Precious Metal Collectors continues on with it quite beautiful Eight Protectors range, with the second in the series, Akasagarbha Bodhisattva. This follows the very pretty Goddess of Mercy with One Thousand Hands, and it’s clear from this one that the series is going to be maintaining an exceptionally high standard, building into an exquisite set.

For those unaware of the concept behind these copper-cored coins, they basically wrap fine silver around a much larger copper internal. This has the dual benefit of keeping the price sensible (these Bi-Metal Max versions have a total combined weight in excess of a kilogram), and of allowing some quite spectacular sizes and levels of high-relief. A look at the comparitive image lower down should give you some idea of what we’re talking about here.

The design is gorgeous, close in visual style to the first coin while being distinct enough to be noticeably different. Ākāśagarbha Bodhisattva takes the traditional sitting pose amidst a wealth of fine detail. The deity is associated with space, and his name translates as “boundless space treasury”, as his wisdom is supposed to be as boundless as space itself. He’s also sometimes known by the name “Gaganagañja”, which means “sky-jewel.”

The obverse has the same pattern of ‘Bagua’ symbols, each representing one of the Eight Protectors making up this new series. Inside that is a circular depiction of the twelve zodiac animals. The first coin was issued for Niue and thus had the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II at its centre, but all the new issues moving forward are for Chad, so that African nations coat of arms has replaced her. It’s a good looking design.

Available to order now, this huge (120 mm across) five-ounce silver coin (over 28.5 oz of copper) is, in our view, outstanding, and likely a hugely impressive piece in hand (we’ve yet to see one in person). PMC have always done a fine job with the presentation, so expect that to be well up to the job as well. As we’ve stated several times before, this innovative cored concept could have been wasted on half-assed coins relying on size alone to stand out, but it’s to PMC’s credit that the finished coins have such artistic credibility and that they haven’t taken the lazy way out. First class.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Ākāśagarbha’s name can be translated as “Boundless Space Treasury” as his wisdom is said to be boundless as space itself. The mantra of Ākāśagarbha popularly used by Buddhists and artists is believed to give rise to wisdom, creativity, and to dispel ignorance. Ākāśagarbha is also known for his generosity and meritorious acts and is one of the eight Buddhist deities that serve as the protectors of the twelve zodiac animals it is associated with along with the people born in that animal year. Among the eight, four guards the four cardinal directions while the other four guard the four semi-directions.

The 5 oz fine-silver coin is struck in a new minting technique called “Bi-Metal Max”, that combines 28.5 oz of copper as a base for the top layer of fine-silver, resulting in super ultra-high relief while being complemented with antiqued silver finishing. The technique allows the coin to have an incredible weight and feel in the hand together with its 120 mm diameter size.

The collectible highlights Ākāśagarbha with its sword that is used to cut through destructive emotions as the focal point on the reverse, featuring lotus and floral elements with title surrounding the Bodhisattva. While the obverse features a “bagua/8 symbols” with a wheel of 12 zodiac animals in which the Ox(2021) and Tiger(2022) is protected by the bodhisattva. Finishing off in the middle with a round-shaped yin-yang symbol as the backdrop for the legal tender, the Coat of Arms du Tchad.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION 20,000 Francs CFA (Republic of Chad)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver / 0.999 copper
WEIGHT 155.5 grams silver / 886.35 grams copper
DIMENSIONS 120.0 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS High-relief
MINTAGE 199
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
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