Legendary Warriors are showcased on MCI-Mints newest ultra high-relief silver coin series

German mint MCI has debuted what should be the first in a new series of two-ounce, high-relief silver coins showcasing some of the warrior castes that have defined the path of world history through the centuries. It’s a similar concept to the New Zealand Mint issued Warriors of History series, although for design the new MCI coin has more in common with the current trend for high-relief mythology coins than it does that part-coloured range.

First to be issued is a subject that almost defines the moniker Legendary Warriors, the Samurai of Japan. It’s an eclectic design full of disparate elements and yet one that screams Samurai at the top of its voice. There’s certainly no mistaking who is being featured here. The layered look of the artwork, enhanced by some serious high-relief, works well. The mounted Samurai in the foreground is dynamic and is placed in front of a traditional medieval Japanese building. Behind that is a bamboo pattern upon which is inscribed the coin title. The date and composition are inscribed at the bottom – we’d like to see at least one of those moved to the obverse to keep the main artwork a little less encumbered, but we’re nitpicking here.

Issued for Burkina Faso, an African state that MCI issue a large proportion of their coins for, the obverse has that nations emblem on it, surrounded by the inscribed issuer and denomination. The coin is packaged in one of those acrylic-block display frames that we think are about the best way out there at the moment to show off coins. Unlike the NZ Mint ones with their discrete closure magnets however, the ones used by MCI have highly-intrusive enclosures in them. We’d definitely recommend a look at something a bit more subtle, but the use of this type of frame is a positive step for sure. It’s all packaged in a red coin box inside a themed shipper sleeve, along with a certificate of authenticity.

Available to buy now from MCI-Mints own estore, Euromunzehandel, it’s selling for a reasonable €139.95 Euro. That puts it at a pretty competitive price mark for this genre. A fine debut and a big step up in MCI’s ability to do impressive levels of relief. We think those interested in Samurai culture will find much to like here.

2017 LEGENDARY WARRIORS: THE SAMURAI SILVER COIN

THE SAMURAI

One of the most famous military castes in history, feudal Japan gave rise to the Samurai. Formerly provincial warriors, the rise of the Shogunate in the 12th century brought them to prominence, where they remained in one form or another until 1868, when the Meiji Restoration formally abolished the feudal system. According to translator William Scott Wilson, an early reference to the word “samurai” appears in the Kokin Wakashū (905–914), the first imperial anthology of poems, completed in the first part of the 10th century.

The samurai were usually associated with a clan and their lord, were trained as officers in military tactics and grand strategy, and they followed a set of rules that later came to be known as the bushidō. While the samurai numbered less than 10% of then Japan’s population, their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts.

Swords are the weapons that have come to be synonymous with the samurai. Ancient Japanese swords from the Nara period (Chokutō) featured a straight blade, by the late 900s curved tachi appeared, followed by the uchigatana and ultimately the katana. Smaller commonly known companion swords are the wakizashi and the tantō. Wearing a long sword (katana) or (tachi) together with a smaller sword such as a wakizashi or tantō became the symbol of the samurai, this combination of swords is referred to as a daishō (literally “big and small”). During the Edo period only samurai were allowed to wear a daisho.

SPECIFICATION

NAME 2017 LEGENDARY WARRIORS
DENOMINATION 1,500 Francs CFA
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
DIAMETER 44.00 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief
MINTAGE 1,000
BOX / COA Yes / Yes

 

MCI-MINT / EUROMUENZHANDEL