Silver Kilo 2017 Unicorn of Scotland, Coin from United Kingdom - detailed information

Silver Kilo 2017 Unicorn of Scotland, Coin from United Kingdom
CoinSilver Kilo 2017 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. Most of these by tradition are measured in troy ounces of fractions thereof, but the mint also introduced metric coins measuring one kilogram of pure metal (they are actually fractionally heavier as a whole, to account for the small amount of other metal in the alloy).

The 1 kg silver coins are denominated as Five Hundred Pounds (£500), although their intrinsic (bullion) value is much higher than their face value. The coins vary in design depending on the occasion (they are "one-year" types usually issued in parallel with smaller denominations with the same reverse designs).

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.

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 silver one kilogram coin was issued in a mahogany presentation box, Royal Mint Product Code: UK17QUSK, issue price: £2050.00, with issue limit of 150 boxed, maximum coin mintage 225, in Proof FDC grade only.

MintRoyal Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage80
United Kingdom / Silver Kilo 2017 Unicorn of Scotland - obverse photo

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 · 500 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).

Obverse Inscription ELIZABETH II · D · G · REG · F · D · 500 POUNDS ·
United Kingdom / Silver Kilo 2017 Unicorn of Scotland - reverse photo

The reverse features 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 below, the inscription UNICORN OF SCOTLAND. Around above, interrupted by the unicorn's head, the date · 2017 ·.

The artist's initials JC (for Jody Clark) are in the lower left field next to the shield.

Reverse Inscription UNICORN OF SCOTLAND · 2017 ·
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone

From the Royal Mint web page about the coin:
"The second release in The Queen’s Beasts Collection celebrates the Unicorn of Scotland. As a powerful symbol of strength and beauty, it’s easy to see how the unicorn has come to be used in heraldry. A symbol of Scottish heritage for centuries, the Unicorn also features on the Royal Arms of Her Majesty The Queen, which unites the four home nations.

The history and legend of the Unicorn has been captured in Royal Mint coin designer Jody Clark’s dynamic design. This edition of the coin is the largest silver coin in the range, struck in a kilo of 999 fine silver with a 100mm diameter. The coin has been finished to Proof standard and is presented in a Royal Mint case with a booklet produced in association with Clive Cheesman, Richmond Herald at the College of Arms."

The Royal Mint released sales figures in March 2020; however, some of them are not final as some of the products listed were still available for sale at that time.

See also

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

Silver Kilo 2017 Unicorn of Scotland: References to Information Used
Royal Mint Mintage link
UK coin dealer supplying high quality and carefully graded antique coins to the discerning collector
UK coin dealer supplying high quality and carefully graded antique coins to the discerning collector
Silver Kilo 2017 Unicorn of Scotland: Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling
Coin TypeSilver Kilo (1 kg)
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
EffigyPortrait by Jody Clark (Fifth Portrait)
Face Value500 (x Pound)
Total Mintage80
Material0.999 Silver
DesignerJody Clark
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size (mm)100
Mass (g)1005
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Silver Kilo 2017 Unicorn of Scotland: Catalogue Reference IDs