The Great Engravers series is a premium coin collection from the UK's national mint. These coins feature remastered versions of some of the most beautiful designs from British coinage history. Combining high-tech imaging equipment with traditional hand engraving, The Royal Mint's team have produced new coins that closely replicate rare originals.
Great Engravers coins are available to a select group of collectors in both 24-carat gold and 999 silver. They come in a range of different sizes, including some of the largest coins ever made in the United Kingdom. Every Great Engravers coin is UK legal tender and features a portrait of the reigning monarch on the obverse.
Initially, The Great Engravers collection exclusively focused on masterpieces by William Wyon but 2023 marked a change with a new release inspired by the work of 17th century engraver, Thomas Simon. This raises the possibility that future Great Engravers coins will feature the work of a wider range of British coin artists.
Who Was Chief Engraver William Wyon?
William Wyon served as Chief Engraver to The Royal Mint in the first half of the nineteenth century. He created coins for King George III and King George IV and might be most famous for his ‘Young Head' portrait of Queen Victoria. The Queen liked this design so much that it was used on her money for decades.
Coin experts credit William Wyon with bringing great design to British currency. Wyon's early coins are neoclassical in style, combining the clean lines of ancient art with British heraldic motifs and national flowers. As tastes changed, Wyon experimented with a medieval revival look, creating richly detailed coins that pushed the boundaries of minting technology.
Some coins designed by Wyon are easy to collect but his most beautiful works were only struck in limited numbers. Limited issues like his ‘Una and the Lion' and pattern pieces like the ‘Three Graces' sell for tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds and feature in museum collections around the world. If you've not got the budget for an original then The Royal Mint's Great Engravers series offers the best opportunity to own these iconic creations.
Una And The Lion Gold Five Pound Coin
The first release in The Great Engravers collection was inspired by a gold Five Pound coin or Quintuple Sovereign, designed by William Wyon in 1839, early in the reign of Queen Victoria.
Known as ‘Una and the Lion', the coin features a crowned female figure, holding an orb and guiding a mighty lion with her sceptre. The design was inspired by the story of Una, a character in Edmund Spencer's epic poem ‘The Faerie Queene'. You can also interpret the woman at the centre of the coin as Queen Victoria, guiding the British Empire, represented by the English lion. That makes this coin the first to show a British monarch in the guise of a fictional character.
Many regard the Una and the Lion £5 as one of the most beautiful coins in the world. The appeal of the design has meant originals have sold for more than £700,000 while the market for the 2019 Great Engravers edition remains strong with examples selling for several times the issue price.
Sell Your Great Engravers Una and the Lion Coin: We buy these Royal Mint collectors coins for market leading prices. Visit our Sell Your Coins page for more info or contact us for a custom quote fast.
William Wyon's Three Graces Pattern Coin
Even after the blockbuster success of Una and the Lion, the eagerly anticipated release of the 2020 Three Graces did not disappoint.
William Wyon created the Three Graces as a pattern coin in 1817, early in his career with The Royal Mint. Only a handful of specimens are known to have been struck, but the beauty and skill of the work gained the Three Graces a rightful reputation as a masterpiece of numismatic art.
The design shows three classically garbed female figures representing Ireland, England and Scotland. This is an idealised representation of the union between the three nations, formed as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1801. Wales is not represented here, but then that would have disrupted the neat parallel with the three charities of Greek mythology.
As well as the 2020 Great Engravers Three Graces, this famous motif was also reproduced on limited edition coins from the Masterpiece Collection, issued in collaboration with the issuing authority of the island of Saint Helena.
Queen Victoria 1847 Gothic Crown
2022 saw the much anticipated third and fourth releases in The Great Engravers series. These two coins were both inspired by the 1847 Gothic Crown, named for its elaborate Gothic-revival designs to obverse and reverse. Each design has was remastered by The Royal Mint on two UK coins, issued separately.
The ‘Quartered Arms' reverse was released first. Rich in detail, this heraldic shield design was created by William Dyce and engraved by William Wyon. The obverse or ‘Gothic Portrait' features a crowned effigy of Queen Victoria, the work of Wyon alone. The style is very different to his earlier ‘Young Head' portrait of Victoria, used on circulating British coins for the better part of her reign.
Great Engravers Thomas Simon Petition Crown
Thomas Simon is the second British engraver to be honoured with a Great Engravers reissue as the series expands beyond the work of William Wyon.
Simon worked for the Royal Mint during the turbulent years of the English Civil War but he created his most famous work after the restoration of the monarchy, early in the reign of King Charles II. Simon had missed out on a lucrative commission and created the so-called Petition Crown in 1663. This supremely rare coin is famous for the raised lettering around it's edge: a plea to the King and a demonstration of Simon's remarkable skills.
New Royal Mint sets, issued in 2023, feature two coins, one showing the obverse of the Petition Crown and the other showing the coin's reverse. Both of these 17th century designs are paired with Martin Jennings' new definitive effigy of King Charles III who will celebrate his coronation later the same year.
Buy Great Engravers Coins From The Royal Mint
Coins in The Great Engravers collection are known for selling out fast as collectors rush to snap up these sought-after pieces.
We're able to offer a limited number of Una and the Lion, Three Graces, Gothic Crown and Petition Crown coins to our customers. These Great Engravers pieces come in their original presentation packaging from The Royal Mint with their numbered certificates of authenticity enclosed. If you missed out on the first drop then now's the time to buy before prices increase.
Looking for a Great Engravers coin that's out of stock right now? Contact us today and we'll source one for you. We've grown a reputation for acquiring these premium UK coins, including the rare gold proof editions, and we're confident we can find the piece for you.
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