-interpreted in the following formats:
- Five Pounds Gold 1839 Una and the Lion - the original issue
- 5 kg Gold, Una and the Lion, United Kingdom 2019
- 2 kg Gold, Una and the Lion, United Kingdom 2019
- 1 kg Gold, Una and the Lion, United Kingdom 2019
- 5 oz Gold, Una and the Lion, United Kingdom 2019
- 5 oz Gold, Una and the Lion, Saint Helena 2021
- Gold £20 (2.5 oz) Una and the Lion, Alderney 2019
- 2 oz Gold, Una and the Lion, United Kingdom 2019
- 2 oz Gold, Una and the Lion, Saint Helena 2021
- Five Sovereigns, Una and the Lion, Alderney 2019
- Five Pounds, Una and the Lion, Alderney 2019
- Five Sovereigns, Una and the Lion, Saint Helena 2019
- 1 oz Gold, Una and the Lion, Saint Helena 2021
- Double Sovereign, Una and the Lion, Alderney 2019
- Sovereign, Una and the Lion, Alderney 2019
- Half Sovereign, Una and the Lion, Alderney 2019
- Quarter Sovereign, Una and the Lion, Alderney 2019
- 2 kg Silver, Una and the Lion, United Kingdom 2019
- 1 kg Silver Proof, Una and the Lion, Alderney 2019
- 1 kg Silver, Una and the Lion, Saint Helena 2021
- 5 oz Silver, Una and the Lion, Saint Helena 2021
- 2 oz Silver, Una and the Lion, United Kingdom 2019
- 2 oz Silver, Una and the Lion, Saint Helena 2021
- 1 oz Silver, Una and the Lion, Saint Helena 2021
- 1 oz Gold Bar, Una and the Lion, United Kingdom, undated (released 2021)
- 100 oz Silver Bar, Una and the Lion, United Kingdom, undated (released 2021)
- 10 oz Silver Bar, Una and the Lion, United Kingdom, undated (released 2021)
- 1 oz Silver Bar, Una and the Lion, United Kingdom, undated (released 2021)

Coins featuring the Una and the Lion theme and issued for Saint Helena include:
- 5 oz Gold Proof, Masterpiece - Una and the Lion, 2021
- 2 oz Gold Proof, Masterpiece - Una and the Lion, 2021
- Five Sovereigns Proof, Una and the Lion, 2019
- 1 oz Gold Proof, Una and the Lion, 2020
- 1 oz Gold Proof, Masterpiece - Una and the Lion, 2021
- 1 oz Gold Proof, Una and the Lion, 2021
- 1 oz Gold Proof, Una and the Lion, 2022
- 1/4 oz Gold Proof, Una and the Lion, 2020
- 1/4 oz Gold Proof, Una and the Lion, 2021
- 1/4 oz Gold Proof, Una and the Lion, 2022
- 0.5 g Gold Proof, Una and the Lion, 2020
- 0.5 g Gold Proof, Una and the Lion, 2021
- 0.5 g Gold Proof, Una and the Lion, 2022
- 1 kg Silver Proof, Masterpiece - Una and the Lion, 2021
- 1 kg Silver Proof, Una and the Lion, 2021
- 5 oz Silver Proof, Masterpiece - Una and the Lion, 2021
- 5 oz Silver Proof, Una and the Lion, 2021
- 2 oz Silver Proof, Masterpiece - Una and the Lion, 2021
- 2 oz Silver Bullion, Una and the Lion, 2021
- 2 oz Silver Proof, Una and the Lion, 2021
- 1 oz Silver Bullion, Una and the Lion, 2020
- 1 oz Silver Proof, Una and the Lion, 2020
- 1 oz Silver Proof, Masterpiece - Una and the Lion, 2021
- 1 oz Silver Bullion, Una and the Lion, 2021
- 1 oz Silver Proof, Una and the Lion, 2021
- 1 oz Silver Proof, Una and the Lion, 2022

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Silver Five Ounces 2021 Masterpiece - Una and the Lion: Details
CountrySaint Helena
CurrencySaint Helena Pound
Coin TypeSilver Five Ounces (5 oz)
Issued2021
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
EffigyQueen Elizabeth II - Portrait by Jody Clark (Uncouped version)
Face Value5 (x Pound)
Total Mintage300
Mintage Limit300
CurrentYes
Material0.999 Silver
DesignerWilliam Wyon
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size65.000 mm
Mass155.500 g
OCC IDRWKZ-EJNC-QANQ-EXGL
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Silver Five Ounces 2021 Masterpiece - Una and the Lion: Photos
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Coin, Saint Helena, Silver Five Ounces 2021 Masterpiece - Una and the Lion
Copyright: The East India Company
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Coin, Saint Helena, Silver Five Ounces 2021 Masterpiece - Una and the Lion
Copyright: The East India Company
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