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.