Feng Shui is an old Chinese philosophical system that aims to harmonise everyone with their surrounding environment. Translating in English to “wind-water”, it is one of the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics, classified as physiognomy (observation of appearances through formulas and calculations). The practice of feng shui known to many in the West interprets architecture in metaphoric terms of “invisible forces” that bind the universe, earth, and humanity together, known as qi. As you’d expect, this bring lots of cranks out of the woodwork selling their ‘skills’ to the gullible, but it’s recognised that some of the more general principles may have useful properties.
Issued for Niue, the New Zealand Mint’s Feng Shui series first debuted back in 2012 with a beautiful coin depicting a pair of Koi carp done in the traditional Far Eastern style. Initially produced in only a 1oz fine silver format with partial colouring, two years later saw the launch of the same designs in ¼oz fine gold. With a slightly increased frequency of release, it was in January 2016 that the gold and silver coins finally drew level with six of each. At the time of writing, a seventh silver coin has just launched depicting the Money Toad, but there’s no sign of the gold as yet. Because of this, the same coin will have been issued under two dates, so the first date for each release below is for the silver, the second for the gold (where a difference exists).
This is a fine series of coins, although as you’d expect from any series, some are better than others. The Koi and Cranes coins in silver are particular highlights and one of the main reasons the series is so highly thought of. The Dragon looks good but suffers from having a red crystal embedded in it, the only coin so adorned and a disappointing change, but thankfully absent on the new Money Toad coin. In gold it’s a different story, with all the coins being of a high standard and superbly struck. We’re fortunate that they remain devoid of colour and adornment. The packaging of the gold takes a back seat however. The wooden box used by the New Zealand Mint for most of their gold output is in use here again, and it’s a quality item, but the silver presentation is superior. A lacquered box, a different colour for every release, is one of the best themed boxes out there and a great presentation for the coin.
With seven coins now out there and likely an eighth to come, this popular set makes a nice collection, especially in gold. All of them are generally available, although the silver Koi is sold out at the mint. Prices are stable, although we’ve noticed the mint price for the gold has risen from $550 USD to $630, strange given the low price of the yellow metal over the last couple of years. Mintage of the gold is set at 888, with the number 8 very lucky in Chinese culture. The silver started out at 8,000 coins, but from the Horses release it dropped to 5,000 where it has remained.
2016 FENG SHUI MONEY TOAD
Feng Shui is a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing with the surrounding environment. An invisible force that binds the universe, the earth, and all humanity together. The Feng Shui Money Toad legend tells that a wife of one of the eight immortals stole the peaches of immortality and fled with it to the moon. Upon drinking this, she was turned into a Toad. But the Gods were compassionate and allowed her to keep a third leg symbolizing the trinity of heaven, earth and humankind. The Toad, named Chan Chu, also had a love of wealth and was tempted into a well with gold coins.
Toads have come to be associated with money, as they can always be found near water sources which are symbolic of wealth. It is also said that a Toads appearance is similar to that of a fat coin purse, further enhancing these connotations of wealth and blessings. Chan Chu represents protection and turning financial strife into good luck. The Money Toad is believed to help people end poor financial habits and struggles, and protect your wealth from financial disaster. If one appears near your business or home during a full moon, you will soon receive good news relating to your wealth and finances.
In Feng Shui, traditionally Money Toads are shown sitting on a bed of Gold coins or ingots. Many have seven small indentations on their backs, often containing jewels. These represent the big dipper, which plays an important role in Chinese astrology, and its connection with water and wealth. Chan Chu usually has red eyes, flared nostrils and often is depicted with a coin in its mouth. This delightful Feng Shui Money Toad 1 oz Silver coin features an intricately designed image of the mythical money toad, surrounded by coins set against a polished background of engraved lotus flowers.
2015/16 FENG SHUI DRAGON
Dragons are considered powerful protectors in Feng Shui culture creating peace and bringing good fortune into the home and workplace.
The strong yang, or male energy, makes the Dragon an auspicious symbol of great honour. As an icon of strength and protection, it keeps one from harm and is a powerful gift to a loved one. When paired with a Phoenix, which represents yin or female energy, an ultimate balance is formed.
This beautiful new Feng Shui Dragon Coin release features an image of Dragon reaching for a precious stone, powerfully symbolizing wealth and an abundance of opportunities. Around this, Cherry Blossoms are engraved against a proof quality polished background.
2015/16 FENG SHUI PHOENIX
In Feng Shui, the Phoenix as Queen of all birds represents Yin or female energies. It may evoke images of resilience, strength, and transformation, as the Phoenix is able to rise from its own ashes to reach greater heights. This stunning new Feng Shui Phoenix Coin features the moment of rebirth, as the transformed Phoenix rises up into the air. Around the bird, auspicious Peony flowers are engraved against a proof quality polished background.
2015 FENG SHUI ELEPHANTS
In Feng Shui, the Elephant symbolizes protection, good fortune, wisdom, and strength. This beautiful new Feng Shui coin features two Elephants. One bringing water into its trunk, representing the accumulation of wealth, while the other showers this over itself, signifying the distribution of wisdom, prosperity, good fortune and peace.
2014/15 FENG SHUI HORSES
Horses are some of the most loved figures in Feng Shui tradition and carry with them strong symbolism of strength, loyalty and financial success. Horses in Feng Shui have been popular objects in art and paintings in for centuries, and were often given as lavish gifts for people in powerful positions.
For centuries the horse has been indispensable to man, as a partner in war and a means of transport in times of peace. This coin features two galloping Horses captured in mid-stride. With their heads proudly held high, these animals embody strength, loyalty, and success.
2013/14 FENG SHUI CRANES
Such a meaningful coin should take pride of place in your Feng Shui coin collection. Known as the prince of all birds, the crane also stands for longevity, energy and even immortality because of its long lifespan and untiring strength in flight.
The symbolism on the Feng Shui Silver Coin – Crane is abundant – 2 cranes depicted in the wild representing inspiration and freedom. Illustrated with subtle colour, these beautiful birds are surrounded by reeds and pine tree branches as often found in traditional Chinese paintings. Their beauty is contained in a stunningly decorated lacquered wooden box.
2012/14 FENG SHUI KOI
Part of the Feng Shui Collection, the Feng Shui Gold Coin – Koi features gorgeous golden Koi on an engraved background with delicately etched Cherry Blossoms. A pair of Koi, swimming together, represent unity and fidelity.
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