The Central Bank of Ireland has issued a silver collector’s coin (15th February) honoring the explorer St. Brendan (484 – 577) or, as he is often referred to “The Navigator”, who was also one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland.
The coin is the work of graphic artist Michael Guilfoyle and is part of the continuing “EUROPA” series. The obverse depicts St. Brendan and his group of monks sailing West in a “curragh” (a wood-framed boat covered in sewn ox-hides) across the Atlantic towards the Americas. The rolling waves of the Atlantic have been stylized to form a traditional Irish interwoven pattern reflecting St. Brendan’s Irish heritage. Other elements of the Legend of St. Brendan have been added to the design to further tell the story of his epic voyage; the whale’s tail and the volcano both allude to incidents and sights recorded in the story of the celebrated Irish Saint’s voyage to the Americas. The stars above the boat allude to early navigation methods whilst also signifying this coin’s celebration of European explorers.
The reverse of the coin depicts the Harp, Ireland’s iconic national insignia along with the year of issue, “2011” and the text “EIRE” on either side.
The coin has a face value of €10 and is struck to proof quality. It is minted in .925 silver with a weight of 28.2 grams and a diameter of 38.6 mm. The coin has a limited mintage of 15,000 examples.
For more information on this and other coins offered by the Central Bank of Ireland, please visit their website at: http://www.centralbank.ie/frame_main.asp?pg=ncn_comm.asp&nv=ncn_nav.asp