An unusual series that has slipped under the radar for many, the Singapore Mints World Buddha Heritage series launched in 2010 and here we are eight coins later with the final release. Available in ¼ oz gold and 1 oz silver versions, each coin has looked at some of the most impressive Buddhist monuments in Asia. Until 2014, the coins followed a strict and unchanging format, both being clean struck with only the silver having some highlight colouring on the obverse side. In 2014 that changed with the silver coin joining the growing list of domed coins.

For 2015 the mint has gone with another in vogue format, ultra-high relief. As can be seen from the images below, the depth of relief looks very impressive and the implementation is well applied. The literal icing on the cake is gilding to the high-relief areas. The gold version remains as it has been for previous years. The big change this year is the one-off addition of a 5 oz coin, also struck in ultra high relief, on the back of which sit representations of all eight of the Buddhist Auspicious Symbols. The relief is claimed to hit 4.5mm at its highest oiunt.

As well as being sold individually at S$150 for the 1oz silver, $800 for the 5oz silver and S$880 for the gold, the mint has also released complete sets of the coins in gold or silver, both packaged in a Stupa-shaped acrylic display, and both featuring the unique 5oz silver coin. At S$8,300 for the gold and S$2,200, they’re not much more expensive than buying the coins individually. All the coins are up for preorder now and ship from early November,

MINTS DESCRIPTION

A fitting conclusion to the World Buddha Heritage series, the Shakyamuni Buddha from the Kingdom of Bhutan, the issuing country of this coin series, is specially selected to feature in the final coin issue. This magnificent statue of the Shakyamuni Buddha sits atop a hill, overlooking the Southern entrance to Thimpu Valley of Bhutan.

At a towering height of 51 metres, the Shakyamuni Buddha of Bhutan is a bronze statue gilded in gold, seated on a 20m throne under the Buddha Dordenma project. This Buddha statue enshrines a total of 125,000 smaller Buddha statues within the body and the throne. The Urna in between the eyebrows of the Shakyamuni Buddha, also known as the Third Eye, symbolizes the Eye of Wisdom that sees unity. It is made up of 1000 carat diamonds mounted with diamond holders made of 10 kg of 18K gold.

Inspired by the Buddha’s tight ringlets of hair on the head on the head, an intricate pattern of circular ringlets lightly engraved behind the Shakyamuni Buddha forms the background of the coin obverse, representing life between the extremes of indulgence and mortification. Each feature and contour of the Shakyamuni Buddha has been meticulously engraved to highlight his divine proportions as the vivid Shakyamuni Buddha smiles faintly with his eyes half-closed.

The victory banner featured on the coin reverse is Gyaltsen – one of the 8 auspicious elements in Buddhism. Gyaltsen signifies the victory of the Buddha’s teachings over death, ignorance, disharmony and all obstacles and negativities. It also symbolizes the victory of good over the evil forces which interferes the success of noble goals.

SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
250 NGULTRUM 0.999 SILVER 31.10 g 40.70 mm PROOF 10,000 YES / YES
1000 NGULTRUM 0.999 SILVER 155.50 g 65.00 mm PROOF 2,000 YES / YES
1000 NGULTRUM 0.9999 GOLD 7.78 g 21.96 mm PROOF 6,000 YES / YES

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FIVE OUNCE SILVER

In this final issue of World Buddha Heritage Series, an exquisite 5 oz fine silver coin is specially issued by the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan to commemorate the conclusion of the series. Featured in this stunning 5oz fine silver coin is the spectacular full-body statue of the Shakyamuni Buddha minted with ultra-high, gold-gilding relief that aptly captures the spiritual essence of the Buddha’s enlightenment to bestow blessings, peace and happiness to the world.

The vivid three-dimensional Shakyamuni Buddha sits peacefully on the lotus throne, with his right palm resting on the right knee, extended to the earth and his left hand holding an alms bowl on his lap, palm skywards. Placed in front of him is a five-pronged Vajra with lotus-shaped ends, known as a symbol of Full Knowledge in Buddhism. Each feature and contour of the Shakyamuni Buddha has been meticulously engraved and artfully gilded to highlight his divine proportions. An intricate pattern of circular ringlets lightly engraved behind the Shakyamuni Buddha forms the background of the coin obverse. Inspired by the Buddha’s tight ringlets of hair on the head, it represents life between the extremes of indulgence and mortification.

In the center of the 5oz coin reverse is the elaborate engraving of the national emblem of the Kingdom of Bhutan. The outer ring features the 8 Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism – Bumpa (Treasure Vase), Dungkar (Conch Shell), Dhug (Parasol), Khorlo (Dharma Wheel), Meto Pema (Lotus), Palbheu (Endless Knot), Sernya (Golden Fish) and Gyaltsen (Victory Flag) – that were individually featured in the 8 issues. Each symbol represents an aspect of Buddhist teaching, and it is believed that having all Eight Auspicious Symbols together can bring peace and harmony to one’s life, a fitting finale special issue to the World Buddha Heritage series. 

COLLECTION PACKAGING

An exceptional 9-in-1 gold round-up set released by the Kingdom of Bhutan commemorates the final issue of the World Buddha Heritage series. The gold set consists of 8 pieces of 1/4oz 999 fine gold coin and a 5oz 999 fine silver commemorative special, housed in an elegant Stupa display. The silver set consists of 8 pieces of 1oz 999 fine silver coin and a 5oz 999 fine silver commemorative special, housed in an elegant Stupa display. Also included in each set is the Certificate of Authenticity as well as the heritage information of all the coin designs, collated into mini booklet.

The Stupa-shaped acrylic display is an architectural representation of the Buddhist path to enlightenment. Interplay of transparent and frosting effect on the high quality acrylic and special through-hole coin holding, allows both sides of the coins to be showcased at the same time. Together with ornate silver printed lotus petals lining the base, the entire coin set will make for a classy and decorative display piece for any space.

Each issue highlights a renowned Buddha statue or Buddhist monument on the obverse to celebrate the rich history of Buddhism around the world. The series features the following Buddhist statues and monuments: Four-faced Buddha of Cambodia, Seokguram Grotto of Korea, Wat Pho of Thailand, Leshan Giant Buddha of China, Mahabodhi Temple of India, Thousand-Hand Bodhisattva of China, Maitreya Buddha of Vietnam and Shakyamuni Buddha of Bhutan. While the coin reverse features the Eight Auspicious Symbols – one symbol for each issue. Each symbol represents an aspect of Buddhist teaching and is believed to bring great blessings to people.

Featured in this stunning 5oz fine silver coin is the spectacular full-body statue of the Shakyamuni Buddha minted with ultra-high, gold-gilding relief of approximately 4.5mm that aptly captures the spiritual essence of the Buddha’s enlightenment to bestow blessings, peace and happiness to the world. The reverse side features the elaborate engraving of the national emblem of the Kingdom of Bhutan and all Eight Auspicious Symbols together.

The 9-in-1 coin set is packaged in a stylish 2 piece packer box with lotus flower motif and emblazoned with glossy hot-stamping lettering of “WORLD BUDDHA HERITAGE SERIES”.

For those that have been collecting the series over the last few years, the boxes are available seperately for S$90 each.

SINGAPORE MINT