Louis Golino

Modern Numismatics

Louis Golino

Louis Golino has been a collector of American and world coins since childhood and has written about coins since 2009. In addition to writing about modern coins and other numismatic issues for Coin World, he writes a monthly column for The Numismatist magazine and has written for other coin publications. In 2017, for  “Liberty Centennial Designs,” in Elemetal Direct, he was presented with the Numismatic Literary Guild's award for best article in a non-numismatic publication. He is also a founding member of the Modern Coin Forum. 

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Choice Mint launches Guinevere

The second release in the Camelot series has just been launched by Choice Mint. The coin’s reverse depicts Guinevere, wife of King Arthur and best known for her affair with the king’s chief night, Lancelot.

King Arthur is a legendary British figure, whose existence has been debated for centuries, and whose tales have been the subject of literary works and folklore. He is said to have led the defense of his people against the invading Saxons during the late 5th and early 6th centuries, and his compatriots were the “The Knights of the Round Table.”

The series will comprise six coins, with two issues per year. For now, Choice is focusing only on these coins and its Legends of Asgard series of Nordic mythological deities. This lineup reflects the company’s philosophy that it is better to produce fewer coins of the highest quality and compelling artwork than to produce as many coins as possible.

Pre-orders for the Guinevere coin began on Monday, April 17.

Like the first coin, for King Arthur, the new Camelot piece is issued under the authority of the Cook Islands. It follows the same format: a two-ounce, .999 silver $10 coin with a 50-millimeter diameter, in a mintage of 999 pieces. Called a Proof coin, it uses three different finishes — Proof, Matte, and polished — and it is struck in high relief. The different finishes highlight different parts of the extremely intricate design, and the high relief minting brings the art to life.

As before, Coin Invest Trust was project manager for the coin, according to Choice’s president, Brian Tully.

CIT’s smartminting is the cutting-edge approach to high-relief minting that I discussed in Coin World last year (in Dec. 2016, at http://www.coinworld.com/news/world-coins/2016/11/technology-allows-for-greater-relief-with-less-metal-topical-topics.all.html).

Mr. Tully also said he decided to purchase custom capsules made in Europe for the coins, and they will be used for the entire series because he “wanted the best capsules to protect these works of art.” He also purchased custom boxes “so that collectors of the series identify the coins with Choice Mint.”

Details on new design

The design of the new coin features a reverse with a stunning depiction of Guinevere, her head tilted to the side, set against a medieval scene with hills and castles.

Mr. Tully added: “I found a new artist/designer for this coin, and she really brought Guinevere to life. I wanted to show her fragile beauty, sitting on a stone wall holding a flower, while at the same time show her vulnerable side and emotional struggle. Guinevere was in love with her husband, King Arthur. However, she was unfaithful to Arthur while he was caught up ruling his kingdom. She fell into the arms of his best friend Sir Lancelot. So, if you look under the tree over her right shoulder I strategically placed Sir Lancelot’s shield. The Sir Lancelot coin will come later. In this position, holding a rose with her head tilted, is she thinking of her husband, Arthur, or her lover, Lancelot?”

“The obverse is the same as on King Arthur. I created a round table surrounded by the Knights. With their helmets off the Knights are holding their swords in salute to the Queen’s effigy in the center. Looking closely at the detail, you can see the wood grain in the table and each Knight has unique features.” For example, each knight’s hair is different from the others.

Regarding upcoming coins in the series, he added: “The next coin in this Camelot series will be Merlin, and the design is complete. I’m very excited to reveal Merlin later this year in the September time frame. Choice Mint will also be releasing the 3rd and 4th coins in the sold-out Legends of Asgard series. Coin #3 is Ymir, the Frost Giant, and will be released next month while coin #4 is Tyr and will be released this fall. Choice Mint is also working on a special release for mid-year. Without giving too much away, the coin will be an annual issue with a Mexican theme. More to follow.”

Jacob Acosta, product manager at APMEX, said: “We are very pleased and excited to carry the Camelot series at APMEX. This is a really exciting and unique series to our marketplace, that offers customers the opportunity to add a piece of art to their portfolio. Choice Mint raises the bar when it comes to modern numismatic coins as their level of detail and thoughtfulness is quite exceptional. The multi-finish of the coin highlights every detail throughout the design from Sir Lancelot’s shield resting upon a tree and the blades of grass to the castle on the hill. The centerpiece of the design truly captures Guinevere’s breath-taking beauty.”

The Guinevere coin retails for $150 and is distributed through five retail coin companies around the world, which are listed on Choice Mint’s dealer locator: http://choicemint.com/dealer-locator/

The King Arthur coin as well as the first two Legends of Asgard coins are all sold out now.

To see a video of the Guinevere coin, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KZXQpa_lI8&feature=youtu.be


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