Histories great heroines are celebrated on a new high-relief coin series, and Chinese legend Mulan, kicks it off

The Mint of Gdańsk is back with some new issues, and the first one we’re looking at is the debut release in a new 2 oz, high-relief silver series called simply, ‘Heroines’. As you can tell from the title, this will be a showcase of some of the greatest women warriors from history, and what better, or more timely start to the series can there be than Mulan.

The legendary Chinese warrior, first written about over 1,500 years ago, has been quite prominent in the last couple of decades, mainly due to an animated Disney film, and the subsequent live action version, so many of you will have a preconceived notion of what she looks like. The designer of the coin seems very aware of that, and has given us a classically beautiful portrayal. She’s portrayed carrying a Dao, a Chinese sword from the period, although it’s a little Katana-like compared to the sabre-style Chinese style, but there was so much variation in the region that it doesn’t look out of place.

Giving the design a bit more ‘pop’ are some well-placed colourised magnolias, and the one to the right of her face is a small, 3d printed flower, coloured to match. Hua Mulan actually means ‘Magnolia flower’ in Chinese, so it’s very appropriate. There’s a great sense of perspective, and it’s full of movement. The obverse is very pretty, filled with nice touches that allude to the Mulan tale, including a short sword used to cut her hair for the disguise, and another magnolia. The issue details, including the effigy, are constrained to a defined circular space that sits above all of that detail. It’s very well done.

Overall, a great looking coin, standing the equal of the competition in a genre with an extremely high overall standard. Packaging consists of a wooden box in a themed slip cover, and there’s the obligatory Certificate of Authenticity, of course. The mintage is capped at 500 pieces, and it’s available to order now, with shipping in late January.


Tracing its origins back some 1,500 years to a folk song passed down orally, Mulan is the story of a woman trying to save her father by dressing as a man and joining the army. Her father had been called up to fight and had no son to go in his place, so she took on the role herself.

She fought with distinction for a decade and at the end of her service, the Emperor offered her many rewards, but she asked only for a horse, so that she could go home to her family. She arrived home and changed into her proper clothes. When she came outside she astonished her fellow soldiers who had no idea of her true nature.

The moral is that familial loyalty and respect takes precedence over other social requirements. It’s more likely the message here is that 6th century Chinese soldiers needed spectacles really badly…

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, colour, 3d-printed insert
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes