Hardly any other coin type has set new records as reliably as Una and the Lion in the past months. The tremendous success of the most popular British coin started in January 2020, when Heritage sold a piece for $690,000. In May of the same year, another specimen achieved $800,000 at Taisei and, in October 2020, MDC Monaco broke the record and passed the mark of one million dollars by selling a Una and the Lion – of the same die! – for $1,148,000.
In November, the Zurich auction house SINCONA dedicates an entire auction catalogue to the “British Collection”. More than 2,500 gold coins and 800 historical medals of Great Britain and the Commonwealth were assembled by a passionate and expert collector. He always paid attention to quality and rarity, which is why this great collection includes many unique pieces and more than 50 patterns.
One of the outstanding lots is a Proof set with 15 coins by Queen Victoria from 1839. SINCONA’s experts are sure: it is one of the sets of the highest quality ever sold at auction.
It also includes a Una and the Lion piece with the young Queen elegantly leading the British lion as fairy queen. Connoisseurs immediately realise that this is not only a coin of excellent quality, it is also an extremely rare variety. On the obverse, there is a normal dot behind the “G” instead of the usual colon. Only 3 to 5 of such pieces are known so far. Considering this, the estimate of the entire set of CHF 250,000 is really moderate.
SINCONA will offer the British Collection over the course of their next auction sales, the medals will be the last part and have a separate catalogue. In auction 72 on 21 November 2021, the first 420 lots with an estimate of CHF 1.8 million will be on offer.
The auction catalogues are not yet available online, but you can keep an eye on the schedule on SINCONA’s website.
You can find out why this fairy-tale motif was minted on British coins from 1838 to 1887 in the first place in our article “The Faerie Queene”.
Perhaps this set or other coins will make it into our record entry “The Most Expensive: British Coins”.