Cao Cao continues the Carpathian Mint’s numismatic journey through the Chinese epic, ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’

The 14th century Chinese novel, ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’ has inspired quite a few coins over the last few years, including some super designs from Pela Coins, the Mint of Gdańsk, Mint XXI, and Numiartis. It’s to the first of those producers, Pela, that we go for this new issue, the fourth in that series. Pela, along with Silver Coins Europe, have recently formed the Carpathian Mint, so any series either of these two producers had in progress, will now be released under the Carpathian Mint banner.

The individual adorning this fourth ‘Romance’ coin is the warlord, Cao Cao, the penultimate Grand Chancellor of the Eastern Han Dynasty. In this dynasties final years, Cao Cao amassed considerable power, laying the foundation of the Cao Wei state, one of the Three Kingdoms. Founded in 220 AD by his son, Cao Pi, it fell to the Jin Dynasty just 46 years later.

If you’re familiar with the first three coins, Zhao Yun, Lyu Bu, and the Two Qiao’s, you’ll know this has been a high-quality series, and there’s nothing here to disparage that. Cao Cao is depicted on horseback, sword in hand, in front of a large period Chinese building, likely a palace or fortress. It’s a popular design for coins with Ancient Chinese history as its subject. The pose on this one leans more towards statesman, rather than the hack and slash look of most, The sword is gilded with yellow gold.

The common obverse returns, a nicely designed face that blends the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II into Chinese themed artwork. It’s a classic two-ounce silver coin, struck to a high-relief, and comes boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity. A good addition to the series, although we still like the awesome Two Qiao coin the best. Available to order now. UPDATE: Revised images showing removal of red gold gilding

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS High-relief, Gilding (red & yellow)
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes

Our Featured Image based on image Shizhao, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons