Published on April 11th, 2016 | by Brook Chalmers0
Shakespeare Remembered With Royal Mint Three-Coin Set
William Shakespeare is thought by many devotees of his works as the greatest writer of all time, with tragedies, histories and comedies being his literary forte. Now, 400 years on from his death, his plays remain as popular and important in modern culture as ever and the Royal Mint have released a set of three collectible £2 coins, to celebrate Shakespeare’s pioneering works.
Numismatists and Shakespeare aficionados will now have the chance to celebrate these delightful Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) coins, which show images connected to William Shakespeare’s famous plays.
The three coins show a sword thrust through a coronet toppling falling to one side, a combination of a skull and a rose and thirdly a traditional Jester’s hat and stick, all of which have been designed by the experienced engraver John Bergdahl. Can you guess the themes in Shakespeare’s plays these images represent?
Shakespeare often wrote about the bloody downfalls of English kings such as Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V, three kings who all featured in the BBC’s series The Hollow Crown, a dramatised collection of Shakespeare’s histories plays. Incidentally the edge description of the history themed collectible £2 coin has the words “The Hollow Crown” inscribed on it, evoking mental imagery of the dramas surrounding these famous kings from English history. Perhaps you’re imagining Tom Hiddleston’s rendition of Henry V, in The Hollow Crown as you read this.
The reverse of the coin depicts a crown with a sword thrust through it, representing the downfalls of many prolific English kings, which are part of our rich history and cultural heritage.
Inscribed around the edge of the tragedies coin are the words “What a Piece of Work is a Man”, taken from Hamlet. The phrase questions the true nature of man and brings into question the lack of morality and scruples that many of Shakespeare’s characters had in his tragedies.
The image on the reverse of this coin shows a skull and a rose that represent tragic death and eternal love. Death and love are common themes in plays such as the renowned Romeo and Juliet, which many of you will know has been made into a Hollywood movie, starring Leonardo Dicaprio. Such harrowing themes continue to play an important role in Shakespeare’s other tragedies such as Othello and Hamlet.
The comedies coin, inscribed with a quote popular amongst many a thespian the world over, “All the Worlds a Stage”, features the image of a Jesters hat and stick. The imagery represents the cunning and witty fools, who are reoccurring characters throughout Shakespeare’s plays. These Jesters are often played by a clever peasant playing the fool in order to pull the wool over his audience’s eyes.
Of course the quote, inscribed on the outer edge of this coin, “All the Worlds a Stage” is taken from Shakespeare’s comedy, As You Like It. The quote itself is spoken by the memorable and melancholy traveller Jaques, who speaks many of Shakespeare’s memorable lines, such as “A fool! A fool! I met a fool in the forest”. Perhaps you too can see your own fool, if you get your hands on this coin.
Celebrate the Bard with Three Unique Coins
Students, admirers and collectors of the Bard’s life and work, will be excited to find that the packaging and information inside, reveals much more about his life. The coin set as a whole, contains a wealth of interesting insights into William Shakespeare.
Whether you’re considering this as a prudent gift for a fan of Shakespeare or a keen coin collector you can be sure that the design work will captivate its audience, very much like Shakespeare’s plays. However, if you’re a fan yourself you’ll certainly find it hard to part with this fantastic coin set and no doubt want to keep it for your own collection.