Great Britain, Victoria, Una and the Lion Gold Five Pounds, 1839
S-3851; Fr-386; KM-742. Produced by the great 19th-century coin engraver William Wyon, this is among the most famous and desirable of all British coins. The obverse design features a young bust of Victoria aged 20 years facing left, while the reverse has the Queen dressed as Una leading the British lion, with DIRIGE in the legend and 13 tiny leaves in the queen's rear hair-fillet. A legend in small letters surrounds and translates from Latin to "May the Lord direct my steps." The normal gold-coin rim beading is replaced on this rare issue by an intricate ornamentation resembling the edge of a window-sash. This gorgeous, deeply cameoed specimen is one of approximately 300 made for the Coronation sets of 1839. It is remarkably free from scuffs and has a very minimum amount of the hairlines that other examples of this rare coin fall victim to, and the cameo effect of the detailed design is unusual. It would not be easy to find a more exciting example.
US$ 40,000 - 50,000
£32,000 - 41,000