British History

Britain’s top 5 most infamous coins revealed!

Did you know that a coin could get you the sack or even killed?

Every coin tells a story and some are simply notorious.

From the Hangman’s wages to the Barmaid’s ruin, British coins have had their fair share of controversy over the years.

So, prepare to be both educated and shocked as Adam counts down the UK’s most infamous coins in our latest vlog.



If you’re interested…

st britains most infamous coins set web images - Britain's top 5 most infamous coins revealed!

Fancy adding some of Britain’s most notorious coins to your collection? Well, today you can! All you have to do is click here >>

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

Howzat… England are CRICKET WORLD CHAMPIONS!

Can you believe it, England have only gone and won the Cricket World Cup for the very first time.

The history-making England Cricket Team beat New Zealand in a dramatic final at Lord’s which will go down as one of the most amazing games of cricket ever played.

The boys have done the nation proud and tributes to England’s cricketing heroes have been pouring in across the country.

If you’re looking for the perfect way to celebrate and remember this important sporting occasion in our history, then we have an incredible range of commemoratives available.

Please note, since England’s magnificent win we have experienced a huge spike in collector demand and numbers are now limited across the range. It is advised that you secure your favourites as soon as possible to avoid missing out.

The Official ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 50p Coin Set

*** OVER 85% SOLD ***

DN IOM ICC 2019 cricket world cup BU 50p set product set Main - Howzat... England are CRICKET WORLD CHAMPIONS!

If you’re a 50p fan then this set is for you. This fantastic set features five new specially commissioned designs that have been fully approved by the ICC and Buckingham Palace.

The coins come packaged in Official ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 packaging, meaning you can keep them safe for generations to come. And perhaps most importantly, this set is the only way you can own all five 50p coins in superior Brilliant Uncirculated Quality. Other than the Official ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Logo coin none are available to purchase individually.

There is now less than 15% remaining of the 9,995 worldwide edition limit and these are selling quickly. If you’d like to secure one for your collection then you’ll need to be fast. Click here to order yours >>

The 2019 England Cricket DateStamp™

cricket world cup DateStamp Everslab new - Howzat... England are CRICKET WORLD CHAMPIONS!

This brand new DateStamp™ provides you with an extremely limited way to own the highly sought-after UK Cricket 10p and capture this historic Cricket World Cup Final Day forever.

The 10p comes protectively encapsulated in a tamper-proof capsule and will be officially postmarked by Royal Mail with the Cricket World Cup final date – 14th July 2019. Only 2,019 will ever be postmarked with this special day and as such these are proving extremely popular amongst collectors.

This is the ultimate memento to celebrate England becoming Cricket World Champions for the first time. Don’t miss out – order yours here >>

The England Cricket 2019 Winners Medal

Winners Both - Howzat... England are CRICKET WORLD CHAMPIONS!

The boys have only gone and done it! And what better way to celebrate than with the brand new England Cricket 2019 Winners Medal.

Expertly plated in 24 Carat Gold, the ‘England Winners’ design is beautifully brought to life in vivid full-colour detail. The medal comes complete in a Deluxe Presentation Case with accompanying Certificate of Authenticity, meaning you can cherish it for years to come.

Only 2,019 have been issued and these are unsurprisingly flying out. A sell-out is expected so order yours today while they’re still available >>

The Cricket 2019 Commemorative Coin Cover

Cricket World Cup coin and stamp cover full cover - Howzat... England are CRICKET WORLD CHAMPIONS!

If you’re a stamp collector then this would make the perfect memento for you! This special Commemorative Cover features the complete set of 1973 Royal Mail Cricket Stamps, the second ever sports-related stamps to have been issued, alongside the 2nd Class ‘Three Lions’ Definitive Stamp.

These are paired with the new ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Logo 50p Coin and the stamps have been officially postmarked by the Royal Mail on the first day of the Cricket World Cup tournament. Due to the stamps’ limited availability, only 1,000 covers have been issued for worldwide distribution.

These have already proven extremely popular with collectors and cricket fans alike, so order yours today to avoid missing out >>

The Official ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 50p

DN IOM ICC 2019 cricket world cup LOGO CuNi 50p coin product P0ACK OBV REV - Howzat... England are CRICKET WORLD CHAMPIONS!

The Official ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 50p coin has been struck to a Brilliant Uncirculated quality – a superior finish sought-after by collectors.

It has been fully approved by the ICC and features the Official ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Logo on the reverse design. This is the perfect piece if you’re new to collecting or looking for a fantastic addition to your 50p collection.

Housed in Official ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 packaging this is a great way to remember what has turned out to be a truly historic tournament. Find out more and orders yours today >>


JUST ANNOUNCED: Brand NEW Royal Mail Stamps to be released to celebrate England’s historic win…

This special stamp issue will be available late Summer 2019. If you’d like to be one of the first-in-the-know, then please register your interest below and we’ll be in touch as soon as they go on sale.

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