NGC-certified Proof Set Starring an 'Una and the Lion' Realizes Over $600,000

Posted on 5/6/2021

The NGC-graded 15-coin set was the top lot in a sale presented by Taisei Auction.

A British Proof Set that includes an “Una and the Lion” and 14 other coins — all certified by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) — realized an impressive 70,500,000 Yen (about $644,000 USD) at a Taisei Auction sale held on May 2, 2021. It was by far the top lot among a wide range of modern, vintage and ancient world coins.

The Una and the Lion Five Sovereign graded NGC PF 63 Ultra Cameo is the centerpiece of the Great Britain 1839 Complete Proof Set of 15 coins (lot 469). It features an 18-year-old Queen Victoria on the obverse and Queen Victoria walking with a lion on the reverse. She is depicted as Lady Una from Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queen,” which led to the name commonly used for the coin today.

Great Britain 1839 "Una and the Lion" Five Sovereign graded NGC PF 63 Ultra Cameo. Part of a set that realized 70,500,000 Yen (about $644,000 USD)
Click images to enlarge.

The other coins in the set are a Plain Edge Sovereign, Plain Edge Half Sovereign, Crown, Plain Edge Half Crown, Plain Edge/Coin Alignment Shilling, Plain Edge Six Pence, Maundy Four Pence, Four Pence, Maundy Three Pence, Maundy Two Pence, Maundy Penny, Bronzed Penny, Bronzed Half Penny and Bronzed Farthing. Their grades range from NGC PF 63 BN to NGC PF 66 Cameo.

"Interest in British gold coins has accelerated, especially for great rarities like the Una and the Lion," said Ben Wengel, NGC Senior Grading Finalizer of World Coins. "The impressive price realized for this set once again underscores that the accuracy and consistency of NGC certification is respected around the world."

The lot with the next-highest price realized was a 2015 Great Britain 1 Kilogram Gold 1,000 Pounds - Longest Reigning Monarch graded NGC PF 70 Ultra Cameo (lot 519) that realized 13,000,000 Yen (about $118,000 USD). The large-format coin shows various portraits of Queen Elizabeth II, who has ruled for 69 years. In September 2015, she passed Queen Victoria to secure the distinction of longest-reigning British monarch.

Great Britain 2015 Gold 1,000 Pounds - Longest Reigning Monarch graded NGC PF 70 Ultra Cameo. Realized: 13,000,000 Yen (about $118,000 USD)
Click images to enlarge.

It is one of several NGC-certified large-format British coins that have realized impressive amounts in the past month. To learn more, click here.

Other NGC-certified highlights in the Taisei Auction sale included:

  • an England 1694/3 2 Guinea graded NGC MS 63+ (lot 438) that realized 7,000,000 Yen (about $64,000 USD)
  • an England 1687 5 Guinea graded NGC AU 53 (lot 437) that realized 4,400,000 Yen (about $40,000 USD)
  • a Roman Empire, Commodus (A.D. 177-192) Gold Aureus graded NGC Ancients MS, 5/5 Strike and 4/5 Surface (lot 744) that realized 4,200,000 Yen (about $38,000 USD)
  • a Roman Empire, Elagabalus (A.D. 218-222) Gold Aureus graded NGC Ancients Ch AU, 5/5 Strike, 4/5 Surface, with Fine Style (lot 745) that realized 4,000,000 Yen (about $36,000 USD)
  • a China, Hong Kong 1866 Silver Dollar graded NGC MS 62 PL (lot 531) that realized 3,600,000 Yen (about $33,000 USD)
  • a Great Britain 1847 Gothic Type-Plain Edge Crown graded NGC PF 62 (lot 470) that realized 3,600,000 Yen (about $33,000 USD)
  • an Italy 1906-dated Prova Gold 20 Lire graded NGC PF 66 Cameo (lot 566) that realized 3,400,000 Yen (about $31,000 USD)
  • an England 1658/7 Cromwell Crown graded NGC MS 64 (lot 436) that realized 3,200,000 (about $29,000 USD)

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