The Mint of Poland celebrates the life of Buddha on its latest high relief silver coin

Not one of the mythology series that the Mint of Poland produces for various dealers around the world, their latest is one they’re putting out themselves. We’ve seen a few Buddha coins over the years, from a series issued by the Singapore Mint, to some impressive high-relief efforts by CIT, although the latter is a less traditional depiction.

This new 2 oz silver coin looks exactly as you would expect a Buddha coin would look like using the Indian sub-continent style. Cross-legged, and with eight arms (although he can be depicted with anything from two to a thousand of them!), it is, nevertheless, how most people would imagine him to look. We say this a lot about coins from the Mennica Polska, but that is a gorgeous piece of coin art.

The position of the figures arms around the coin are perfectly placed to fill space and yet remain well defined, conveying an excellent sense of depth. The gilded detailing around the head is a nice touch, pulling your focus to the face of the figure. A patterned border rounds out the reverse face. It looks great in the face-on image, but the mint has also provided a couple of close-ups and the coin really shines in those. Crisp, flawless definition is in evidence and just goes to show what a top mint can produce these days. It’s one of those coins that doesn’t immediately ‘grab’ your attention, but on closer inspection reveals itself to be very impressive.

Issued for Cameroon, it has a dull, matter-of-fact obverse, which is a shame, and the whole coin is antique finished. The Mint of Poland knows how to do this format very well, with some hugely attractive issues over the last few years. Ancient Buddha looks to be a top quality addition to one of the highest quality portfolios in the business. Presented in a ‘floating frame’ box, it is available to order now from the usual dealers and has a mintage of 500 pieces.

THE BUDDHA

The Buddha (also known as Siddhartha Gotama or Siddhārtha Gautama) was a philosopher, mendicant, meditator, spiritual teacher, and religious leader who lived in Ancient India (c. 5th to 4th century BCE). He is revered as the founder of the world religion of Buddhism, and worshiped by most Buddhist schools as the Enlightened One who has transcended Karma and escaped the cycle of birth and rebirth. He taught for around 45 years and built a large following, both monastic and lay. His teaching is based on his insight into duḥkha (typically translated as “suffering”) and the end of dukkha – the state called Nibbāna or Nirvana.

The Buddha was born into an aristocratic family, in the Shakya clan but eventually renounced lay life. According to Buddhist tradition, after several years of mendicancy, meditation, and asceticism, he awakened to understand the mechanism which keeps people trapped in the cycle of rebirth. The Buddha then traveled throughout the Ganges plain teaching and building a religious community.

The Buddha taught a middle way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the Indian śramaṇa movement. He taught a spiritual path that included ethical training and meditative practices such as jhana and mindfulness. The Buddha also critiqued the practices of Brahmin priests, such as animal sacrifice.

A couple of centuries after his death he came to be known by the title Buddha, which means “Awakened One” or “Enlightened One”.[13] Gautama’s teachings were compiled by the Buddhist community in the Suttas, which contain his discourses, and the Vinaya, his codes for monastic practice. These were passed down in Middle-Indo Aryan dialects through an oral tradition. Later generations composed additional texts, such as systematic treatises known as Abhidharma, biographies of the Buddha, collections of stories about the Buddha’s past lives known as Jataka tales, and additional discourses, i.e, the Mahayana sutras. (Source: WIKIPEDIA)

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION 2,000 Francs CFA (Cameroon)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
DIMENSIONS 45.0 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS Ultra high-relief, gilding
MINTAGE 500
BOX / C.O.A. Yes / Yes
MINT OF POLAND