One of the finest known examples of what is arguable one of the world's most sought after and beautiful coins, the 1839 British gold quintuple sovereign, simply referred to as the Una and the Lion coin, was recently sold for a record price at London's Coinex Premier Auction held in co-operation with the English firm Baldwin’s of St. James’s.
The coin was only recently certified by NGC at PR65 Ultra Cameo, and was estimated to fetch a price of between £150 000 and £200 000 at the September 22nd , 2017, auction event.
When the final Gavel struck the coin managed to realise a total of £340 000 which is roughly US$460 000.
NGC Chairman Mark Salzberg had the following comments about the coin :
“The impressive price realised by this beautiful ‘Una and the Lion’ proof reflects the value that collectors and dealers place in NGC’s expert services, ... we are honoured to have been chosen to grade some of the most important coins from England.”
The 1839 Gold coin was minted to commemorate the beginning of Queen Victoria's reign, and depicts Victoria on the coin's reverse as a character from the 1590 poem by Edmund Spenser, entitled : “The Faerie Queene”. On the coin the young queen is seen directing the actions of the British lion, while holding the royal sceptre and orb.
The reverse design depicts the young Queen Victoria, who ascended the throne at only age 18, stylised as the aforementioned Una wearing a flowing gown(or the equivalent thereof for Victorian England) holding a sceptre and orb. She is seen directing the actions of the British Lion, standing behind her. The legend includes the roman numerals for 1839 and to the top of the coin reads “DIRIGE DEUS GRESSUS MEOS” which translates rather loosely as “May God guide my steps”.
Remarkably this would mark the third time in 2017 that an Una and the Lion coin has come up for auction. The first was a PCGS Graded Poof 63 Deep Cameo coin, sold by the English firm Dix Noonan Webb in their March 2017 Coins, Tokens and Historic Medals Auction. That coin realised a price of £204 000 or roughly US$270 000.
The second was again offered by DNW as a part of their September Coins and Historic Medals auction. This time the coin formed a part of the original 1839 15 coin proof set. The set was sold for £220 000 or just about US295 000