Chinese history and mythology comes to the fore with two new issues from the Mint of Poland

Two new designs from the Mint of Poland’s expansive mythology range mark the start of series looking at China’s long past. One delves into the realms of mythology, and one into the far more interesting true historical record. Both employ the mints signature 2oz silver, ultra high relief format and both have a mintage of 555 pieces.

First up, and the one we have better renders of, is the debut ‘Four Heavenly Kings’ coin. A legend more of Buddhism than China alone, these are the four gods tasked with protecting the four regions based on the major compass points. Duowentian is the Protector of the North and the leader of the four. It’s an action-packed design for sure, with hardly a single part of the coin face not filled with interesting details, from the building in the background, to the figure of Duowentian himself, laden with neat touches. This one bodes well for the rest of the series and looks like one to watch.

Secondly, we have the Second Century figure of Zhuge Liang. While this series is billed as ‘Famous Chinese Warriors’, the truth is Liang was much more than that – a warrior more of the mind than the body. Despite that, dragon imagery permeates the design, filling the background and completely surrounding the man himself. This one is also fully jam-packed with detail, but the face-on image is an earlier render than the other coin, so does a less able job in showing it off. China has a rich early imperial history, despite the efforts of the CCP over the last 70 years to subdue it, so it’s great to see it mined for new inspiration.

Both coins should be available to pre-order now, with the Four Heavenly Kings coin shipping in April, and the Zhuge Liang coin in May. Both are distributed by Pela Coins. Two great new issues, but you’d expect nothing less in this genre these days.

FOUR HEAVENLY KINGS:

The Four Heavenly Kings are four Buddhist gods, which originate from the Indian version of Lokapalas, each of whom is believed to watch over one cardinal direction of the world. In Chinese mythology, they are known collectively as the “Sì Dà Tiānwáng” (Chinese: 四大天王; literally: ‘Four Great Heavenly Kings’). They are the protectors of the world and fighters of evil, each able to command a legion of supernatural creatures to protect the Dharma.

Duowentian is the chief of the four kings and protector of the north. He is the ruler of rain. His symbolic weapons are the umbrella or pagoda. Wearing heavy armour and carrying the umbrella in his right hand, he is often associated with the ancient Indian God of wealth, Kubera. Associated with the colour yellow or green.

ZHUGE LIANG:

Zhuge Liang was a Chinese politician, military strategist, writer, engineer and inventor. He served as the chancellor and regent of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period. He is recognised as the most accomplished strategist of his era, and has been compared to Sun Tzu, the author of The Art of War. His reputation as an intelligent and learned scholar grew even while he was living in relative seclusion, earning him the nickname “Wolong” or “Fulong”, meaning “Crouching Dragon” or “Sleeping Dragon”. Zhuge Liang is often depicted wearing a Taoist robe and holding a hand fan made of crane feathers.

Zhuge Liang was a Confucian-oriented “Legalist”. He liked to compare himself to the sage minister Guan Zhong, developing Shu’s agriculture and industry to become a regional power. and attached great importance to the works of Shen Buhai and Han Fei, refusing to indulge local elites and adopting strict, but fair and clear laws. In remembrance of his governance, local people maintained shrines to him for ages. His name – even his surname alone – has become synonymous with loyalty, intelligence and strategy in Chinese culture. (WIKIPEDIA)

SPECIFICATION
SERIES Four Heavenly Kings Famous Chinese Warriors
DENOMINATION $5 NZD (Niue) $5 NZD (Niue)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams 62.2 grams
DIMENSIONS 45.0 mm 45.0 mm
FINISH Antique Antique
MODIFICATIONS High-relief, gilding High-relief, gilding, agate
MINTAGE 555 555
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
MINT OF POLAND