Posts by Matthew Sotheran

Curtains Up! FIVE Brand New Christmas Panto 50p Coins revealed…

The wait is finally over and it is with great excitement that we can reveal our brand new Christmas Pantomime 50p Coins with you all.

DN 2019 Pantomime REVEAL silver 50p coin set Facebook Banner 1024x536 - Curtains Up! FIVE Brand New Christmas Panto 50p Coins revealed...
The Complete Christmas Pantomime Silver 50p Collection

These amazing new 50p coins celebrate some of the most popular Christmas Pantomimes of all time, including: Cinderella, Snow White, Jack and the Beanstalk, Aladdin and Dick Whittington.

And what’s not to love! With Christmas just around the corner, young or old, is there anything more traditionally British than a family trip to the local panto?

Oh no there isn’t…

DN 2019 Pantomime REVEAL BU 50p coin set Facebook Banner 1 1024x536 - Curtains Up! FIVE Brand New Christmas Panto 50p Coins revealed...
The Complete Christmas Pantomime 50p Collection

These are the first festive-themed coins to be authorised for release by the Guernsey Treasury and each has been fully approved by Her Majesty the Queen.

Whether you’re looking for the new centrepiece for your collection, you’re an avid 50p collector, a Panto fan, or looking for the perfect Christmas gift for a loved on – I’m certain you’ll love these as much as we do!

Get your sweets, take your seat, and let us tell you more about each of the specially commissioned designs featured on the WORLD’S FIRST Pantomime 50p coins. We hope you enjoy the show!

Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo… it’s Cinderella!

LS Guernsey 50p Pantomime Coin Cinderella Both Sides - Curtains Up! FIVE Brand New Christmas Panto 50p Coins revealed...

What could be more quintessentially Cinderella than a glass slipper? Encased in stars, this stunning design tells the story of how the Fairy God Mother makes Cinderella’s dreams come true – turning a pumpkin and mouse into grand stage coach and driver with a tap of her wand!

One of Aladdin’s 3 wishes should have been for this amazing new 50p!

LS Guernsey 50p Pantomime Coin Aladdin Both Sides - Curtains Up! FIVE Brand New Christmas Panto 50p Coins revealed...

This Aladdin 50p coin is guaranteed to transport you to a whole new world. And, if you rub the coin perhaps the Genie will appear out of the magic lamp that takes centre stage within the design. Featured on a floating magic carpet amongst the stars and Genie smoke, it captures the magic of Pantomime perfectly!

Fee fi fo fum… do I smell a Jack and the Beanstalk 50p coin?

LS Guernsey 50p Pantomime Coin Jack and The Beanstalk Both Sides - Curtains Up! FIVE Brand New Christmas Panto 50p Coins revealed...

This Jack and the Bean Stalk 50p takes coin designs to whole new heights! On here you can see Jack climbing up the giant beanstalk which sprouted after he managed to obtain magic beans from selling his beloved cow. Who knows what adventures greet him at the top…

Mirror, mirror on the wall is this Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs 50p the fairest of them all?

LS Guernsey 50p Pantomime Coin Snow White Both Sides - Curtains Up! FIVE Brand New Christmas Panto 50p Coins revealed...

Mirror, mirror on the wall, which coin is the fairest of them all? I’d say this is a definite contender. The intricacies on this 50p are incredible, with the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs text seamlessly intertwining into the vines that surround that ever so fateful apple. This is one that definitely has to be seen to be fully appreciated.

He’s behind you! It’s the Dick Whittington 50p coin…

LS Guernsey 50p Pantomime Coin Dick Whittington Both Sides - Curtains Up! FIVE Brand New Christmas Panto 50p Coins revealed...

Did you know that Dick Whittington has been a favourite subject of British pantomime since the pre-Victorian era? The coin depicts Dick Whittington as he begins his travels to London with his cat, Tommy Tittlemouse, in search of fame and fortune. This is guaranteed to be a hit with the more traditional Panto goers.


