KM742, S-3851, W&R-279. DIRIGE legend, medal rotation. LE, 5 Scrolls. By William Wyon. A truly stellar example of one of Britain’s most iconic and beautiful coins, inspired by “The Faerie Queen” of Edmund Spencer. Though a very rare type with a mintage of just 400, there are a number of varieties of ‘Una and the Lion’ 5 pounds; Wilson and Rasmussen identify a total of nine different varieties. While each has its own rarity rating in their book, ranging from R2 to R7, these are essentially irrelevant to the collector because of the overall rarity of the type. What is certain, however, is that the current example, with its sublime cameo contrast and minimal handling, represents a peak-quality selection of this exceedingly popular type, tying for the absolute finest of any of the varieties seen by PCGS, a mere two examples seen finer by NGC: one a PR65 Ultra Cameo, and another a PR66 Ultra Cameo. Accordingly, very few collectors will be afforded with the opportunity to acquire a finer representative. Auction records continue to demonstrate strong enthusiasm for the type, even in lower states of preservation. A November 2019 auction by Ginza Coins (Auction 31, Lot 923) saw a price of 10,000,000 Japanese Yen (approximately $92,000 at current exchange rates) realized for an example described as “Cleaned AU”, with the same auction seeing a full 15-Piece set, including a “Proof Details” certified 5 Pounds, (Lot 924) for a total of 27,000,000 JPY (approximately $247,000). Regardless, we are certain that the future owner of this inspiring “Una” will be beyond happy with its inclusion in their collection, where it will likely serve as both a centerpiece and as an item of tremendous pride.