Let me preface my post by stating that I was not interested in purchasing the recently sold out enhanced reverse proof ASE. That said, I think the finish on the ASE is exquisite. As such it is a remarkably beautiful coin that I would be proud to own. Still, ASE’s are not among the coins I regularly collect.
However, there are a few comparisons I’d like to make between the 2019-S enhanced reverse proof ASE and the British 2019 proof 5-pound “Great Engravers” two-ounce silver coin that I now own. But first, a few words concerning my newest acquisition.
The first coin in the British “Great Engravers” series is modeled after William Wyon’s 1839 gold 5-pound, “Una and the Lion”. William Wyon is among the most talented engravers ever to live and his 1839 coin is one of the most sought after and beautiful coins in the world.
The obverse of the 1839 5-pound gold coin features the 1838 young head bust of Queen Victoria. This bust continued to be featured on British coins until 1887. Queen Victoria herself was so enamored by this portrait that she is quoted as saying to William Wyon, “You always represent me favorably.” With that assessment, I couldn’t agree more. The 2019 coin features a bust of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Jody Clark
The allegorical reverse of this coin remastered from an original die features Una representing Queen Victoria and the Lion representing England. With her scepter, Queen Victoria is shown leading her country. The Latin legend reads, “May God Direct My Steps.” Of this design Richard Sainthill (1787-1870), a prominent antiquarian and coin collector says the following: “The design, expressive though simple, and the quietness and effect of the figure of her Majesty, of the lion, and of the draperies, have never, in my opinion, been excelled. The perfect portrait of the Queen in Una and on so reduced a scale, is truly astonishing and captivating.” Again, it is hard to disagree with this assessment.
Now for my comparisons between this coin and the 2019-S enhanced reverse proof ASE. The comparison starts with my coin weighing twice as much as the ASE. My coin measures 40mm in diameter and weighs 62.42 grams with a silver content of .999 fine silver. This makes my coin much thicker than a standard ASE which in my opinion allows for a slightly higher relief. My COA has a low serial number of 0158. My coin has a mintage that is 1/10th that of the 2019-S ASE (3000 coins). Most importantly, I purchased my coin for about 1/10th of what I could currently expect to pay if I bought a certified reverse proof 70 ASE.
To be completely fair I am a little biased because “Una and the Lion” is one of my favorite coin designs. Still, I hope that those fortunate enough to get the 2019-S ASE are as happy with their purchases as I am with mine. Gary