Memento Mori Coins

You may have found this page as you searched for Memento Mori Coins, or Carpe Diem coins. Because this is a hidden page which you were probably only prompted to look for by finding one of the limited edition coins distributed as a Public Art Installation in 2020.

Congratulations!

 

I hope that this coin has brightened your day, as an unexpected find. Please keep it as a decision coin - so whenever you need to make a choice about something in life, it can help bring perspective and prioritise what is best.

The coin is designed to play on a medieval theme of "Memento Mori" (roughly translated "remember that you will die"). This isn't a morbid reason to become depressed, but instead a positive reminder that your life is what you make it, and it is worth enjoying every day that you can, or as Horace would urge you, "Carpe Diem" ("seize the day").

The text underneath is also taken from a medieval theme of the meeting of the Three Living and Three Dead. The Three Living, (sometimes shown as three kings, sometimes as a priest or holy man, a king and a rich noble man) know nothing of pain, hunger, ill health or torment. In the midst of some pleasurable pursuit such as hunting or travelling they meet Three Skeletons or three transi (rotting corpses) coming from in the opposite direction. The Skeletons accost the Three Living with the phrase:

 

As you are now, we once were

As we are now, you will become

 

Thus serving as a reminded that death comes to everyone. Again, this wasn't seen as a reason to become moribund, but to emphasise that death is a great leveller, and so even the peasants in the field will lie in the ground not far from the rich who may have squandered their time alive on trivial pursuits or gaining worldly wealth that they cannot take with them.

Found a coin? Tell us where!