The Royal Mint has launched the second coin in their new range of collector coins entitled “Myths and Legends,” which was first released last year as a bullion series. The second coin focuses on Merlin, the central mythical character in the world of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. A shadowy and untameable figure who seldom takes a single form for long enough to show us his true nature, he eludes definition today, just as he did a millennium ago, and his origins and fate remain mysterious. According to legend, Merlin was the most trusted advisor and wizard to King Arthur as well as being close friends. First appearing in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae or, The History of the Kings of Britain — a twelfth-century, fictional-historical account of British history, Merlin’s origins are commonly associated with Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table by modern audiences. As mysterious as the character himself, his origins are often tied to Welsh folklore, specifically the bard and wild man Myrddin Wyllt, who is said to have succumbed to madness following a battle and retreated to the Caledonian forest, where he gained the gift of foresight. However, the inspiration for the elusive figure likely stems from a blend of mythical characters and legends. Over time, Merlin has evolved to become one of the most popular characters in British mythology. Like most legends, however, the perception of the wizard has evolved in tandem with the narrative itself, which has undergone various reinterpretations and retellings over the centuries.
Designed by David Lawrence, his design featured on the reverse side evokes a sense of the magical wizardry Merlin is remembered throughout the ages for. He is depicted holding a magic staff with an owl perched upon his shoulder. To the upper right is a detail of the island of Avalon in the background. The reverse design is embellished with a frosted finish and hexal relief feature, which enables light to refract on the coin’s surface at different angles. To the left and above the primary design is the text MERLIN MYTHS AND LEGENDS 2023 which is placed along the edge.
The obverse side bears the effigy of HM King Charles III created by British sculptor Martin Jennings and introduced onto UK Coinage in 2022. The obverse also includes the year of release 2023 and the denomination 100 POUNDS (gold) or 5 POUNDS (silver) as part of the legend surrounding the King’s likeness.
|5 pounds||Cupro-nickel||28.2 g||38.6 mm||Brilliant Unc.||Unlimited|
|2 pounds||.999 Silver||31.1 g||38.6 mm||Proof||2,500|
|5 pounds||.999 Silver||62.2 g||40 mm||Proof||500|
|25 pounds||.9999 Gold||7.8 g||22 mm||Proof||600|
|100 pounds||.9999 Gold||31.1 g||32.69 mm||Proof||200|
The Brilliant Uncirculated cupro-nickel coins are housed in a blister-pak type folder with informative text and illustrations. Each of the gold and silver range of the “Myths and Legends” collector coins is encapsulated and presented in a selection of hardwood high-gloss cases (gold) or leatherette or black matte cases (silver), accompanied by numbered certificates of authenticity. For additional information about this new collector series, please visit the Royal Mint’s website.
The series is also available as one-ounce bullion gold, platinum, and silver strikes. For additional information, please click here.