Gold pattern for a coin; Denomination: 5 Pounds
Royal Mint, London
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)

This coin is known as the Una and the Lion Five Pound piece. It was ultimately derived from a poem, The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser in praise of Queen Elizabeth I published in 1590. In that poem Una is the personification of the "True Church" and also representative of Truth at one point tames a lion by her beauty and honesty. The lion then travels with her both as a guard and to undertake deeds. On the coin, by William Wyon, Una is Queen Victoria. She is wearing a crown and guiding the lion with her sceptre while holding an orb.

Obverse Description

Head of Victoria facing to left; around, VICTORIA D.G: BRITANNIARUM REGINA F:D:; raised on base of neck, W.WYON,R.A

Reverse Description

Victoria standing holding orb in left hand and directing lion to left with sceptre extended in right hand; in exergue, MDCCCXXXIX / W.WYON R.A.; around, DIRIGE DEUS GRESSUS MEOS (translation, God orders my steps).

Edge Description


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