Guan Yu is the first of the ‘Chinese Heroes’ in a stunning new series from the Mint of Poland
Early indicators suggest it is possible that 2020 will see Chinese ancient history and mythology take centre stage in quite a few new coin issues. We’ve had a few years in which the gods and legends of the major ancient civilisations of Europe have dominated coin designs in this genre, but late last year, and early 2020 point to Asian mythology becoming more abundant.
Latest to join in is the Mint of Gdansk with their own Mint of Poland produced effort, ‘Guan Yu’, the first of the ‘Chinese Heroes’. Now Guan Yu is strongly associated with Zhao Yun and Lyu Bu, the three historical characters being an integral part of the late second century ‘Three Kingdoms’ period, and both of those have seen coin releases in other series, so it’s likely that we’ll see some competing sets of these build up over the next few years. If they all maintain the standard reached so far, including of the one here, that’s no problem at all.
This is yet another beautiful piece from the Mint of Poland, packed from edge to edge with layers of ultra high relief detail. The flowing dragons are gorgeous, and the stoic figure of Guan Yu with his trademark beard still manages to draw the eye in this chaotic scene. The gilded weapon moving diagonally across the coin is a nice touch and helps stop the mass of details cross the line into confusing.
The obverse continues this mints knack of incorporating the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II (a Niue requirement), into a wider themed design, and it’s a superb effort this time. The classic Chinese dragon again fills this face, and offers much appreciated relief from the usual effigy alone. A wooden box in a themed sleeve with a C.O.A.constitutes the presentation and the coin is available to pre-order now and should ship around the end of March or early April. Lots of our sponsors sell these, so check out the Where to Buy button and open up the Mint of Poland tab.
Guan Yu, who died January or February 220, was a general serving under the warlord Liu Bei during the late Eastern Han dynasty of China. Along with Zhang Fei, he shared a brotherly relationship with Liu Bei and accompanied him on most of his early exploits. Guan Yu played a significant role in the events leading up to the end of the Han dynasty and the establishment of Liu Bei’s state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period. While he is remembered for his loyalty towards Liu Bei, he is also known for repaying Cao Cao’s kindness by slaying Yan Liang, a general under Cao Cao’s rival Yuan Shao, at the Battle of Boma. After Liu Bei gained control of Yi Province in 214, Guan Yu remained in Jing Province to govern and defend the area for about seven years. In 219, while he was away fighting Cao Cao’s forces at the Battle of Fancheng, Liu Bei’s ally Sun Quan broke the Sun–Liu alliance and sent his general Lü Meng to conquer Liu Bei’s territories in Jing Province. By the time Guan Yu found out about the loss of Jing Province after his defeat at Fancheng, it was too late. He was subsequently captured in an ambush by Sun Quan’s forces and executed.
Guan Yu’s life was lionised and his achievements glorified to such an extent after his death that he was deified during the Sui dynasty. Through generations of story telling, culminating in the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, his deeds and moral qualities have been given immense emphasis, making Guan Yu one of East Asia’s most popular paradigms of loyalty and righteousness. He is still worshipped by many Chinese people today in mainland China, Taiwan, Tibet, Hong Kong and among many overseas Chinese communities. In religious devotion he is reverentially called the “Divus Guan” (Guān Dì) or “Lord Guan” (Guān Gōng). He is a deity worshipped in Chinese folk religion, popular Confucianism, Taoism, and Chinese Buddhism, and small shrines to him are almost ubiquitous in traditional Chinese shops and restaurants. His hometown Yuncheng has also named its airport after him.(WIKIPEDIA)
|DENOMINATION||$5 NZD (Niue)|
|MODIFICATIONS||Ultra high-relief, gilding|
|BOX / C.O.A.||Yes / Yes|
Yep!! It is the best of them so far, IMHO. I like it a lot. The details, the theme, the mintage. It will probably get lost in the shuffle of all the others getting released at the same time (not a good idea – causes buyer confusion), but I think one or two will rise from the ashes and prove to be highly collectible. This one is it!! IMHO
How much is it?
I couldn’t spot “Niue” on the obverse. This isn’t a requirement then?
I thought it was just missing from the render, but it is in fact not present on the finished article either. Very odd. I’ll see what I can find out. Good eye mate.
Same here – i checked the real thing from a youtube video.
I am actually still awaiting mine for a few months now. I don’t collect this very abundant area -beautiful as they are, but it was to be a special gift to a Chinese friend.
Curiously, and i am sure it’s just coincidence, the CV19 presented the initial delays but eventually the dealer received but then said most had to be returned to the mint due to production errors. I am only assuming at this point the errors were gilding related, which has sometimes been a bane with some of these types.
It would be amusing if the error was something more, er, substantial?
I have 4 of them all 70’s. All missing NIUE. This error not picked up by the graders. Strange. If some did go back, then I think either those with or without the NIUE will be rare. I’m sure they didn’t get that many back, so the ones with the NIUE may be even more rare, and valuable. Lol. Strange times in which we live. Thanks for the heads up. Dang, I let a few go at a good price too. Oh well. 🙂
Hi Robert, forgive my speculating. A little bit of mischief by me at the end there! I am sure the mint cannot and would not do anything like this. It has to stay as is for the entire run, barn doors and all that. Most likely to have been a gilding overspill.
As it stands, it’s simply a bit unusual to have omitted Niue on the coins themselves (or now technically a ’round’/’medal’ i guess).
However (here i go again lol), if the next ones in the series DO have Niue on them then certainly this first one will be the oddity of the group.
Fascinating Ian, and logically, I think what you say makes total sense. It must be a mishap on their part (Mik?). But you are right, it is a medal at this point, even though there is a numerical value. I think the second one will have the NIUE, making this the oddity of the entire product run from the mint of Poland (without the NIUE Island). And what a fascinating tale it will be. I may be crazy, but I’m in ‘buy, buy, buy mode.’ Lol I have it for the collection, but have some as an investment too. It’s the one of all the series I like the best anyway, although there are some nice pieces out there (a little overkill?). I made a video on this piece on youtube. I think it may have been the one you watched. Exceptional details on the coin. It won’t only be an oddity of the group, but of everything they have produced so far? IMHO. Mik, look forward to hearing from on two fronts. The truth behind what happened? and 2, when is #2 coming out, and will it have this ‘correction’? Thanks Ian.
The saga continues…will update over the weekend.
Still waiting to hear. Everything takes longer these days
Yes indeed Mik. Thanks for letting us know. As we’ve seen, they’ve virtually disappeared from eBay. One dealer returned a big supply back to the mint due to ‘production issues.’ No clarification what those issues were, but my guess is it was bigger than the gilded piece missing some gold plating (issues in the past). But, I understand I’m assuming a buddy of mine received a message from this dealer who said (and I quote): ‘Due to production delay of 2nd part of mintage because of the quality issues as the mint informed us, we expect to receive these new unique coin within June/ear July.’ Well, there are some loaded words in this sentence; although, this does NOT mean they added the words ‘NIUE.’ However, what is meant by 2nd part of mintage? Maybe he doesn’t know? All we do know, is was supposed to get more, and there was a 3 month delay!!! This dealer hasn’t elaborated at all, and pointed questions were asked of them. The suspense and intrigue is growing. 🙂 Maybe the dealer doesn’t know what changes were made? At the end of the day, even if the NIUE isn’t fixed, it’s still the only time (?) the Mint of Poland has done something like this…which is fascinating to forget where the legal tender is from. My gut says, he will in fact receive a new batch that has the Niue fixed!!! So there will be some with Niue and some without…and perhaps those with the NIUE will be more rare than those without it! Again, please know, I’m totally speculating!! Have a great weekend all. This just so happens to be my favorite of all the Chinese figures that have been creates so far…
I wouldn’t read too much into the second batch comment. That’s quite normal and all of the mints do it. If they’re unsure of demand they will mint an initial portion (say half). A 500 mintage just means it won’t go above it, not that this will be the number made.
I personally think they screwed up with missing the Niue inscription. Without that, it’s hard to assign value to the text FIVE DOLLARS, given how many nations have this denomination on their currency, including a few with old Liz’s mugshot on them.
sorry, correction: dealer didn’t return supply…he was waiting for 2nd supply.
thanks Mik, two things. First, 3 months to make the 2nd batch, when clients who had orders with dealers, now had to wait an extra 3 months to get their allotment? And 2, what were the production issues? And it took three months to fix? If anything, the intrigue is fun. Lol. And yes, the mishap with the Niue is not a small issue!! Has this ever happened before with the Poland Mint? Can’t be a coincidence that these were plentiful at a low price a week or so ago, and now they’re hard to find, even with a price of $400.00. Anyway, fun to chat about it.
and they have completely disappeared from eBay. Lol. Spoke to a friend of mine in china, and they’re sparse there too. now, it could be they’re waiting for this 2nd batch? Will the 2nd batch have NIUE etched? Tic, toc, time will tell.
My bad about miss quoting the mint who produced this. It’s the mint of Gdansk. Mik, is this the first time they produced a Chinese piece like this? I know the mint of Poland has produced the lion’s share of these as you mention elsewhere…thanks
These are all Mint of Poland produced and struck. People like the Mint of Gdansk, Coin Shoppe and Pela, for example, develop the idea with them and then distribute the finished article, but I understand the development, final design and physical production is all Mint of Poland. Understandable, as there are very few out there that produce this level of work
Thanks for clearing up the clouds up stairs in my brain. Got it! So they (Gdansk) are on the same level as a CIT/PowerCoin, etc…too then? I’m glad you clarified, because it helped me clarify with a few folks in forums that were under the mistaken impression that Gdansk was a mint!! Lol.
Mik, I think the mint is ignoring you. 😂
Sign of the times. There’s a chain involved and every link on it is running below strength. It will come, but it will also take time. Just the way it is these days as we’ve noticed it all around.
Oh we’ll know soon enough, because some dealers are receiving the 2nd batch this week. 😂
Officially, it isn’t changing and Niue will not appear on later batches of the Guan Yu issue.
One dealer had 30 of them for sale on Mon, June 30th and gone today, gone. Hard to find on eBay. One well known dealer in Canada (NOT Art in Coins – he would never do such a thing), pulled a fast one on me. They had 2 left last week for about $315.00. I bought them, and they were on their way to the post office; he came here, read this thread, and actually pulled them from the post office and said he put the wrong pieces inside the package. I wasn’t happy with this stunt. I don’t believe he put the wrong ones inside. I think he knew exactly what was happening. I placed two separate orders, and they were in stock…you don’t pull 2 pieces and fill two orders and go, damn, I put the wrong pieces in the package!!’ I know he’ll be pissed for calling him a liar….we’ll, sorry. Nah, this was borderline ‘crookery.’ 😆. Such biz practices will one day comeback to bite dealers like this in the arse – it’s called karma – and it’s a b*tch!
Cool. Thanks Mik. It still poses an interesting question. What about future releases in the series? Do they keep it consistent? Did they admit they made a huge mistake? Anyway, still think it’s amazing that this could be the first time the mint has done something like this in their long standing history? Thanks again