LONDON – A 10kg commemorative gold coin inspired by the “Queen’s Beasts” has been sold by the British Royal Mint for an undisclosed six-figure sum, according to a mint spokesman.
The coin, the size of a dessert plate with a denomination of £10,000 (S$18,500), is the largest ever created in the 1,100-year history of the Royal Mint, the CNN reported.
Its design is inspired by 10 mystical and legendary creatures – including the Unicorn of Scotland, Black Bull of Clarence and Red Dragon of Wales – each of which tells a slice of royal history associated with the heritage of the British Queen.
Featuring all 10 beasts uniting to form a protective circle around the effigy of the Queen, the 2021 coin marks the grand finale of a collection that made its debut in 2017 with the Lion of England coin to celebrate the time when Queen Elizabeth II became the world’s longest-reigning living monarch.
Coins of the nine other creatures followed in turn over the years.
Stone statues of the animals, known as royal supporters of England, were installed along Queen Elizabeth’s route to Westminster Abbey at her coronation in 1953.
The Royal Mint said the final coin in the Queen’s Beasts series was handcrafted by a team using traditional minting skills and modern engraving technology, and took 400 hours to produce.
“This coin sets a new standard for minting, combining centuries-old techniques with innovative technology to create a unique and beautiful work of art,” said the mint’s commemorative coin divisional director Clare Maclennan.
A spokesman said the coin which has been sold is worth a six-figure sum. The buyer has not been identified.
The 1kg edition of the coin with a denomination of £1,000 retailed at £63,380. The 16-piece limited edition has since been sold out.
The cheapest replica, the £5 Brilliant Uncirculated Coin – meaning the coin has never been circulated and thus retains the original brilliant lustre – is available for £13.