The Golden Universal Tarot is a re-printing of the Universal Tarot by Roberto de Angelis, redrawn and more dynamic version of the Rider-Waite. This edition has selected symbols and imagery decorated with gold foil on its 78 cards. (Lo Scarabeo website)
To be brutally honest, I was never drawn to original RWS tarot cards for some reason.. I found it ..boring (Blasphemy!! Burn the witch!)
BUT then I saw this version of Universal tarot with beautiful cards and gold decoration and I was absolutely stunned, I immediately loved it and proceed with ordering it. It was reasonably priced and unreasonably pretty. I am still surprised why this deck in not getting more exposure on tarot forums like let say Wild Unknown, but I assume it is because it is “yet another RWS clone”
Fair enough, there are so many clones already, do we need another one… ? I would say, in this case yes, the imagery is lively and evocative – two qualities I am personally gravely missing in the original Rider-Waite.
However.. one thing let me down.. and that is the stock paper.. It not even standard Scarabeo stock like the one they used for The Tarot of the Magical Forest which is on great paper. I concluded this has something to do with the gold foil so I am not mad at it as I guess it couldn’t be avoided.
The gold foil works great with the colors and on some cards creates shiny gradients of gold and color. Few cards got intentional “faults” which I know some people didn’t like, but I don’t mind it that much.
Is this a good beginner tarot deck? Ehh ..yes and no… Yes, if you saw it and love it. No, if you need a title on each card, because this deck doesn’t have it. So if you can’t recognize the cards by the image, you will have a hard time.
Overall this is been one of my favorite decks, it reads very well. Clients love it, I love it. I found it great for meditation. For me it is triggering the intuition really well. I would say some people may find the gold distracting, but if you are that type of person, you know you will hate it straight away and there is no need to even read a review for it haha.
Here is my older video review of the deck: