Silver Coins Europe debuts the launch coin in its new high-relief silver ‘Camelot’ series – Arthur Pendragon

Despite the potency and ubiquitous nature of the Arthurian legends, there have been surprisingly few coins featuring them. We had a superb pair of coins from the Choice Mint around five years ago, a single piece in PMC’s ‘Nine Worthies’ range (the other eight coins are unrelated to the legend), and a far cheaper lower-end four-coin set from the Czech Mint. Now, Arthur is back in style.

There are so many variations on the legend that there’s room for many different looks, and SCE have gone with the classic knight in shining armour that Arthur Pendragon almost personifies. With decorated plated armour pieces and a long fur-edged cloak, he certainly looks the part. Camelot Castle sits behind him, along with two of his knights, and there’s a fallen foe at his feet. It’s all quite dramatic, enhanced by Excalibur being gilded. It’s only renders at present, so we’ll look forward to images of the finished article.

We suspect the obverse will be like that on the Hercules series, in that it stays fundamentally the same, but tweaked with selective gilding for each issue. In this case, the shield of King Arthur is golden, and it’s one of twelve surrounding the round table, on which is the head of Queen Elizabeth II. The whole coin is antique-finished, which will undoubtedly suit it well.

The coin will be presented in a wooden box with a Certificate of Authenticity, all suitably themed, and the mintage will be capped at 500 pieces. It should be available to pre-order soon (we’re quite early with this news), and it is scheduled to ship in August. This looks to be a really fine series, and with Silver Coins Europe having this and Lucifer as their first two coins, they’re clearly one to watch.


Sorry to disappoint, but Arthur almost certainly wasn’t a real figure, king or otherwise. Contemporary accounts have no mention of him, and lots of the legend we know today were added in the Middle Ages, or even later today. What little we had to go on was gleaned from various sources, including the Annales Cambriae, the Historia Brittonum, and the writings of Gildas. Arthur’s name also occurs in early poetic sources such as Y Gododdin. None are considered reliable on this.

According to legend, King Arthur led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries AD. Geoffrey of Monmouth’s fanciful and imaginative 12th-century Historia Regum Britanniae (History of the Kings of Britain) had Arthur establishing an empire over Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Norway and Gaul. Many elements and incidents that are now an integral part of the Arthurian story appear in Geoffrey’s Historia, including Arthur’s father Uther Pendragon, the wizard Merlin, Arthur’s wife Guinevere, the sword Excalibur, Arthur’s conception at Tintagel, his final battle against Mordred at Camlann, and final rest in Avalon.

Whatever the truth of the matter, the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is now firmly entrenched in modern culture, both classic and popular. The new movie due next year is just one of many to have appeared previously, and there have been countless television series and books either based on, or inspired by the legend. Forever associated with Britain, Arthur and Excalibur have become symbols of this islands history, setting an idealised standard impossible to attain.

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.23 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, Gilding
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes