The latest high relief coin in the Cook Islands Legends of Camelot series, minted by the Choice Mint, is now available and features the often controversial Queen Guinevere on it's reverse design.
The legend of Camelot has been told and re-told many times over the ages, and as many iterations as there have been about King Arthur and the knights of the round table – there have been depictions of his beautiful wife, Queen Guinevere.
Whether she is cast as a deceitful villain, a hapless victim or a complicated and flawed but ultimately loyal queen of Camelot, every version of the story agrees that she was very beautiful. Arthur immediately fell in love with her and, despite the warnings of loyal advisor Merlin that she would cause the downfall of Camelot, he wasted little time in making her his queen.
From here the stories vary greatly, but the most commonly accepted version has it that Guinevere had an illicit affair with one of Arthur's most trusted knight, Lancelot. The love triangle led to near civil war and the eventual downfall of Camelot.
In more modern depictions she has been portrayed by Eva Gardner, Keira Knightley, Vanessa Redgrave, Julia Ormond and Lena Heady(yes Queen Cercei was also Queen Guinevere once). But her latest depiction takes place not on the silver screen but on a 2oz silver round from the Cook Islands.
The second coin in the Camelot series, with the first depicting King Arthur, is now dedicated to Queen Guinevere.
The reverse of the coin shows Guinevere sitting on a stone wall holding a single rose. The English countryside in the background with Camelot sitting atop a hill in the distance, to the right. To the left is a single tree with the shield of Sir Lancelot resting against it. The words “Guinevere” and “2016” appear in cursive text to the top, along the rim. The frosted ultra high relief design truly pops against the proof fields at the top and matte proof finish of the small wall.
Not to be outdone though the obverse design is equally interesting. Rather than simply featuring a standard, and lets face it – boring, obverse design the Choice Mint has managed to incorporate the Camelot theme in this side of the coin as well.
Still present is the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II along with the inscriptions “ELIZABETH II”, “COOK ISLANDS” and “10 DOLLARS” with “2oz” and “Ag.999” to the bottom. However, surrounding that is a design emulating a top-down view of the famed round table. The twelve knights of the round table standing around it with their swords outstretched in salute, towards the Queen portrait. Again the effect created is very eye catching. Also bonus points are awarded for creating a stunning obverse design as well, rather than just depicting the usual tried and true images.
The coin is struck on a 50mm(1.9685 inch) silver round produced from 2 oz of pure .999 Fineness Silver. With a limited mintage of only 999 coins it is expected to retail for around $150.00 a piece upon release.
The Camelot series is expected to consist of six coins total issued over the course of three years, the next coin is set to feature Merlin.