Smash hit Great Engravers coin series returns with William Wyons stunning Three Graces design: UPDATE

A massive hit for the Royal Mint in 2019, ‘Great Engravers’ is a premium range of coins celebrating the work of the earlier Royal Mint master engravers. The debut coin was a gorgeous bringing to life of William Wyon’s ‘Una and the Lion’ which, despite several other issues using the original concept, has not been equalled, in our view. It also marked the biggest coin the mint has ever released – a 175mm diameter, five-kilo gold coin with a mortgage-busting pricetag.

A little later than they’d planned, the mint has released the second coin (dated 2020, so perhaps expect the third coin in Q4 this year). Sticking with the work of William Wyon, this was a engraving inspired by the Antonio Canova statue, ‘The Three Graces’. It was Wyon’s first work at the mint, self-funded, but only circa-50 pattern coins, none of which entered circulation, were ever struck. He was clearly inspired by the styles of the period, with Canova’s statue having been completed just three years before Wyon’s coin, in 1814. Una & the Lion was still two decades away.

It’s another stunning piece, not quite reaching the level of Una & the Lion, but a classic of the period – you can see why it was chosen. If you have the first in this series, you’ll surely want this one as well. Interestingly, Wyon was a competitor of Benedetto Pistrucci (of St George Sovereign fame) while at the mint, so we’d imagine this series is going to feature some of his main rivals designs moving forward. This is going to build into a cracking set of coins for the well heeled.

Sadly, well-heeled you’ll have to be. The range starts at £250 for a 2oz silver, with a 5oz kicking up to £550. Gold is not good news for most. The ‘budget’ option is a 2oz chonk with a £5k sticker price, a £1,000 rise on the first issue. Despite that, the whole range sold out on day one. They’re all well presented, of course, with fairly low mintages, but it’s a little sad that a budget version isn’t available for the majority of collectors. We’ve been warmed by CIT’s embracing copper as an option, and a couple of copper versions of this, perhaps 5oz and a kilo, would be much loved, we reckon. I’d grab a 175mm diameter copper version in a heartbeat and the gold die is currently only used for one coin. Over to you minty…

A word of warning. As I said, these were sold out before we even had details, and we’ve seen some quite ridiculous prices on eBay and similar, so just give it some thought before you pay £1,500 for a 2oz silver coin. It’s easy to get caught up in bidding and we’re not saying don’t buy if you want one, but just make sure you’re happy buying in a volatile frenzy like this.

UPDATE: LPM in Hong Kong have exclusive versions available. There’s a 2-kilogram silver variant available, with a mintage of just 50 pieces, and a price at the time of writing (its moving!) just shy of £29,000 ($41,000 USD). They apparently also have exclusive rights to the 500 pieces of 5-ounce silver coins. This is turning into the release of the decade already!!


In Greek mythology, a Charis or Grace is one of three or more goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity, goodwill, and fertility, together known as the Charites or Graces. The usual roster, as given in Hesiod, is Aglaea (“Shining”), Euphrosyne (“Joy”), and Thalia (“Blooming”). Hesiod states that Aglaea is the youngest of this group and the wife of Hephaestus. In Roman mythology they were known as the Gratiae, the “Graces”. In some variants, Charis was one of the Charites, who was equated with Aglaea rather than a singular form of the name, as she too is referred to as the wife of Hephaestus.

The Charites were usually considered the daughters of Zeus and Oceanid Eurynome. Rarely, they were said to be daughters of Dionysus and Kronois or of Helios and the Naiad Aegle. Other possible names of their mother by Zeus are Eurydome, Eurymedousa, or Euanthe. Homer identified them as part of the retinue of Aphrodite. The Charites were also associated with the Greek underworld and the Eleusinian Mysteries.

In painting and sculpture, the three Charites or Graces are often depicted naked or almost naked, however, during the Archaic and Classical periods of Greece, they were typically depicted as fully clothed. (Source: Wikipedia)

DENOMINATION £5,000 UKP £3,000 UKP £2,000 UKP £1,000 UKP £500 UKP £200 UKP
COMPOSITION 0.9999 gold 0.9999 gold 0.9999 gold 0.9999 gold 0.9999 gold 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 5010.0 grams 3010.0 grams 2010.0 grams 1005.0 grams 156.295 grams 62.213 grams
DIMENSIONS 175.0 mm 165.0 mm 150.0 mm 1005.0 mm 156.295 mm 62.42 mm
FINISH Proof Proof Proof Proof Proof Proof
MODIFICATIONS None None None None None None
MINTAGE 1 3 9 21 160 335
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
COMPOSITION 0.9999 silver 0.9999 silver
WEIGHT 62.42 grams 156.3 grams
DIMENSIONS 40.0 mm 65.0 mm
FINISH Proof Proof
MINTAGE 3,510 510
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Yes / Yes