The Carpathian Mint continues its numismatic retelling of the Arthurian legend with its second issue, Camelot: Sir Lancelot

Back for its second bite of the Arthurian legends that we all know and love, the Carpathian Mint’s ‘Camelot’ series moved from the central character, Arthur Pendragon, to a figure often seen as either a hero or a villain, Sir Lancelot. He was said to have been Arthur’s closest confidante, and one of the greatest of the Knights of the Round Table.

He was a flawed man, and on becoming the personal champion of Arthur’s wife, Queen Guinevere, soon started an adulterous affair with her. When Arthur learned of this, a civil war broke out, exploited by Mordred, which led to the destruction of the kingdom. It’s a classic tale, constantly retold in print, or on celluloid, even to this day, and it’s no stranger to the numismatic world either.

This series of two-ounce Camelot coins will encompass twelve issues, of which this is the second. You can see the names of future coins on the common obverse, which depicts the table from above, surrounded by an alternating sequence of swords and shields, the latter of which carries the symbol of each knight. The subject of each specific issue has their shield gilded.

The reverse is the star. An excellent scene depicting Lancelot shielding Guinevere in the middle of a battle fills the face from edge to edge. Lots of detail, good depth, and an antique finish that suits it perfectly, make this a striking piece. The gilded sword and coloured insert shield add to the drama. This looks to be shaping up into an excellent series, doing justice to a beloved legend. Available to order now, it comes boxed with a COA, and has a mintage of 500.


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 island’s history, setting an idealised standard impossible to attain.

COMPOSITION 62.2 g of 0.999 silver
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS High-relief, gilding, 3D insert