Exclusive! Striking Lyu Bu warlord coin follows Zhao Yun in the Mint of Polands China-only coin series bringing Ancient Chinese warriors to life

The cause of much frustration with collectors of the Mint of Poland’s now iconic 2oz ancient world coins, Zhao Yun was a beautiful coin that was only distributed within China, although we noticed a few slipping out to some Western dealers after the fact. Very difficult to get hold of on release, for the obvious reasons, it was the first in a series looking at Chinese Warlords from the first few centuries AD.

Depicting Zhao Yun on horseback carrying a spear with a gilded tip (you can see the coin much lower down), it was a gorgeous piece with a first class use of perspective. We’re glad to say that the second issue is equally well realised, and sad to say it is again, limited to China. The visual style is clearly tightly linked to the first coin and the subtle use of gilding for the spear-tip is well chosen. An action-packed background rounds out a first-class piece of art.

The subject this time around is Lyu Bu, the same as that of the recent Mint21 issue, but like all coins from that producer, it has its own distinct visual style. A third century warlord known for switching allegiance from a Ding to a Dong (here in England, a ding-dong is slang for a fight, ironically), it’s another figure from a region of the world and a period in time, which is rich with interesting stories and enigmatic characters. We like this increased look at Asian ancient history – Korea, China, Japan, etc. – as it’s distinctly different from the more common European mythology that has adorned numerous coins over the last half-decade.

The obverse is a common one to the series, but it’s worth mentioning that although it’s a Niue coin with the requirement to carry the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, the mint has gone to great pains to fully theme out this face – quite successfully, we might add. Packaging is a wooden box with a themed sleeve, and there is a Certificate of Authenticity which will tell you which of the 500 mintage you have. While we just have the ArtCAM renders at present, we’ve yet to be disappointed in the transition from this to reality with Mint of Poland coins in this genre. A superb addition to this field of numismatics. Distributed by Pela Coins. We’ll add this one to our Thematic Guide to these issues, which we’re sure you’ll find very interesting.


Lü Bu (died 7 February 199), was a military general and warlord who lived during the late Eastern Han dynasty of Imperial China. Originally a subordinate of a minor warlord Ding Yuan, he betrayed and murdered Ding and defected to Dong Zhuo, the warlord who controlled the Han central government in the early 190s. In 192, he turned against Dong Zhuo and killed him after being instigated by Wang Yun and Shisun Rui, but was later defeated and driven away by Dong Zhuo’s followers.

From 192 to mid-195, Lü Bu wandered around central and northern China, consecutively seeking shelter under warlords such as Yuan Shu, Yuan Shao and Zhang Yang. In 194, he managed to take control of Yan Province from the warlord Cao Cao with help from defectors from Cao’s side, but Cao took back his territories within two years. In 196, Lü Bu turned against Liu Bei, who had offered him refuge in Xu Province, and seized control of the province from his host. Although he had agreed to an alliance with Yuan Shu earlier, he severed ties with him after Yuan declared himself emperor – treason against Emperor Xian of Han – and joined Cao and others in attacking the pretender. However, in 198, he sided with Yuan Shu again and came under attack by the combined forces of Cao and Liu, resulting in his defeat at the Battle of Xiapi in 199. He was captured and executed on Cao’s order.

Although Lü Bu is described in historical and fictional sources as an exceptionally mighty warrior, he was also notorious for his temperamental behaviour. He switched allegiances erratically and freely betrayed his allies, and was noted for his poor planning and management skills. He was always suspicious of others and could not control his subordinates. All these factors ultimately led to his downfall. In the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the details of his life are dramatised and some fictitious elements – including his romance with the fictional maiden Diaochan – are added to portray him as a nearly unchallenged warrior who was also a ruthless and impulsive brute bereft of morals. (Source: Wikipedia)

DENOMINATION $5 New Zealand (Niue)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra-high-relief, gilding
MINTAGE 500 (T.B.C.)
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes