Fans of the Celtic Lore series of silver rounds will be delighted to know that the last two designs are now available. Showcasing the original artwork of Howard David Johnson, this series depicts a few of the most popular characters and creatures from the folklore and legends of the early Celts. Following Merlin, the Morrigan, and the Welsh Red Dragon, the fourth and fifth release in this mystical series depicts Cernunnos and the Banshee respectively.
Cernunnos, which means “Horned One,” is a god of nature, fertility, and wealth. He is sometimes referred to as Lord of the Wild Things, and he’s viewed as a protector of the forest and master of the hunt. In most depictions of Cernunnos, he sits cross-legged and wears an antler crown. Cernunnos is also seen accompanied by a stag, a wolf, and the ram-horned serpent in his hands.
In addition to protecting nature, Cernunnos also represents wealth, as evidenced by the torque he wears around his neck. A torque is a sacred neck ornament of the Celtic god and heroes, often made of bronze, silver, and gold. Cernunnos was also no stranger to the battlefield and was known to deflect evil enchantments from affecting the forest. He often used his control over plants during battle, yet he was gentle enough to play music as his enemies died out of respect.
The Banshee is a fairy-like female creature that acts as a foreteller of death. She does not harm or kill, but hearing her wailing is a sign that you or a family member will die shortly. Banshees appear in many forms, most often as a beautiful, young woman with flowing red hair or as an old woman wearing a hooded cloak.
In ancient Ireland and Scotland, women would weep, wail, and sing sorrowful songs—known as keening—to lament the deceased. One theory of the origin of Banshees is that these keening women would sometimes be compensated with alcohol, for which they were punished by being doomed to roam the earth as Banshees. Though Banshees have good intentions, they inevitably led to fear and developed a reputation of being hateful creatures.
All rounds in the Celtic Lore series share a reverse that features intricate celtic knot work, commonly used in the artwork from that period. The ropes twist into two stylized wolf heads on each side, facing inward toward a centered knotted design. Inscriptions include the series name, along with the round’s weight and purity.
Each design is presented on a .999 fine silver round and is offered in six variations: one and five ounce proof, one and five ounce antiqued, and one and five ounce colorized. Rounds come nestled in a protective box with a certificate of authenticity. Celtic Lore rounds will be produced in limited mintages from the Osborne Mint, in partnership with Anonymous Mint.
You can now buy individual Cernunnos and Banshee rounds, as well as full Celtic Lore sets that contain all designs in the series. Supplies are limited, so complete your collection today!