Each year around St. Patrick’s Day, people start thinking about rainbows and the pots of gold coins that lie at the end of them. Well, some of us would like to believe so. But where did this Irish legend start?
There are actually at least two competing theories. The Emerald Isle is dotted with large underground burrows and megalithic sites, which are said to be the dwelling places of the faeries, who are well known to have more gold than they know what to do with. Because the Irish landscape is fairly flat, these earthen mounds are sometimes all that stops the eye from reaching the horizon. When a rainbow forms, it can appear as though it ends right at the doorsteps of these faerie homes and their untold riches.
An alternative (and more popular) interpretation involves tales of Scandinavian invaders burying their hordes of gold in various places around the island. When the Vikings returned home, they didn’t remember all the spots where they buried their treasure, and a different kind of mythical folk found their treasure: the leprechauns
As the story goes, leprechauns are mainly harmless creatures, perhaps a little mischievous and fond of the occasional quaff of homemade whiskey. And while leprechauns are often associated with vast riches and gold, in folklore they spend most of their time making shoes for their brethren who enjoy dancing so much that they can wear out a good pair of boots in a single evening of revelry.
If you happen to stumble upon a leprechaun, tread lightly, because they can be wily creatures. If you capture him, you might be granted a wish or a few coins from his stash. If you want the whole pot of gold, you’ll need to find the end of a rainbow, because according to legend, that’s where the leprechauns bury their gold.
Despite your best efforts, getting to the end of a rainbow — whether you’re looking for the treasure troves of the faeries or a leprechaun’s pot of gold — is not such an easy thing to do. Rainbows are created when sunlight reflects off raindrops, breaking the light into different wavelengths of color. As you move toward the pot of gold, the rainbow that your eyes see moves as well, because the raindrops are at different spots in the atmosphere. The rainbow’s end, and its elusive pot of gold, will always seem to move away from you at the same rate that you approach it.
On this St. Patrick’s Day, why not look for gold in a more reliable place? Liberty Coin & Currency has a rich collection of gold jewelry, gold coins and gold bullion and the experts on staff love to talk about buying and collecting gold. And if you’re interested in selling your gold, stop by one of our two locations in Portland or Vancouver for a free, no-pressure evaluation of what your gold is really worth.
Liberty Coin & Currency specializes in gold buying and dealing in rare coins. We are a family-owned business that was first established over 16 years ago and is now located in Vancouver and Portland. We also buy gold, silver, diamonds, currency and jewelry. Visit us first for a free evaluation.