KOMSCO’s Korean Gold Crown bullion coin series returns with striking relics from the Cheon-ma-chong tomb

One of the best things about the resurgence in popularity of myriad numbers of new coin designs, is the look we get into the cultural history of countries we know relatively little about. South Korea is one such country. The home of corporate giants like LG and Samsung, it’s easy to forget that this is an ancient country with a long, rich and proud history.

Now, we’re not sure what the criteria for the claim is, but Korea is said to hold nine of the thirteen known ancient gold crowns. Whatever the case, it’s impressive that so much history is still in existence, given how little remains of, for example, Egyptian gold artifacts of a similar nature, which were more prone to looting. This bullion coin series aims to showcase some of these impressive and varied artifacts.

While the first coin used Treasure #338 (a Korean museum classification) as its basis, this second coin uses Treasure #188, also called the ‘Cheon-ma-chong Gold Crown’. You can actually see it pictured in our image carousel lower down. Intermixed with some other artifacts, it forms a very pretty design and one clearly different from the Western or Middle Eastern crowns we all know so well. Like we said earlier, the medal is giving us a glimpse into Korean history and culture, which good numismatics like this should do. The other face, (this is a non-denominated medallion), is common to the series and depicts a stylised Sun-god in the form of a three-legged crow, also based on an artifact.

Last years issue had a mintage of 10,000 pieces, and while that isn’t confirmed for 2020 yet, we see no reason to doubt it won’t remain the same. Sitting alongside such series as Chiwoo Cheonwang and the Korean Tiger, state mint KOMSCO have built up a nicely balanced portfolio of coin offerings. Available in a one-ounce 0.999 gold format only, it should be available shortly from all the usual KOMSCO suppliers, and from the worldwide distributor, Today Ltd.


The Republic of Korea is the world’s largest gold crown holder, and has nine of the 13 ancient gold crowns from the world (six in the Sil-la era and three in the Ga-ya era). A gold crown is a crown that is made of a gold plate. The crown of Korea is known to be made mainly in 5 ~ 6c. This precious cultural heritage has remained unchanged since 1,500 years ago, demonstrating the era in which the golden culture flourished and the craftsmanship of the ancestors. KOMSCO has designed and launched the Gold Crown Bullion Series to showcase its valuable heritage of gold and the delicate craftsmanship of its ancestors.

The gold crown bullion series is based on Korean gold crown and the story of imaginary animal known as the god of sun, Sam-jok-o, known for being a crow with three feet. In the east, crows were meant to connect gods in heaven with people in real life to deliver the god’s sayings as a messenger. In the west, crows were meant to help lost sailors find the right way home. What is more interesting is that the gold crown and crow are deeply related.

Etymologically, there is a theory that “Crown” was derived from the word, Crow (Bird’s beak or claw shape), which is Korone in Greek language. A crown that is presumed to be from Go-gu-ryeo era, “Il-joong-sam-jok-o-keum-dong-gwansik” has sam-jok-o on the middle. It is theorized that the crown and crow has been used to reveal a powerful sceptre.

REVERSE: The reverse has the imaginary animal, Sam-jok-o, known as the sun god that lives in the sun, a three legged crow excavated from the seventh tomb of Jin-pa-ri Pyeong-ahn-nam-do. The ancestors of the orient regarded the Sam-jok-o as a symbol of the sun because it looked like the black bird with black sun spots on three feet. Sam-jok-o will be applied as the main pattern of Gold Crown Bullion.

OBVERSE: The main theme on the obverse shows excavated relics from Cheon-ma-chong tomb in Shil-la Era. They are currently preserved at the Gyeong-ju National Museum of Republic of Korea. The main feature, ‘Cheon-ma-chong Gold crown’ (National Treasure #188), is structured with four-stairs in ‘shaped ornament’, striking an impression of a strong and firm manhood.

Myriad of richly arranged ‘Comma shaped Jade’ reveal the time’s strong national power and royal regime. Behind the crown reveals a ‘Bird-shaped Gold crown Ornament’ (Treasure #618) with a flapping wing of a bird. And in th emiddle displays the ‘Gyeong-ju-Cheon-ma-chong-Jang-niCheon-ma-do’ (National Treasure #207), a heavenly horse running over the sky. The bottom of the gold crown is engraved with an anti-counterfeit technology that changes the letters (Au<>999) in different angles.

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.1 grams
FINISH Brilliant uncirculated
MINTAGE 10,000 (To Be Confirmed)
BOX / C.O.A. No / No