Importantly, these FIVE brand new 50p coins are only available to own as a complete set. None will be released individually. Interested? Well, you have two fantastic options…

First is as a complete set of Silver Proof 50p Coins, featuring the vibrant colour designs you’ve seen above. This set is strictly limited to just 2,019 and given the sell-out history of Silver 50p’s, they’re unlikely to be around for long. Find out more about these and secure yours today by clicking here >>

Then you also have the set available in superior Brilliant Uncirculated quality. The coins come presented in a full colour Presentation Pack, and would make the perfect Christmas gift for a loved one. Click here to find out more and order yours today for JUST £30.00 (+p&p) >>

Please note, demand for these brand new 50p collections has already been extremely high. Whether for yourself or as a Christmas gift for a loved one, if you’d like to secure one it is advised that you act quickly.

  • LS Guernsey 50p Pantomime Coin Cinderella Lifestyle - Curtains Up! FIVE Brand New Christmas Panto 50p Coins revealed...
  • LS Guernsey 50p Pantomime Coin Aladdin Lifestyle - Curtains Up! FIVE Brand New Christmas Panto 50p Coins revealed...
  • LS Guernsey 50p Pantomime Coin Snow White Lifestyle - Curtains Up! FIVE Brand New Christmas Panto 50p Coins revealed...
  • LS Guernsey 50p Pantomime Coin Dick Whittington Lifestyle - Curtains Up! FIVE Brand New Christmas Panto 50p Coins revealed...
  • LS Guernsey 50p Pantomime Coin Jack Beanstalk Lifestyle - Curtains Up! FIVE Brand New Christmas Panto 50p Coins revealed...
  • LS Guernsey Pantomime BU 50p Cinderella Lifestyle - Curtains Up! FIVE Brand New Christmas Panto 50p Coins revealed...
  • LS Guernsey Pantomime BU 50p Alladin Lifestyle - Curtains Up! FIVE Brand New Christmas Panto 50p Coins revealed...
  • LS Guernsey Pantomime BU 50p Snow White Lifestyle - Curtains Up! FIVE Brand New Christmas Panto 50p Coins revealed...
  • LS Guernsey Pantomime BU 50p Dick Whit Lifestyle - Curtains Up! FIVE Brand New Christmas Panto 50p Coins revealed...
  • LS Guernsey Pantomime BU 50p Jack Beanstalk Lifestyle - Curtains Up! FIVE Brand New Christmas Panto 50p Coins revealed...

The blend of fact and fiction that resulted in the world’s most beautiful coin

Storytelling is one of humanity’s oldest pastimes, with events being captured and passed on for centuries though art, music and dance long before we were writing them down. And one of the oldest and most reliable ways a country can tell its stories is through its coins.

This should come as no surprise. If you think about it, currency is the constant that has always been around in one form or another. It’s continually evolving and adapting to the next chapter in the story.

But there’s one coin in particular that holds more meaning than most – as it blends fact with fiction to produce the world’s most beautiful coin, Una and the Lion.  

Controversial, yet beyond improvement

In 1839 William Wyon was commissioned to design a new coin to commemorate the anniversary of Queen Victoria’s coronation.

But it made headlines. It was controversial.

Una and the Lion origianl Obverse Reverse - The blend of fact and fiction that resulted in the world’s most beautiful coin
Image courtesy of National Numismatic Collection, National Museum of American History.

In a bold move it depicted Queen Victoria as the fictional character Lady Una, from Edmund Spenser’s epic poem The Faerie Queene. Never before had someone, let alone a ruler, been featured on a coin as a fictional character.

The design shows Lady Una walking alongside her guardian and symbol of England, the lion. It is symbolic of the young monarch leading her vast empire.

Whilst a daring move, the coin was an instant success. Critics hailed it as “beyond improvement”, and to this day it’s regarded as one of the most beautiful coins to have ever been struck.

Part of its beauty was the high relief, providing exquisite intricate detail to the fictional design. But in many ways this was also its downfall, as it meant the coin could not be struck with any consistency. As a result the commemorative was only struck for one year, producing just 400 coins. This makes it extremely rare!    

The inspiration: a princess and her protector

Published in 1590, The Faerie Queene, is one of the longest and most distinguished poems in the English language. It was written during the height of the Renaissance when England had just broken away from the Catholic Church and formed its own Protestant Church. Set against the backdrop of this turbulent religious landscape, The Faerie Queene draws on history and myth to deliver numerous tales of romance, adventure, battles, morality and religion.

