NGC-certified 'Una and the Lion' Helps Collection of English Rarities Realize $8.9 Million

Posted on 11/30/2021

Hundreds of NGC-graded rare gold coins from England roared in the November SINCONA sale.

With an "Una and the Lion" leading the way, a stunning collection of hundreds of rare English coins certified by Numismatic Guaranty Company™ (NGC®) realized CHF 8.3 million (about $8.9 million) in a sale by renowned Swiss auction house SINCONA. Impressively, the 424 lots averaged about CHF 19,600 (about $21,000) each in the SINCONA Auction 72: SINCONA British Collection Part 1 sale, which concluded on November 21, 2021.

Realizing CHF 528,000 (about $568,000), the top lot in the sale was a Great Britain 1839 Proof Set that included 15 coins ranging from the Farthing all the way up to the prestigious "Una and the Lion." The coins are graded from NGC PF 63 to NGC PF 66 Cameo, with its marquee coin graded NGC PF 63 Ultra Cameo.

Great Britain 1839 "Una and the Lion" 5 Sovereign graded NGC PF 63 Ultra Cameo. Part of a 15-coin Proof Set that realized: CHF 528,000 (about $568,000)
Click images to enlarge.

Widely regarded as the most beautiful British coin, the Una and the Lion was issued to celebrate the young Queen Victoria. It gets its name from its reverse, which shows her as the character of Lady Una guiding a lion in a scene inspired by Edmund Spenser's epic poem "The Faerie Queene."

An embattled king's coin

The highest price for a single-coin lot in the sale was for an England 1643 Triple Unite graded NGC MS 64 (lot 613). It raced past its starting price of CHF 25,000 (about $27,000) to realize CHF 282,000 (about $303,000).

England 1643 Triple Unite graded NGC MS 64 CHF 282,000 (about $303,000)
Click images to enlarge.

Triple Unites are great rarities in English numismatics, as they were struck only for three years during the English Civil War. The obverse shows King Charles I with a sword in one hand and an olive branch in the other, while the reverse shows the hope to unite England under the Protestant faith, English law and a Parliament with liberty. Charles was eventually captured, tried and executed.

Six-figure prices for 21 lots

Meanwhile, a Great Britain 1717 5 Guineas With Inverted 'D' on Edge graded NGC AU 58 (lot 723) realized CHF 276,000 (about $297,000). The coin shows George I, the first of the six monarchs from the House of Hanover who ruled for nearly two centuries until Victoria's death in 1901.

Great Britain 1717 5 Guineas graded NGC AU 58 Realized: CHF 276,000 (about $297,000)
Click images to enlarge.

"It was exciting to see the NGC-certified SINCONA British Collection realize nearly $9 million in this auction," said Ben Wengel, NGC Senior Finalizer of World Coins. "This ambitious group of coins is an epic tribute to the impressive and incredibly detailed history of English numismatics."

NGC is showcasing high-resolution images of the coins in this unparalleled sale in an image gallery on its website. To explore the gallery, go to

The sale was one of several that SINCONA presented in late November. Ten other NGC-certified coins realized six-figure prices in Auctions 71 and 73, including a Russia 1808CNB OT Russia 1/4 Rouble graded NGC MS 61 that realized CHF 468,000 (about $504,000). To learn more about this sale, click here.

In all, 21 lots from the SINCONA British Collection realized over $100,000. Other NGC-certified highlights in the sale included:

  • an England (1595-98) Pound graded NGC MS 66★ (lot 578) that realized CHF 228,000 (about $245,000)
  • an 11-coin Great Britain 1826 Proof Set graded NGC Proof Details to NGC PF 67 Ultra Cameo (lot 828) that realized CHF 228,000 (about $245,000)
  • an England (1544-47) Southwark Sovereign graded NGC AU 55 (lot 556) that realized CHF 168,000 (about $181,000)
  • an England 1692 Elephant and Castle 5 Guineas graded NGC MS 62 (lot 690) that realized CHF 156,000 (about $168,000)
  • a Great Britain 1729 5 Guineas graded NGC MS 63 (lot 735) that realized CHF 144,000 (about $155,000)
  • a Great Britain 1741/38 5 Guineas graded NGC MS 63 (lot 753) that realized CHF 144,000 (about $155,000)
  • a 13-coin Great Britain 1902 Proof Set graded NGC PF 64 Matte to NGC PF 67 Matte (lot 896) that realized CHF 144,000 (about $155,000)
  • an England 1694 5 Guineas graded NGC MS 62 PL (lot 695) that realized CHF 132,000 (about $142,000)
  • an England 1695 Elephant & Castle Guinea graded NGC VF Details (lot 697) that realized CHF 132,000 (about $142,000)
  • a Great Britain 1835 (C) India 2 Mohur Restrike graded NGC PF 66+ Ultra Cameo (lot 849) that realized CHF 120,000 (about $129,000)
  • a Great Britain 1727 Gold Pattern Guinea graded NGC MS 65+ (lot 732) that realized CHF 114,000 (about $123,000)
  • a 10-coin Great Britain 1893 Proof Set graded NGC PF 64 to NGC PF 66+ Cameo (lot 885) that realized CHF 114,000 (about $123,000)
  • an Australia 1901P Sovereign graded NGC PF 66+ Cameo (lot 892) that realized CHF 114,000 (about $123,000)
  • an England 1678/7 5 Guineas graded NGC MS 61 (lot 654) that realized CHF 108,000 (about $116,000)
  • a Great Britain 1706 5 Guineas graded NGC AU 58 (lot 709) that realized CHF 96,000 (about $103,000)
  • an England 1681 Half Guinea graded NGC VF Details (lot 663) that realized CHF 96,000 (about $103,000)
  • an England 1670 5 Guineas graded NGC MS 60 (lot 639) that realized CHF 96,000 (about $103,000)
  • a 12-coin Great Britain 1911 Proof Set graded NGC PF 65 to NGC PF 67 (lot 902) that realized CHF 96,000 (about $103,000)

Prices realized include buyer's premium. All dollar amounts are US Dollars.

Related Link
Image gallery: The SINCONA British Collection of Rare Gold Coins

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