Popular Korean bullion coin icon Chiwoo Cheonwang makes the leap to 3D with new miniature pair

One of the more sought after bullion rounds in recent years, the Chiwoo Cheonwang has opened up Korean culture to the wider coin market, and the market liked what it saw. Now a few issues old and accompanied by other designs, new issues seem to be eagerly awaited. Coins Today have now decided to expand the Chiwoo range by releasing some very limited, and very impressive sterling silver miniatures. There has been some recent precedent for this. The New Zealand Mint has certainly proven that a healthy market exists for high-quality cast silver miniatures with its licenced ranges, and having seen most of them in hand, we can certainly attest to the fantastic quality of them. While they mostly came in at around the 150 gram mark in weight, this new pair from Korea are far larger.

The statue is a depiction of Chiwoo Cheonwang that has clearly been taken straight from last years bullion round, and that’s a great starting point, as that was a fine design. The god of war is shown holding his giant, almost anime-inspired sword in one hand, and his shield with a Dokkaebi upon it, in the other.

Two sizes of the miniature are on offer, neither in large numbers. The bigger of the two weighs in at just over a kilogram in weight and stands 135 mm high. Just ten of these will be cast. The smaller one still tips the scales at a still healthy half-kilo, and a hundred of these will be available. These are obviously tiny numbers for something so popular.

Packaging looks neat enough, aping the NZ Mint style which works so well. The serial number is actually engraved on the base of the statue and is reproduced on the certificate. All told, a quite stunning sculpture, packed with fine detail and beautifully presented. Fans of the bullion series will be wanting this, for sure. Keep an eye on Coinstoday.co.kr for availability.


In Korea today, Chiwoo, said to be a tribal leader of the nine Li tribe in ancient China, is worshipped as the God of War and is considered one of the three legendary founding fathers of China. In Chinese mythology, he is best known as a king who lost against the future Yellow Emperor during the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors era in Chinese mythology, way back in 2600 BCE.

Like all mythological figures from cultures and times throughout the world, there are numerous incarnations of the figure. According to one legend, Chiwoo had a bronze head with a metal forehead. He had 4 eyes and 6 arms, wielding terrible sharp weapons in every hand. In other sources, Chiwoo had certain features associated with various mythological bovines: his head was that of a bull with two horns, although the body was that of a human. He is said to have been unbelievably fierce, and to have had 81 brothers.

Historical sources often described him as ‘cruel and greedy’, as well as ‘tyrannical’. Chiwoo knows the constellations and the ancients spells for calling upon the weather. He is said to have called upon a fog to surround Huangdi and his soldiers during the Battle of Zhuolu against the Yellow Emperor.

One of the earliest historians in China, Sima Qian, wrote that even the Qin Emperor Qin Shi Huang (the first historical emperor of China) worshipped Chiwoo as the god of war. The founder of the Han Dynasty, Liu Bang, is said to have sacrificed to Chiwoo. There are many competing myths as to which tribe Chiwoo led, but supporters of the South Korean national football team claim it was the Dongyi, who lived close to the Korean peninsula around the 26th century BCE and as a result, Chiwoo is the mascot of the Red Devils supporters club.

COMPOSITION 0.925 silver 0.925 silver
WEIGHT 504 grams 1,008 grams
DIMENSIONS 106 mm 135 mm
MINTAGE 100 10
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes Yes / Yes