A Samurai mask of the Japanese feudal period launches LPM’s ‘Ancient Warriors’ series of dimensional silver coins

Coin producers continue to be more adventurous when it comes to designs, and none more so than the increasingly popular dimensional format. Coins that are not just shaped for a subject in outline, but also with high-relief, sometimes on both faces, are a growing niche and recent issues have shown some great imagination and technical ability.

Joining the selection is Hong Kong based LPM, who today release the first in an intriguing new range called simply ‘Ancient Warrrior’. Unlike todays militaries, different classes of fighters of old differentiated themselves far more intensely than a simple change in symbolic decoration (stars, stripes, bands, etc.). Some of the embellishments and even practical decorations of ancient warriors in particular, have become iconic, so what better subject for a series like this than bringing some of them back to life in precious metal?

There’s a huge choice for a first issue, including the Spartan and Corinthian helmets of Ancient Greece, the Galea of Ancient Rome, the medieval Great Helm, and tons more, but it’s hard to argue with the Samurai warriors headgear of choice, the Kabuto. The Kabuto reached its peak of extravagance in the medieval period, but in over a millennium of usage, styles varied widely. The image below right is of a Do Maru Kabuto from the Edo period in the 19th century, but modelled in a medieval revival style (Courtesy Tokyo National Museum). The coin clearly has similar inspiration.

A dome formed from iron plates varying in number from 3 to over 100 formed the basis of the helmet, and gave it functionality, i.e. not getting the inside of your skull introduced to the wider world… Surrounding the base of this Hachi was the Shikoro, a wide brim designed to protect the neck, but from there we get into wild and wonderful territory. Decoration on higher class Samurai helmets was stunning and could include demonic face masks, small wings called Fukigaeshi, and ornate crests.

The coin has clearly done a fantastic job of getting all of the esoteric elements in place, but has taken it a bit further with a face behind the mask. It’s a very crisp and defined piece with what looks to be a good use of high relief. It’s struck in two ounces of 0.999 silver and then antique finished, which seems to suit the subject well. Despite the preponderance of colour and bling on some of the historical helmets, LPM have wisely chosen to keep the coin free of it.

Ancient Warriors: Samurai comes boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity and the mintage will be capped (no pun intended…) at 500 pieces. A very cool coin and one that leaves us in anticipation for future releases. I’m a little biased in having a great interest in the whole subject of military history, but I’m betting I’m not the only one by a long way. A superb choice of subject matter that’s been realised in style. Available from today at LPM.


Back in September 2018, LPM and the Royal Australian Mint launched a nature coin featuring that iconic terro, the Redback Spider. Already having a reputation in the coin world after the stellar aftermarket performance of the first Deadly & Dangerous proof coin from the Perth Mint way back in 2006, this new effort from the RAM is actually quite similar in concept.

While the original launch concentrated on a pair of one ounce bullion coins, one in silver and one in gold, the additions are a little more varied. A limited run of five ounce silver bullion coins joins the range, and there’s also an attractive coloured one ounce proof silver, which apes the 15 year old Perth Mint coin quite closely. The latter is boxed with a COA, Both are available now. A very nice coin.

DENOMINATION $2 Samoa $5 Australia $5 Australia
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.999 silver 0.9999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams 155.5 grams 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 40.6 mm 65.1 mm 40.0 mm
FINISH Antique Bullion Proof
MODIFICATIONS Dimensional None Colour
MINTAGE 500 1,000 1,000
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes No / No Yes / Yes