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.