We’re kicking off our coverage of MDM’s new release batch for the 2023 Beijing Coin Expo with, appropriately enough, an icon of China – the famous Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. It was fifty years ago, in 1974, in Xi’an, that the source of myriad amounts of terracotta fragments found in the area over many decades, was finally unearthed, and it stunned the world. The legions of life-sized clay figures are well known today, and for the first coin, MDM have chosen one of the many kneeling archers as inspiration.
These are amongst the best preserved of them all, and the squat nature also makes them a better choice for a coin. The warrior has a chignon (hair bun), the distinctive armour plating of the period, even textured soles on his shoes, all from the original figures, and all over both faces of the coin. The unusual hand positions are because the original would have held a crossbow, since removed, or rotted away. It’s a superb reproduction, and while some of the original figures still had colour on them, thankfully, MDM have resisted the temptation to add that to the coin, choosing to remains with a well-chosen antiqued finish.
The coin weighs in at two ounces, and hits a respectable 63 mm in height. It will come boxed with a Certificate of Authenticity, although we’ve yet to see images of those yet, and the mintage of 1,974 reflects the year the tomb was finally discovered. A super release, steeped in history, and well executed. It’s available to order now, and should ship in February.