With two hit series now running simultaneously, Choice Mint are concentrating on making new entrants into them as excellent as possible. Their first range was called Legends of Asgard and a third coin is due out around the middle of the year featuring the frost giant Ymir. The second series is centred around the old Arthurian legends, tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Like Asgard, Camelot is a rich vein of source material and there will be undoubtedly be some fine releases over the next few years.
Today sees the launch of the second coin in the Camelot range, following on from the debut of King Arthur last December. The logical next step in the series was the legendary king’s wife and a driving force in the legends, Queen Guinevere and that’s where Choice Mint have focused their energy with great success. Choice like to release high-relief coins, even going as far as to ramp that up to Max Relief for their popular Asgard coins. Max-Relief has now come to the Camelot series and in conjunction with CIT’s groundbreaking smartminting technology, we’re seeing a level of detail rarely exhibited with this type of strike.
The reverse is a classic one, depicting Guinevere sitting, a flower in hand and with Camelot in the background. It’s a fitting companion piece to Arthur and is packed full of fine detail. Fruit on the trees, eylashes, folds in her clothing and a knights shield leaning against the tree trunk, are all examples of the kind of detail often lost when an ultra high relief strike is done, but offering no problem here. Just her name and the issue date are inscribed on this face, allowing the artwork to be free of excessive distraction.
The obverse carries over from the previous coin and it remains one of the best of its type. Again, it’s full of nice touches, each knight in place around the round table being slightly different to each other. Issued for the Cook Islands, the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II is well integrated into the design without impeding on the overall look, effort well spent at the design stage. Struck in two ounces of fine silver, the mix of proof, polished and matte finishes give the coin depth, aiding the realistic style of art. Just 999 will be struck and the coin is nicely boxed and provided with a certificate of authenticity.
It’s another fine debut from the fledgling mint, one garnering an envious reputation for its coins, particularly in light of the competitive pricing compared to many others. Available to order today, site sponsors Coin Shoppe, Powercoin, First Coin Company and Coins Boutique will/do have them for sale.
uinevere was the wife of legendary King Arthur, an icon of British history. First appearing in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s 1136 pseudo-historical chronicle of British history called the Historia Regum Britanniae, here name in the chronicle was Guanhumara. In modern English from the Cornish region associated with the tales, the name would be equivalent to Jennifer.
In medieval romances, one of the most prominent story arcs is Queen Guinevere’s love affair with her husband’s chief knight, Lancelot. This story first appeared in Chrétien de Troyes’s Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart and became a motif in Arthurian literature, starting with the Lancelot-Grail of the early 13th century and carrying through the Post-Vulgate Cycle and Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur. Guinevere and Lancelot’s betrayal of Arthur preceded his eventual defeat at the Battle of Camlann by Mordred.
Over the years there have been multiple variations on Guinevere’s story, painting her in many different lights, from good to bad, from victim to schemer. She remains a potent part of the Arthurian mythology and continues to be depicted in books, films and television shows. A new $100m movie is due out next month starring Charlie Hunnam as King Arthur.