Mint XXI returns to its ‘Warriors of Ancient China’ series for a second historical legend, Zhang Fei

What do you get when one of the best coin producers working today dives into one of the more popular subjects? When the producer is Mint XXI and the subject is ancient myths and legends, you get a coin as striking as this one. The second in their ‘Warriors of Ancient China’ series, Zhang Fei follows last years debut Lu Bu coin.

We’ve been over the stories of the period several times before, so let’s concentrate on the coin. As the coin genre that probably maintains the highest level of quality in the market today, it takes a lot just to keep up with the competition, but in our view at least, this one has nothing to worry about. A stellar view of the Chinese general on horseback, weapon in hand, almost charging out of the coin is quite superb. A perfect use of depth and perspective lifts this one above the pack,

On top of the core design, it’s strange for us to say that the colour application here is actually a real highlight. Blending exquisitely with the antique finish, looking almost like a watercolour effect, it evokes the artistic styles of the region. The generals name is placed on this face, gilded, and in both English and Chinese script. The rest of the inscribed issue details are on the obverse in a small ‘coin-shaped’ area, along with the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. This sits on the common obverse dragon design from the first coin – a beautiful piece of art in its own right.

This is a three-ounce coin, struck in 0.999 fine silver. It’s rimless, something we love here, and covered in high-relief detail. A nice size at 55 mm in diameter, we can see this being an impressive object in hand. It comes in a nice box, with a Certificate of Authenticity, The mintage is capped at 500 pieces, as before and it should be available to order now. Another beautiful issue.


Zhang Fei (died July or August 221 AD), courtesy name Yide, was a military general serving under the warlord Liu Bei in the late Eastern Han dynasty and early Three Kingdoms period of China. Zhang Fei and Guan Yu, who were among the earliest to join Liu Bei, shared a brotherly relationship with their lord and accompanied him on most of his early exploits. Zhang Fei fought in various battles on Liu Bei’s side, including the Red Cliffs campaign (208–209), takeover of Yi Province (212–214), and Hanzhong Campaign (217–218). He was assassinated by his subordinates in 221 after serving for only a few months in the state of Shu Han, which was founded by Liu Bei earlier that year.

Zhang Fei is one of the major characters in the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which dramatises and romanticises the events before and during the Three Kingdoms period. In the novel, Zhang Fei became sworn brothers with Liu Bei and Guan Yu in the fictional Oath of the Peach Garden at the start of the novel and remained faithful to their oath until his death. (Source: Wikipedia)

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 93.3 grams
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS High-relief, gilding, ‘shimmering’ colour
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes