The fourth issues of the gold and silver bullion coins in the Royal
Mint’s Queen’s Beasts series are now available.
The Royal Mint on Sept. 27 announced that the latest design is the
legendary Unicorn of Scotland. The creature is depicted on quarter-
and 1-ounce .9999 fine gold coins and a 2-ounce .9999 fine silver coin.
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The Unicorn follows the Red Dragon of Wales, Griffin of Edward III
and the Lion of England, the previous releases in the series that will
ultimately celebrate 10 mythical creatures that have stood guard
throughout hundreds of years of British royal heraldry.
All Queen’s Beasts coin designs were created by Royal Mint designer
Jody Clark, who is best known for his portrait of Queen Elizabeth II
used for all United Kingdom coinage. The designs are inspired by the
Queen’s Beasts sculptures by James Woodford.
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The sculptures were originally created for the coronation ceremony
of Queen Elizabeth II held in Westminster Abbey in 1953, in symbol of
the many strands of royal ancestry woven into the young woman about to
Clark said: “Although the unicorn is not real, it shares the same
appearance as a horse, so I could draw on reality a little. It has
been represented many times in heraldry, so I revisited sculpture and
heraldic designs for inspiration.
“I was interested to find that there are certain rules to bear in
mind — for example the unicorn always has a cloven hoof. I wanted to
add some movement to my design, and for the unicorn to be doing more
than just supporting the shield. I showed the beast leaping over the
shield a little, and there is movement in the chain, making the design
The quarter-ounce gold £25 coin measures 22 millimeters in diameter.
The 1-ounce gold £100 coin is 32.69 millimeters in diameter. The
silver £5 coin weighs 62.42 grams and measures 38.61 millimeters in diameter.
The silver and 1-ounce gold coins are available individually or in
tubes of 10 coins, and the quarter-ounce gold coin is available singly
or in tubes of 25 coins.
The coins are available to purchase from the Royal Mint at a special