Bob R. writes: I have a gold coin. On the face it reads, Victoria D: G: Britanniarum Regina F:D: The back reads, dirige deus gressus meos. and is stamped COPY. A number on the coins edge is 04738. Can you tell me where it was minted and its approximate worth? Thanks…
You have a modern copy of a 1839 Great Britain Commemorative 5 Pound “Una and the Lion”. The coin shows a Young head Queen Victoria (Victoria D: G: Britanniarum Regina F:D: – Victoria, by the grace of G-d Queen of Britain and Defender of the Faith) and the mythological Una walking with a lion. This coin is one of the most beautiful of 19th century issues and is highly sought after by collectors. It commemorates the ascendance to the English Throne of Queen Victoria, the niece of the short lived monarch, William IV.
“Dirige deus gressus meos” is Latin for “May G-d direct my course” and this legend is exclusive to the Una issue. Only 400 pieces were minted and they are quite rare and expensive. Brass copies exist in large numbers and have no specific value.
I have never seen a copy in gold but I have seen dangerous counterfeits (without the word COPY of course). Gold copies, if they exist, would be worth at least their gold content. Original 5 pound coins contain 1.1773 troy ounces of pure gold but this weight standard may not apply to a souvenir as you described.