The respected Greek astronomer Ptolemy gave the concept scientific respectability in the 2nd century AD when he codified many pre-existing astrological beliefs. He described the zodiac (meaning ‘circle of little animals’) as comprising the 12 constellations, matching them with the month of their apparent ascendancy:
- Aries – the ram (March 21 – April 19)
- Taurus – the bull (April 20 – May 20)
- Gemini – the twins (May 21 – June 20)
- Cancer – the crab (June 21 – July 22)
- Leo – the lion (July 23 – August 22)
- Virgo – the maiden (August 23 – September 22)
- Libra – the scales (September 23 – October 22)
- Scorpio – the scorpion (October 23 – November 21)
- Sagittarius – the centaur (November 22 – December 21)
- Capricorn – the goat (December 22 – January 19)
- Aquarius – the water bearer (January 20 – February 18)
- Pisces – the fish (February 19 – March 20)
To Ptolemy, this ever-changing movement of the stars and planets created atmospheres to which Earth's inhabitants were sensitive, an idea which continues to resonate with many people to this day. Closely associated with the signs of the zodiac, a horoscope (derived from the Greek words ōra and scopos meaning ‘time’ and ‘observer’) is a chart of the heavens at a precise point in time – such as someone’s birthdate. Astrology interprets the meaning of the chart to explain aspects of the individual's personality and predict future events.
The Zodiac 5oz Silver HR coin portrays a central motif representing the Sun and the Moon on a coloured background. Stylised rays of wavy light divide the design into 12 sectors, each featuring a white silhouetted figure of a zodiac sign and its constellation on a coloured background. Each sign is accompanied by inscriptions of its name and its pictogram.
The coin bears The Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Obverse, featuring the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy supplemented with the dates of Her Majesty’s reign. Also included are the coin’s weight, purity, monetary denomination and 2023 year-date.
No more than 488 of the Signs of the Zodiac 5oz Silver HR Antiqued Coloured Coin will be released.
Technical note: This release has been ‘antiqued’ by hand to give it a unique finish conveying the surface abrasions of an aged artefact. As a result of this treatment, the appearance of each coin in the limited mintage may vary.
Each coin is housed in a classic display case within an illustrated shipper and accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.