Ireland has a great cultural tradition and many Irish writers are well-known throughout the world. Perhaps the greatest of these is James Joyce. The Irish novelist is considered one of the most influential and innovative writers of the modern era. He developed stream-of-consciousness writing as a literary technique and was one of the leading figures in the modernist movement. His best known work is ‘Ulysses’ (1922) in which he evokes ‘Homer’s Odyssey’ in a journey through Dublin in a range of literary styles. Born and educated in Dublin, Joyce spent most of his life in continental Europe, living in Trieste, Paris and Zurich. However, his work is centred around the city of his birth, with many of his fictional characters closely resembling his family, friends and acquaintances. In conjunction with the Department of Finance, the Central Bank of Ireland is issuing silver Proof collector coins to participate in the 2013 Europa Coin Programme. This year’s theme is ‘European Writers’ and the Irish coins in this programme will honour James Joyce. This magnificent €10 collector coin is struck to Proof quality in sterling .925 silver. The reverse of the coin features a portrait of renowned Irish writer James Joyce by Mary Gregory while the obverse of the coin bears the Irish harp. The coin is displayed in an elegant presentation case and is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity testifying to its low issue limit. This silver proof coin is part of the European Silver Programme, an annual initiative where EU member countries issue legal tender coins under a common theme in precious metals to celebrate European identity. The theme this year is ‘European writers’. These coins are sought after by coin collectors throughout Europe and the wider world. This commemorative coin issue is strictly limited to only 10,000 for collectors worldwide. Mary Gregory, sculptor, studied Fine Art at the Crawford College of Art & Design, Cork. In 1998 Mary was selected as Student of the Year and that same year placed third in the British Art Medal Society’s student medal programme sparking an interest in designing coins and medals. In 2007 Mary received her first commission for the Central Bank of Ireland for her coin representing Ireland’s Celtic Culture. The coin design in Mary’s words James Joyce. What a subject. A face full of character, eyes hidden by round spectacles. The glasses at times magnify his eyes giving him an intense and curious gaze, at others they occlude, lending an air of inward thought and meditation. His books, like the man, are hard to penetrate at times, but delighting with words which tumble in his stream-of-consciousness style. Dublin comes alive with its characters and monuments. This design begins with a portrait. Out of the top of his head pours the first lines from Chapter 3 of Ulysses in a gushing stream-of-consciousness. The text is intentionally scrawled and, perhaps in places, almost illegible, like the text of Joyce, which is sometimes unfathomable. In this chapter the character of Stephen Dedalus takes a walk. His thoughts tumble over each other and one can almost hear the cogwheels in his head turning as he plays with words and thinks things that come into his head unbidden. In so doing, he describes perfectly the world around him, the people he meets or sees and the places he travels.