|Coin||Platinum Ounce 2019 Unicorn of Scotland|
Like many other mints, the Royal Mint issues bullion coins in precious metals, having much higher intrinsic value than their face value. The one ounce (1 oz) platinum coins are denominated as One Hundred Pounds (£100).
The coins are legal tender, but are not intended for circulation. They are targeted at bullion investors or collectors who appreciate the special editions as pieces of art. The coins are typically "one-year" types usually issued in parallel with smaller denominations with the same reverse designs.
This coin type is the second from a series of ten coin designs known as the Queen's Beasts.
The Queen's Beasts are British coins issued by the Royal Mint in platinum, gold, and silver since 2016. Each of the coins in the series features a stylized version of one of the heraldic Queen's Beasts statues present at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II representing her royal line of ancestry. It was announced that engraver Jody Clark will design the entire series; he is best known for also designing the Queen's Fifth definitive portrait, which is on the obverse of the coins.
The Queen's Beasts heraldic statues representing the genealogy of Queen Elizabeth II stood in front of the temporary western annexe to Westminster Abbey for the Queen's coronation in 1953. Each of The Queen's Beasts consists of an heraldic beast supporting a shield bearing a badge or arms of a family associated with the ancestry of Queen Elizabeth II. They were commissioned by the British Ministry of Works from sculptor James Woodford. The statues were uncoloured except for their shields at the coronation. They are now on display in the Canadian Museum of History. There are other statues of the Queen's Beasts, sometimes referred to as the King's Beasts, at Hampton Court Palace and Kew Gardens in London, and on the roof of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
The Unicorn of Scotland comes from the Royal Arms of Scotland. From the end of the 16th century, two unicorns were adopted as the supporters of the Scottish Royal Arms. In 1603, the crown of England passed to King James VI of Scotland, who then became King James I of England. He took as supporters of his Royal Arms a crowned lion of England and one of his Scottish unicorns. The unicorn holds a shield showing the Royal Arms of Scotland, a lion ramping in a royal tressure, adorned with fleur-de-lis.
The platinum one ounce coins are struck in Brilliant Uncirculated grade and are targeted at investors in precious metals.
||Mint Mark||No mint mark
Crowned old head of Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem crown worn for her Coronation (effigy known as the "Fifth Portrait"). Running continuously around the effigy is the monarch's legend: ELIZABETH II · D · G · REG · F · D · 100 POUNDS ·. Translated from Latin: Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith, followed by the value and denomination in English.
In tiny letters below the head, the artist's initials J.C (for Jody Clark).
The obverse has a textured background with a geometric pattern.
The reverse features, on a textured background, the Unicorn of Scotland standing on its hind legs, holding the Shield of the Royal Arms of Scotland, chained with a coronet around its neck like a collar. According to legend, the unicorn is a very dangerous beast, for which reason on its heraldic representation it is chained. It is thought that the chain was to show a great beast had been tamed to serve the king. As with most chained beasts in heraldry, its strength is emphasised rather than diminished by its shackles.
Around, interrupted by the unicorn's head, the inscription UNICORN OF SCOTLAND 1 oz · FINE PLATINUM · 999.5 · 2019.
The artist's initials JC (for Jody Clark) are in the lower left field next to the shield.
||UNICORN OF SCOTLAND 1 oz · FINE PLATINUM · 999.5 · 2019
From the Royal Mint web page about the coin:
"This one ounce platinum bullion coin is a new addition to The Queen’s Beasts Collection. Inspired by ancient symbols of power and identity, the range brings to life the ten imposing statues that lined the entrance to Westminster Abbey in 1953 at the coronation of Her Majesty The Queen.
The unicorn first appeared on Scottish heraldry in the twelfth century, after William I created an early form of the Scottish coat of arms. James I of England, who united the kingdoms of England and Scotland, chose the Scottish Unicorn to join the Lion of England in supporting the Royal Arms. The pair have appeared together ever since.
Following the success of previous coins featuring the unicorn, this platinum one ounce edition features the same original design by Jody Clark. Shackled, but not cowed, it captures the majesty of Scotland’s national animal."
This reverse design was issued in a variety of formats:
- £5 copper-nickel brilliant uncirculated, 2017
- 1 oz silver, proof, 2017
- 5 oz silver, proof, 2017
- 10 oz silver, proof, 2017
- 1 kg silver, proof, 2017
- 1/4 oz gold, proof, 2017
- 1 oz gold, proof, 2017
- 5 oz gold, proof, 2017
- 1 kg gold, proof, 2017
- 2 oz silver, bullion grade, 2018
- 1/4 oz gold, bullion grade, 2018
- 1 oz gold, bullion grade, 2018
- 10 oz silver, bullion grade, 2019
- 1 oz platinum, bullion grade, 2019