The renaissance in older British coin designs continues with the launch of a new ‘Masterpieces’ range from the East India Company. The series will revisit classics from yesteryear, but on the evidence of this first release, won’t reinterpret them, but rather reproduce them with more modern minting techniques.
First out of the door is William Wyon’s very popular ‘The Three Graces’. Despite never actually making it into circulation, this early 19th century design was produced by Wyon for a competition. It’s a very pretty piece indeed and has inspired several releases over the last few years. The Royal Mint did an issue as part of its own ‘Great Engravers’ series just a few months ago with an almost identical design, but both Mint XXI and Powercoin have similar takes based on the Canava statue that inspired Wyon.
EIC’s coin will certainly appeal to those shocked by the stratospheric aftermarket performance of the Royal Mint coin, so lovers of the design effectively have a second chance to get one, and at a more sensible price. Outside of the EIC privy mark, they’re extremely similar. The choice of size is excellent, with 1oz and 2oz weights available in both 999 silver and 9999 gold, all struck to a proof finish.
In addition, the producer is also making what they call ‘Crown Pattern’ versions in the 1oz format. They differ quite a bit from the normal versions though. The silver coin is sterling 0.925 silver and around 1.2 mm wider in diameter. The gold is 22kt (0.9167) and quite a bit larger than the 0.999 variant, matching the silver at 39.8 mm. These appear to be a more hand-finished strike, and despite using less pure metal, come in at around double the price. A future classic perhaps. Available to order now.