Una and the Lion Painting - The blend of fact and fiction that resulted in the world’s most beautiful coin
Una and the Lion, 1860, William Bell Scott

The first book of the epic poem follows the trials and tribulations of Lady Una – the young and beautiful daughter of a king and queen who have been imprisoned by a ferocious dragon. In a bid to save her parents she embarks on a quest, but on her journey she encounters a fierce lion who plans to eat her.

In a twist of events the lion is so captivated by Una’s beauty and innocence that he abandons his plans to eat her, and instead he becomes her protector and companion.

Together, the iconic pair have become a symbol of beauty, strength and endurance.

The most beautiful coin just became even more exquisite

Now, if you think it’s impossible to improve on the most beautiful coin in the world, then you haven’t encountered the East India Company yet.

Renowned for their luxurious products and exceptionally high minting standards, the East India Company has produced the most exquisite coin yet paying tribute to Una and the Lion – and in one full kilogram of silver to a mirror-like proof finish no less.  

The Una and the Lion Silver Proof Kilo Coin is surely going to be in high-demand amongst collectors, as not only does it pay tribute to one of the most iconic and rarest coins around, but it’s been issued with a miniscule edition limit.

Just 10 of these prestigious coins are available worldwide, and they are exclusively available at The Westminster Collection. There is no doubt it is going to become a future collector priority.


If you are interested…

The 10 coins available can only be purchased through The Westminster Collection. And if you’re quick you can secure one of the tiny number available. All you need to do is complete the form below and we will contact you directly to secure your coin.

Una and the Lion Silver Kilo reverse 300x296 - The blend of fact and fiction that resulted in the world’s most beautiful coin

What goes in to developing not one but THREE brand new portraits…

It’s surprising, in this new digital age, just how ‘hands-on’ designing a coin is. In fact, it’s very much the job of a master craftsman.

Never was this more evident than when the Isle of Man Treasury chose to mark the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria with three new coins, each with a brand new portrait.

The man they turned to was renowned sculptor Luigi Badia and here’s the remarkable process of how these coins were developed.

First Stage – Pencil designs   

Like most products across all industries, designing a coin starts with pencil sketches. These are then amended, potentially many times, until a final sketch is produced and approved.

Victoria 200th Birthday Gold Proof One Pound Three Coin Set Draft Set - What goes in to developing not one but THREE brand new portraits…

Second Stage – Plaster modelling

The second stage is arguably the most visually stunning. The sculptor, Luigi Badia in this case, will turn their sketches into a 3D ‘Plaster’ design. The skill involved in this process is really very impressive as every tiny detail must be modelled.

The plaster is far larger than the actual coin size to allow for this detail to be captured. The design will be resized in the next step of the process.   

Queen Victoria 200th Luigi Badia Coin Plasters Image 1 - What goes in to developing not one but THREE brand new portraits…

Third Stage – Digital Modelling

It’s during this stage where technology has certainly helped the design process. The 3D ‘Plaster’ designs are scanned and a digital file, called a greyscale, is created.

An engraving machine then uses this file to cut the design into a piece of steel that’s the actual size of the final coin. This will then be used to make the dies that will actually strike the coins.

Victoria 200th Birthday Gold Proof One Pound Three Coin Set Digital Set 1 - What goes in to developing not one but THREE brand new portraits…

Fourth Stage – Coin Striking

This final stage is when the physical coin comes to life. The specially prepared die is used to ‘strike’ the design onto a metal ‘blank’. The metal used for the blank can vary widely, from cupro-nickel to silver and gold.

Only once the mint is perfectly happy with the quality of the struck coins will they be issued.


The Queen Victoria Silver Antique £5 Set

Victoria 200th Birthday IOM Silver Antique Five Pound Three Coin Set - What goes in to developing not one but THREE brand new portraits…

This set is the only way to own all three of these stunning, specially commissioned Antique Silver £5 Coins.

Just 495 of these stunning sets are available worldwide and exclusive to The Westminster Collection.

You can secure yours today for a down payment of just £54 >>