East India Company issues Gothic crown modern commemoratives
- Published: Jul 30, 2022, 9 AM
The Gothic crown issued 175 years ago, depicting Queen Victoria, is a classic British coin rarity.
Nine modern commemorative coins featuring that design are now available from East India Company, the fourth release in its Masterpiece Collection.
The classic coin features William Wyon’s masterpiece of Gothic Revival artistry, the 1847 Gothic Crown portrait of Queen Victoria.
A classic design inspiration
William Wyon’s reputation as one of history’s great coin designers is forever linked to the reign of Queen Victoria, his coinage portraits capturing her journey from a 13-year-old princess to a dignified head of state.
In 1846 Wyon was commissioned to produce a new portrait for a silver crown, released in 1847 to mark the 10th Anniversary of Victoria’s coronation.
The Gothic Crown design saw a change of approach from Wyon, who had become well known for his Neoclassical style. Where the Neoclassical looked back to ancient Greece and Rome, the Neo-Gothic took its influences from medieval aesthetics.
Wyon’s Gothic portrait of Queen Victoria dominated the 1847 coin’s obverse, her crown touching the top edge while her gowned shoulders shape the bottom edge.
Victoria’s robes are embroidered with the floral symbols of the nations of the United Kingdom: roses for England and Wales, thistles for Scotland and shamrocks to represent Ireland.
The medieval influence on Wyon’s portrait of Queen Victoria can be seen in the fashionable long looped plait in Victoria’s hair; the queen wearing the St. Edward’s crown that had been worn at royal coronations since the 13th century; and the edge inscription engraved in the “Blackletter” style popular in carvings and literature from the Middle Ages.
The 1847 Gothic crown was a work of art, created in a popular new style, and had a mintage of just 8,000 pieces, making it highly coveted by collectors but usually beyond the reach of all but a fortunate few.
The modern iterations
The East India Company has cooperated with the government of St. Helena, to release nine 2022 coins featuring the Gothic Crown design, “through a combination of skilled hand craftsmanship and modern minting expertise,” the EIC said.
Each coin is presented in a custom case and accompanied by a numbered certificate of authenticity and informative booklet.
Seven of the coins are either .999 fine silver or .9999 fine gold, and all nine are struck in Proof finish.
All nine coins feature the Gothic Crown design, but two have enhanced designs.
Four silver and three gold coins are the core of the collection, and all have milled (or ridged) edges.
The 1-ounce silver £1, 2-ounce silver £2, 5-ounce silver £5, and 1-kilogram silver £5 coins are joined by 1-, 2- and 5-ounce gold £5 coins.
The 1-ounce silver coin has a mintage limit of 2,000 pieces and retails for £82.50.
The 2-ounce silver coin has a mintage limit of 1,000 pieces and retails for £165.83.
The 5-ounce silver coin has a mintage limit of 500 pieces and retails for £412.50.
The kilogram silver coin has a mintage limit of 50 pieces and retails for £2,745.83.
The 1-ounce gold coin has a mintage limit of 200 pieces and retails for £2,995.
The 2-ounce gold coin has a mintage limit of 100 pieces and retails for £5,995.
The 5-ounce gold coin has a mintage limit of 30 pieces and retails for £12,950.
In addition, two coins feature an enhanced design using hand-crafted direct engraved tooling to create an authentic connection to the classic version (though differences are hard to detect based on publicity images).
Of these two coins, the Proof .925 fine silver £5 coin weighs 28.27 grams and measures 38 millimeters in diameter, the original weight and fineness of the 1847 version. The coin has a mintage limit of 1,000 pieces and retails for £183.33.
The .917 fine gold £5 coin weighs 53.53 grams, and measures 38 millimeters in diameter. It has a mintage limit of 125 pieces and retails for £5,995.
Both of these coins have a plain edge.
For more details about the program, visit the firm’s website, www.theeastindiacompany.com.
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