William Wyon’s gorgeous 1839 work ‘Una & the Lion’ has long been a classic of the numismatic world. Unique at the time for depicting a reigning monarch, in this case Queen Victoria, as a fictional character, only a few hundred were struck originally. Fortunately, the Royal Mint reimagined the work in 2019 with the first of its ‘Great Engravers’ releases. A proof range that didn’t top out until it hit the heady heights of a FIVE kilo gold version, none of the range was particularly affordable.
Fast forward to today and the mint has brought the Una & the Lion concept into the 21st century with a modern reinterpretation, and instead of applying it to coins, has launched a new ‘Great Engravers’ bullion bar range with it. We don’t normally cover bullion bars here – there’s only so much we can do – but we do make exceptions for releases that have a lot of crossover appeal. Like this.
It’s a very pretty design, going with a layered profile that shows all of the original element clearly. A simple pattern in the background field keeps it busy all over. It manages to distil everything about the original into a completely different form with great success. It’s a bar, so the obverse has no denomination it, rather the mint logo and specification.
As for the formats, a single gold variant comes in at the ultra-popular one-ounce weight, and that has a mintage of 4,000 pieces. Silver is more varied, with three on offer. Starting at the ubiquitous one-ounce, there’s also a ten-ounce, and a mightily impressive 100-ounce (3.2 kilo). Mintages on these are 35,000, 6100, and 1200 pieces respectively. These are exclusive to LPM HK, so head on over there if you want one of these beautiful bars.