Merlin is portrayed on the obverse of the coin. Merlin is a fascinating Welsh wizard featured in the Arthurian legends written by Geoffrey of Monmouth circa 1136. Born the son of a mortal woman and sired by an incubus from whom he receives his supernatural powers, Merlin is a known wizard and dragon master. He is also known for having engineered the birth of King Arthur. Merlin’s character was based on an earlier historical figure known as Myrrdin, a legendary madman. After witnessing the horrors of war, Myrddin flees civilization and becomes a wild man of the woods. Myrddin lives among the forest creatures and receives the gift of prophecy.
The third coin in the series features the Welsh Red Dragon on the obverse. The Welsh Red Dragon was featured in the early legends of Merlin and became the battle standard for King Arthur and other Celtic leaders. Today the Welsh Red Dragon is on the flag of Wales. The red dragon is seen symbolizing all things Welsh and is used by many private and public institutions. Stories compiled in the 12th and 13th centuries from earlier oral tradition were written in Mabinogion. The Mabinogion story tells of the red dragon fighting with an invading white dragon. The pained shrieks from the dragons caused women to miscarry, livestock to perish and crops to become barren. Lludd, King of Britain, under his wise brother Llefely’s instruction, digs a pit, fills it with mead and covers it with cloth. The dragons drink the mead and fall asleep. Wrapped in the cloth, Lludd imprisons them in a knoll located in northwest Wales, Dinas Emrys, Snowdonia. Historia Brittonum continues the saga, and the dragons remain for centuries in Dinas Emrys. Eventually King Vortigern attempts to build a castle on the site. Each night the castle walls and foundation are mysteriously demolished. Advisors to the King instruct him to sacrifice a boy without a father – in some lore, this boy is Merlin. Upon hearing of his coming demise, Merlin informs the King of the two dragons. The King unearths the hill setting the dragons free. The two dragons continue their fight with the red dragon ultimately defeating the white dragon.
Celtic Lore – the reverse. The Celtic nations consist of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Isle of Man and Brittany. The folklore, traditions and artwork of the Celtic people span the centuries. Displayed on the reverse of the coin is Celtic knot work. Used extensively in Celtic style art, Celtic knot work is an interlace pattern of unbroken, endless knots. Intricate interwoven cords with the design element of wolf heads are shown on the outer rim of the round while a larger knot-work design encompasses the center of the round.
THE FIFTH AND FINAL COIN IN THE CELTIC LORE SERIES
The second coin in the series features The Morrigan on the obverse. The Morrigan is known as Queen of Battles, Goddess of War and Death and also the Goddess of Sovereignty, fertility, cattle and crops. Being heavily connected to crows and seen frequently with crows, The Morrigan is said to be a shapeshifter. She would be seen flying over the battlefield in crow form or even sitting on the shoulder of a warrior before he fell to his death. At other times, she was seen with her sisters wherein she was given the title triple goddess. Being one of the original, main deities from the Tuatha De Danann (Tribe of the Gods originating from the Mother Goddess Danu), The Morrigan was primarily associated with Ireland. The Tuatha De Danann are a mystical, mythological race of supernatural gods in ancient Ireland. These divine gods were said to have built the Sidhe-mounds (fairy mounds), standing stones/stone circles and ancient tombs that dot the Irish countryside. Over time and with the coming of Christianity, most of the Irish gods were dwindled in size, passed to folklore and legend, and became known as fairy folk.
The fourth coin in the series features the most mysterious of the Celtic gods,
Cernunnos – Lord of the Wild Things, the Celtic antlered god on the obverse.
Cernunnos, a forest deity, is associated with fertility, life, animals and wealth. The
most famous depiction of Cernunnos is on a silver vessel, an artifact that dates
between 200 BC and 300 AD, the Gundestrup Cauldron. On the Gundestrup
Cauldron the stag-antlered man is seated cross legged holding and wearing a torc
in one hand while holding a ram-horned serpent in the other hand surrounded by a
stag, wolf and other creatures. Torcs are large open front neck rings that identify
the wearer, in this case a supreme deity, as one with power, riches and high social
status. The sacred ram-horned serpent is associated with healing, wisdom and
fertility. Both the stag and snake are symbols of rebirth as the stag sheds its antlerseach year to grow new ones in the spring, so does the snake shed his skin. Cernunnos is a peaceful god of nature with a powerful pagan influence.
THE THIRD COIN IN THE CELTIC LORE SERIES
WELSH RED DRAGON
HAND SCULPTED BY THE ITALIAN MASTER LUIGI BADIA
THE SECOND COIN IN THE CELTIC LORE LIMITED COIN SERIES
The fifth coin in the series features the Banshee on the obverse. The Banshee,
known as the foreteller of death, is a female spirit from Irish lore. Often times the
Banshee would appear as an old hag with disheveled hair and other times as
beautiful, young, wearing green garments and having long red hair the color of
fire. She could be heard keening or wailing to herald the coming death of a family
member. This was perceived as a warning to the family to give them time to
prepare. Similar lore tells of the Banshee being seen kneeling at the side of a creek
or a river washing the blood out of the clothing of the person foretold to die.
Initially Banshee were attached to five specific families. Over the years marriages
extended those five families and they became many families. Once a Banshee is
attached to a family, they stick with them wherever they go – so even you could
hear the wail of a Banshee.
FIRST COIN IN THE SERIES THE LEGEND MERLIN
THE NEXT GREAT COIN SERIES FROM ANONYMOUS MINT'S JULIE LINDQUIST FEATURING THE ARTWORK OF WORLD RENOWNED ARTIST HOWARD DAVID JOHNSON
THE FOURTH COIN IN THE CELTIC LORE SERIES
THESE COINS WILL HAVE VERY LIMITED MINTING-EACH COIN IS NUMBERED ON THE RIM WITH MATCHING NUMBERED COA
2000 1 OZ PROOF FINISH
2000 1 OZ ANTIQUE FINISH
500 5 OZ PROOF FINISH
500 5 OZ ANTIQUE FINISH
1000 1 OZ COLORIZED
500 5 OZ COLORIZED
Introducing Celtic Lore, a new five coin series presented by the Anonymous Mint bringing alive folklore, myths and legends of the Celts. Celtic Lore features the original artwork of world-renowned Artist and Illustrator Howard David Johnson. His realistic illustrations are forever captured in .999 fine silver.
To add dimension and detail, three dimensional sculpts have been crafted by Master Sculptor Luigi Badia.
These exquisite limited edition coins have been struck at Osborne Coinage, America’s oldest private mint.